If you consistently travel to foreign countries for business, or are preparing to move, it would behoove you to perform a little research into the business culture of that country. One such country that has a slightly different business etiquette than the United States is that of El Salvador. This small, yet booming, nation is located in South America, bordering the southern Pacific Ocean and the nations of Guatemala and Honduras.
If you are doing business here, you should learn as much about El Salvador as possible prior to arriving so you can interact properly with everyone you meet as soon as you exit the plane. Read on to learn how to master business etiquette in the country of El Salvador.
Culture Name and Language of El Salvador
One of the first things you must learn in order to master business etiquette in El Salvador is their culture name and the language. The culture name is Salvadoran and the majority of the residents speak Spanish as a first language. There are not many residents who speak anything other than Spanish, which is why it is important for you to learn the language prior to doing business in El Salvador so you can speak it fluently with associates.
English Used for Business Purposes
Many business persons in El Salvador are beginning to learn English as a second language due to the country’s recent globalization efforts. With businesses expanding in the country and abroad, many business persons need to learn how to speak English in order to succeed.
Common Social and Business Etiquette
In El Salvador, elders are due respect from younger members of the community and high-status people are due respect from low-status people. This is the same in the business world. All people should be greeted appropriately when entering a store, a business or when you see someone you know on the street. Anyone who has a title should be addressed by others using that title when speaking with that person. Handshakes are the normal greeting and are not firm like in the United States. They will also last longer than normal handshakes in the United States.
Business Attire in El Salvador
Those who are visiting El Salvador on business, or moving there for a job, should know what the proper business attire is for both men and women. Men need to wear a lightweight suit that is conservative and women should wear a blouse and skirt or dress. As in most other countries, always make strong eye contact, but be sure to never point a finger at anyone during a conversation. Avoid yawning in public because this is considered a very rude gesture.
El Salvador Business Tips
Only begin doing business with someone after a relationship has been developed. When a friendship has been created, make sure that you schedule all business meetings at least one month in advance. Business matters are never discussed in someone’s home. Instead, they are discussed during a meal or at the office. Women are rarely found in the higher levels of businesses, so if you are a traveling business woman, be sure to show respect and speak for your company and not for yourself.
Traveling to another country for business means that you should perform a little research prior to the trip. This will come in handy, especially when traveling to a country that does not speak English as a first language such as El Salvador.
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