Third opus of “how to welcome its foreign customers”, Chooseandwork focused on the welcome of talented Tango dancers: Argentines.

Organize a meeting with Argentinean clients…things to know

Before you begin, it is important to know that Argentina is part of the collective cultures where interpersonal relationships play a key role in business.

In Argentina, before signing a contract or negotiating a deal, you need to know more about yourself. It’s perfectly normal to talk about your family, your projects and your ambitions with the people you plan to do business with. If you are a reserved person, ask questions about their trip, stay (example: Do you have everything you need in your hotel?). You don’t have to tell your whole life story, but talking about yourself can do wonders for business.

In the business world we are in a tactile culture, that is to say, among Argentines, we kiss each other (be careful, just a kiss), we are naturally on first-name terms and shake hands. Don’t forget the look and the smile. Don’t be surprised if one of your Argentine colleges doesn’t understand the limits of your personal space, put some distance in a subtle way by shaking hands.

Small lexicon

Official Language: Spanish

Language spoken: English is the first foreign language followed by French and Portuguese.

  • Hello : Buenos días
  • Welcome : Bienvenido
  • Enjoy your stay : Feliz estadía
  • Thank you : Gracias
  • Goodbye: Adiós
  • See you soon : Hasta pronto
  • I don’t speak Spanish, but I can inform you in English: No hablo español, ¿puedo hablarle en inglés por favor?
  • How can I help you? ¿En qué le puedo ayudar?
  • Money: plata (and not dinero as in Spain)
  • Pineapple: pineapple (don’t say Piña because it means “punch” in Argentina).

A successful welcome

The welcome sets the tone of the meeting, for an Argentinean client, direct communication is very important, we advise you to be open to your visitors’ questions and to answer them with patience and availability. Argentines love museums, historical places and cultural shows. You can always earn points by offering your Argentinean clients cultural activities (theater, musicals, etc.).

What language do you speak? Make an effort to try to understand Argentines who don’t often speak French. French is a very difficult language and even though French and Spanish are Latin languages, the greatest difficulty lies in pronunciation. To give you an example, in Spanish we write as we pronounce, while in French very often the end of the words are not pronounced. Formulating 2 or 3 words in Spanish will guarantee sympathy with the Argentinian interlocutor.

The eating habits of Argentines

Argentinian business clients usually have breakfast around 8:00 a.m., it is a continental breakfast: coffee, tea, mate, orange juice, milk, yogurt, facturas (Argentinean version of pastries), butter, jam, dulce de leche (milk jam), cereals, alfajores (an Argentinean pastry that consists of two or three cookies joined together by a sweet filling and topped with dark chocolate or powdered sugar).

As for the lunch break, Argentines spend between 30 and 45 minutes of their time for the lunch break (usually from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm). Argentine law does not specify the exact time for lunch. Don’t be surprised if your business meeting takes longer, this is a good sign!

What to suggest for the lunch break? Argentines prefer a menu based on veal and salads, you don’t have to spend fortunes on meat, a good delicatessen dish will be well appreciated.

What type of meeting room should I choose?

Argentines are used to working in bright and spacious spaces (this is the result of the size of the country and the low rental prices), try to rent a meeting room with windows and if you can’t find a large room choose one that gives this impression.

Here’s a little tip: Anticipate your clients’ needs, as soon as they arrive give as much information as possible about your space (toilets, rest rooms, coffee machines, kitchen, among others.) and give preference to face-to-face or telephone communication.

In general terms, Argentines expect the people of the countries they visit to be as open and communicative as they are.