Negotiation tactics differ from country to country. Some cultures expect clients to negotiate over things that would be totally unacceptable in other countries. People simply have different approaches to when it comes to negotiation.
Imagine a line of people waiting for a taxi at an airport. Imagine the taxi drivers reaction if his client started haggling over the price of his ride before he got inside the taxi. In the New York airport and even in the Paris airport, the customer would have no chance of getting in the taxi cab. In other countries this is expected. And not only expected, if you do not bargain the locals will laugh at you.
It is very important to know what is culturally expected of you when it comes to negotiation. If you are just starting out in developing your international markets, it is wise to do some homework and identify the standard expected negotiating habits in your target country.
Even with some research, it is not always easy. Some large multi-national companies hire local company representatives to facilitate all business procedures in certain countries in the Middle East and the Far East.
The key problem is that in intercultural negotiations, many people prefer to only pretend good faith. Behind this pretence they continue to keep their cultural prejudices and seriously jeopardize fruitful negotiations.
What you should do before
Remember to ask for advice prior to cross-cultural negotiations and arrange for local representation where necessary.
8 Point Beginners Guideline For Multicultural Negotiations
If you find yourself on your own in a country where negotiation practices are different to your own, there is a strategy to follow.
- Ask to be educated on what is expected of you.
- Explain that you are thrilled at the profitable business opportunities open to both of you.
- Explain that this is your first trip and you have not done business in their country before.
- Ask for forgiveness if you do or say something that seems out of place to them.
- Assure them that you are full of good intentions and do not mean any of your awkwardness proving otherwise.
- Ask them to show or tell you what you should do instead.
- Explain that you feel there is benefit for both of you to proceed in conversation, slowly and openly, being patient.
- Assure them that you are excited about the possibility of doing business with them and learning more about their culture.
If you follow these guidelines you have a good chance of proceeding constructively.
Photos from Shutterstock.
Filed under: international business negotiation
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