So You Want to Sell to the Latin American Market 

Selling to the Latino market




3.  Trust and Relationships

Loyalty and trust are a big deal each time we do research in Latin America.

This is why prospecting, follow-up, and asking for referrals are keys to being successful with Latinos. This formula I have learned is something I have observed with the very best sales professionals in Latin America in a variety of industries. Generally, there is a belief that within the culture you must take care of people you know and trust.

We coined the word “Godfatherism” to explain this, as I have observed and experienced myself.

Your job as a sales organization or sales person is to build a level of trust with Latinos that causes them to feel almost obligated to do business with you again or to refer you. Be so good that they believe you are their trusted advisor in your area of expertise. (By the way, this works with other cultures, but just really stands out as more important in Latino culture.)

4.  Of course, communicating in their mother tongue

It was my very first point and works when trying to sell to anyone whose mother tongue is something other that English.

Even if you are not a native speaker, people who speak other languages will almost always appreciate it. My ability to speak Spanish has really helped not just in communicating, but also with that ability to put the customer at ease.  

This really breaks the ice with Latinos when it comes to building trust and relationships.

5.  Don’t buy into the machista argument, Latin women are very powerful.

My first work in Latin America was working with sales organizations in the automotive segment, and we discovered that 80% of automobiles in most countries were registered in the name of a man.

We also discovered that in a male dominated industry like automotive, even women made assumptions that decisions were controlled entirely by men. What we found with more in-depth research was that in reality the final decision on this type of purchase (and many, many others) were being made by the woman in the relationship.

Latinas are often powerful and manage the home, the family, and their relationships. I jokingly say that my wife lets me believe I am in charge, and have the final say, but she is really in control.

While I understand that many of the suggestion here can cross over to make a sale in many cultures, these tendencies are the dominant ones that are common (not foolproof) when working with Latinos. 

So, if you want to sell to more Latinos, use their language, take the time to get to know what is important to them, and earn their trust and business. For more help selling to Latinos, please feel free to reach out to me at

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About the author

Jaime "“Jim”" Hernandez

Jaime “Jim” Hernandez, is president of Strategic Business Communications, Inc. which ranked #4122 in INC magazine’s Fastest Growing Companies in America. He contributes a column about marketing for Latin Business Today. A motivational speaker, marketing consultant and trainer, Jim has worked with more than 30 businesses in the U.S. and abroad. He is a member of the National Advisory Board of MYM, and has been a guest lecturer on sales and marketing at the University of San Diego.