Now that we’ve broken down some of the culture behind negotiating in China, let’s talk about strategy in the meeting rooms. What is the best way to address your concerns, make suggestions, deal with impossible standards. We will try to answer these questions and give a few general tips in dealing with any type of negotiation in China.
Be Patient, Be Persistent
One of the first things we recommend to our readers is to be patient and understanding of cultural differences while also being very persistent about your needs. We recommend this first because of the fact that we all can only study so much about different cultures, and most knowledge comes with experience. Having a mind of understanding and patience will help you in the long run as you will come off as amiable to your Chinese counterparts. This, as we have discussed before, is the most important part in any transaction in Chinese culture. But, do not be swayed from your convictions because of this, it is important to be friendly, but speak clearly and forthright about your goals, needs, and issues. Chinese business people have a tendency to be very persistent with communicating their needs, and it is just as important that you are persistent with your own. While respecting the culture, it is very important to be persistent in your deal, as this is business, after all.
Keep Good Records
The next practice we recommend is to keep record as often and as thoroughly as you can. Having a record of communications, meetings, deals, are all very very important. In case there are any discrepancies, you are able provide legitimate evidence in any situation. Now to many, this may sound common sense, but sometimes Chinese business people will try to pry leverage in bringing up the past for future gain. The better records you have of the past, the better you’ll be able to respond to such requests.
Thirdly, we’d like to talk about culture and language. Now, speaking Chinese is a skill not all of us have, and the Chinese culture is very deep with thousands of years of tradition. When going to China and attempting to do business, learning the culture and a bit of the language is imperative. Learning only a little bit of Chinese can go you a long way, it shows you respect the culture and come off as someone more reliable, compared to those who rely on discussion behind an interpreter. If learning the culture or language is not possible, remember to hire a reliable interpreter, someone who not only understands Chinese and English, but also understand the cultural implications of tone,phrases, and words. Without any of these, negotiations may get hung up from time to time.
We hope you liked our tips for negotiation in China. Feel free to share your own in the comments below!