Chile: Let's Make a Deal! - Part 2
What you should know before negotiating
Chilean businesspeople tend to be serious, straightforward negotiators. Nevertheless, using the “hard-sell” and other aggressive tactics will not go over well. Instead, specify your priorities, terms, and conditions. Proposing a strong financial package, with options such as nontraditional financing terms is another asset.
Providing continued service to your client, despite the long distances involved, can be a welcome gesture of commitment. This is because Chilean businesspeople wish to overcome the isolation imposed on them by geography.
Since job security is a concern for many Chileans, expressing reassurances whenever possible will be appreciated.
It would be a mistake to bribe your Chilean business associates. Although this is standard practice in other Latin American countries, in Chile it could land you in jail.
Many Chilean women are professionally advanced, and female business travelers are likely to find acceptance and opportunities for success here. Nevertheless, “machismo” is still a strong influence; it's necessary for women exercise caution and restraint in their social and professional lives. Moreover, female business travelers should graciously accept any chivalric gestures they receive, while maintaining their professionalism at all times.
Chilean business culture is not as bureaucratic as other Latin American countries; higher-level executives have reputation for efficiency.
Usually, those in the highest positions of authority are entrusted with the final decision [i.e., the upper-level “presidente” or “gerente general”, with the “gerente” and mid to low level managers providing support]. Gestures are sometimes made toward allowing input from other ranks in the organization, so it’s important to remain patient. Moreover, it may be necessary to take several trips before the transaction concludes.
Generally, contract agreements are followed rigidly, problems are resolved swiftly, and payments are made promptly on the deadline.
When receiving a mail delivery, you are expected to tip the postal carrier. This person should receive a few pesos for each piece of mail delivered.
It’s a mistake to compare Chile to Argentina: there has been a great deal of conflict between them. Moreover, these are two distinct nations, separated by the Andes--one of the world’s most formidable natural barriers.
There are a small, class-conscious elite, and a larger middle class than in most other Latin American countries. Although extremes between rich and poor exist in this society, there is a prevailing belief that those in power are entitled to the privileges accompanying their positions. Generally, Chileans feel resigned to their existing status.
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