Relationships are still very important in selling U.S. products in Spain, sometimes as important as price or quality, especially in large account sales. The decision-making process within a Spanish company is different from that in the United States. In Spain, for example, the company's top executives often make decisions that would typically be done at lower levels elsewhere. These executives take action after review by different departments, making the sales process longer. An initial "yes" can mean that the company will study the situation, and not necessarily that it will buy the product.
Additionally, once the Spanish potential partner of a U.S. firm has agreed to start a commercial relationship with a U.S. supplier, the Spanish company expects the U.S. firm to translate all commercial brochures, technical specifications and other relevant marketing materials into Spanish. Decision makers at the Spanish firm may do business in English with the U.S. firm, but the communication from the U.S. firm to their clients should come in Spanish.
Department stores, hypermarkets, shopping centers and very specialized outlets are introducing the customer fidelity concept, which usually involves client cards, cumulative discounts and special offers for frequent customers.
New selling techniques are becoming very popular. Vending machines have spread throughout Spain in the last decade. E-commerce is having an effect on some traditional segments of the direct marketing sector, such as mail order. Demand for logistical services is also rising sharply. Otherwise, selling techniques, taking into consideration local tastes, are very similar to those in the rest of the Western world.