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Doing business in Venezuela

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  1. Pictures and maps.
  2. Websites.
  3. Communication: Description of the communication style, issues and problems.
  4. Cultural values.
    1. Cultural values according to Hofstede's model.
    2. Cultural values according to Trompenaars' model.
  5. Business etiquette.
    1. Making appointments.
    2. Dressing.
    3. Conversation topics.
    4. Addressing to others.
    5. Giving gift.
    6. Making deals.
    7. Entertaining for business success.
    8. Public behaviour.
  6. Negotiation pattern.

It is difficult to establish if Venezuelan society is strongly direct or indirect, but one thing is true, they always tend to be clear in negotiations, they try to express what they think at every moment, becoming emotional many times. They don't establish symbolic or sign communications when doing business, so it is clear that they try to be as much transparent as possible. As we will see in detail in the following Hofstede's analysis; Venezuela has got a high power distance impact due to the high level of inequality of power and wealth within the society. However society seems to accept this situation as normal which derives in the power of corruption, poverty, etc. They feel impotent in front of Government laws and policies, and when there are demonstrations, the response of order forces is often repressive.

[...] Their Colours are the colours of their flag (yellow, red and blue), the horse appearing in their shield is one of the most loved symbols of Venezuela as well as the turpial, the national bird; la flor de mayo (or orchid), the national flower; or the araguaney, the national tree. Women are very important in Venezuelan advertising because they are a sensual icon. The beauty of Venezuelan women is well known all around the world and advertising in Venezuela takes profit from it usually showing the typical Venezuelan woman as a white, suntanned and black haired housewife, product of a society which tends to chauvinism. [...]

[...] - Business cards are important in establishing working relationships in this culture. Consequently, ensure that you bring a plentiful supply and have them ready when first meeting others. - It's recommended that you have one side of your business card printed in Spanish, and the reverse in English. Also, ensure that your title and position are clearly stated on the card, since Venezuelan businesspeople tend to be highly status-conscious. - Immediately following an introduction, present your business card. - Business cards should be treated with care and respect. [...]

[...] - Follow Venezuelan business etiquette and offer a toast by lifting your glass and saying or Your Health.? - During all meals, the ?continental? style of dining is a must: the knife stays in the right hand and the fork remains positioned in the left. These utensils are never switched. - Ensure that you write a thank-you note following any social gathering where you were a guest. Thank-you letters can be very helpful in solidifying rapport. - It is unnecessary to tip taxi drivers. [...]

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