Traveling overseas gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in new cultural customs and traditions. If your travels bring you to South America, you’re in for an exciting experience. No matter which of its countries you visit, you’ll encounter diverse, rich cultures.
As with any business trip, start by ensuring you’ve made copies of your airline tickets and forms of identification. It’s also a good idea to leave your itinerary details with a friend or family member in case of emergency. Working with a corporate travel agency ensures you have a safe and stress-free travel experience.
Use the following tips while doing business in South America.
1. Build Relationships
Personal relationships influence the way South Americans conduct business. As a result, personal and business lives are closely connected. Being friendly and approachable will go a long way to building relationships with clients or prospects.
While meetings in North America kick off with handshakes, South American cultures put more emphasis on physical connection. Hugging, patting, and cheek kissing are common ways to make introductions. When in doubt, follow the lead of those around you.
2. Project a Professional Image
Your attire and body language will affect the impression you make on your hosts. Maintain eye contact and ensure your body language is relaxed and open.
Keep in mind that South Americans are less direct in the way they conduct business. Getting straight to the point seems aggressive, offensive, and unprofessional. Openly disagreeing with something can be taken as a personal slight. Be mindful of the other person’s feelings, and speak in a way that’s open-ended instead of direct.
3. Be Flexible with Schedules
South American culture doesn’t have the rushed, hectic tone that’s prevalent in North America. It’s common for meetings to start late and run overtime. Keep that in mind when developing your schedule. Appearing anxious, distracted, or announcing that you have to be somewhere else will come off as offensive.
4. Embrace the Culture
No one will expect or require fluency, but learning a few words of the local language helps build relationships that drive success. Keep in mind that while most South American countries speak Spanish, you’ll need to also consider learning a few words in Portuguese to get by in Brazil.
5. Plan Before You Pack
Since it’s in the Southern Hemisphere, South America experiences seasons at opposite times from North America. If you fly down in winter, you’ll arrive in summer. Research the weather and climate of where you’re going to pack accordingly.
Current events and holidays can impact your travel schedule. Transportation strikes can occur with little notice, so have a backup plan in place.
Better Business Travel Starts with Teplis
South Americans take pride in the culture of their country. If you’re invited to experience food, tours, famous sites, and the like, accept the offer.
Domestic and international business trips are smoother when managed by Teplis Travel. Our low rates and industry-leading customer service ensure trips are stress-free, productive, and enjoyable.
Call us today at 1-800-669-6547 to speak to a representative about the corporate travel solution that best meets your needs.