Negotiating with powerful companies in China can be very daunting. The game is unbalanced in favor of the Chinese companies. After all, you’re on their home ground playing by their rules. But you can still successfully negotiate in China by following the tips below.
- Buck yourself up. Make sure you remain focused and psych yourself up for the day.
- Understand your goals and theirs. Research what the Chinese company actually wants from a deal with you. Know the Chinese company will negotiate from its strong home advantage, and that they will cover up many of their underlying aims. If you have done your research well, you can disregard a lot of what they say because you know what their real endpoint is. Thus, you can implement you own strategy and safeguards to get what you want.
- Prepare, prepare, prepare. Make sure you prepare in the right areas. Nobody knows your business better than you, and you will have thought through the important details you want in the contract. If you have suspicions about the company you are dealing with, have the company investigated before you sign a contract or hand over any money. If you do this afterwards, it’s far too late.
- Listen and ask questions. Direct questions weed out poor quality Chinese partners. If the company offers vague and evasive answers (like “Don’t worry!”), be on your guard that something is up. Maybe you are just dealing with an underling who doesn’t know the answer. But f you ask specific questions, like what the name of the company on the contract will be or who owns it, and no one knows or is willing to tell you—you have a problem.
- Keep your cool. The Chinese are expert at stroking a foreigner’s ego. If you are being complimented for your great Chinese, even though you know you don’t speak Chinese well, or your ego is being stroked in any way, be alert! These people want something from you. Remember to remain focused on making a good deal, not on inflating your ego.