Identifies common practices to be aware of when selling in this market, e.g., whether all sales material need to be in the local language.
When selling in Honduras, U.S. exporters must take into account that for marketing purposes, the country is divided into two regions; the North Coast, which includes San Pedro Sula, the country's commercial and industrial capital; and the Central region, where Tegucigalpa, the political capital and largest city, is located. Large importers and distributors in Honduras usually have offices in both cities to take advantage of market opportunities.
Price is among the most important selling factors in Honduras. Consumer product categories such as electronics, appliances, automobiles, and food are highly competitive. In these cases, sales promotion and customer service efforts by U.S. companies are extremely beneficial. Sales and promotional materials should be in Spanish. U.S. products are often preferred based on quality, technology, reliability, and availability. Adapting products and sales materials to Spanish and the local culture is an important factor in remaining competitive.
Importers and distributors, as well as Honduran government agencies, often have problems in securing the funds to purchase imports due to high local interest rates which are generally offered only for short-term loans. For most industries, U.S. exporters that offer attractive trade and financing terms on sales to Honduran traders have the best chances of gaining market share and competing in the local market. This is also true for large-scale projects. It is important to emphasize, however, that international firms must exercise due caution when granting credit to Honduran trading partners. Firms should take care to investigate the credit-worthiness and reputation of potential partners. For background and credit check information on prospective Honduran partners, the U.S. Commercial Service office in Tegucigalpa offers the International Company Profile (ICP) service. For more information about the ICP and other services, U.S. exporters may call 1-800- USA-TRADE.
As in most Latin American countries, a good personal relationship with prospective customers is essential for penetrating the Honduran marketplace. While it may take longer to develop a business relationship than is customary in the U.S., the investment in time can pay off in long-lasting and mutually profitable relationships.