Meetings are conducted at a casual, unhurried pace. Engage in conversation first. Doing business with Brazilians requires face to face communication. You will be able to do only limited business by phone, fax or e-mail. Some facts may not be completely accurate during the early stages of business negotiations. Brazilians expect some initial hype and will passionately argue their points, slowly and grudgingly making concessions.
Try to maintain consistency in your negotiating team. Always get a written agreement with starting date, time of delivery, payment details, etc. Presentations should be expressive and have some flair. Stay at a first-class hotel. Hire a Brazilian contact a despachante from your industry to introduce you to the right people.
He or she will be invaluable to your success. Hire a local accountant and a lawyer to help you with contract issues. Brazilians may resent an outside legal representative. Make appointments two weeks in advance.
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Do not plan to make a business visit or schedule any appointments during holidays or festivals. Dining and Entertainment Always entertain in a prestigious restaurant. Be prepared for lengthy meals two hours or more for lunch.
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Do not discuss business during meals unless your host brings it up. Brazilians always wash their hands before eating and rarely touch food with their hands. Use a knife and fork for everything, even fruit. Always use a napkin while eating or drinking. Using toothpicks in public is not acceptable unless you cover your mouth with your other hand. When inviting Brazilians to dinner or a party, do not suggest that your guests bring food or drink. Do not expect them to arrive on time, and never indicate a time that the party will "end.
Your clothing will reflect upon you and your company. Brazilian women dress "sexy" in all situations, whether business, formal or casual. Foreign women who want to blend in should avoid wearing overly formal, conservative attire. Shoes should be stylish, polished and well-kept.
Nails should be manicured. In business situations, men should wear conservative dark suits, shirts and ties. Three piece suits indicate executives; two piece suits indicate office workers. Women should wear feminine dresses, suits and pantsuits and avoid "dressing like a man.
A very expensive gift may be viewed as a bribe. Present a gift at a social meeting, not during a formal business meeting. Give good quality whiskey, wine, coffee table books and name brand pens. Complete strangers will commonly say bom dia and, tchau when entering or exiting.
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Brazilians feel uncomfortable with the silence that we consider normal. It's very rare that a storekeeper will do the standard change-count when paying for something. If you want to verify the change was correct just do a quick check while you're still in their presence.
Brazilians are very honest with making change.
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Brazilians will order an item or food by saying Give me the plate of the day , but it's not considered polite unless you add the por favor to the end. Unless it's a very casual engagement you must always call to confirm an appointment or date just before it's scheduled.
You can use facebook, whatsapp or email to confirm, but unless you get an answer - it's not confirmed. If its something you care about but you don't confirm, you may be disappointed. It's of course considered rude to leave a party without saying good-bye. But it's also important to excuse yourself when leaving the dinner table - even if you don't know the people sitting with you.
This seemed really weird to me at first. It does not imply intimacy, it's just the norm so do it!
The standards of etiquette in Brazil are better, more natural, and more fun.