Effective Chinese Business Negotiation Tips

Effective Chinese business negotiations begin with having the best information possible so you can get the best deal, whether you are looking to purchase products or looking for Chinese business partner to help sell your goods. You need to do your research, understand the negotiating practices of the Chinese and be prepared to work with a partner in the region that will help you get the most out of your business venture in China.

Your research into working with Chinese businesses should be as thorough as possible. This means understanding the history of their business, who their clients are, the prices that they sell their goods and any other important information to help you fully understand who you may work with. By arming yourself with this information you can now progress to the next step of engaging in Chinese business negotiations to look for the right company for your business needs.

The Chinese are a remarkable people who have embraced capitalistic business practices with fervor unlike most other places in the world. Thus, they may be mistaken by Western business leaders as having a similar management structure and negotiating practices. This cannot be further from the truth. As with Western business practices and negotiations, these skills stem from the collective history of the region that people running the business is familiar with, which means that a person from the USA will negotiate with another business in a slightly different manner than someone from Australia or Great Britain.

Chinese business negotiations have a number of interesting differences that many Western business leaders are simply not familiar with and do not understand which leads to much consternation and strife depending on the seriousness of the negotiations. When looking for Chinese business partner to work with, you need to be aware of a few of their more unique negotiating tendencies.

One of the most common is the non-negotiating tactic where they avoid direct negotiations in the first place. While they might have underlings carry out some negotiations, no real decisions are made. This tends to be a test of the seriousness of your business skills and intentions, so the best tactic is to be patient and simply re-affirm your position until the Chinese business leaders start engaging seriously.

Another common tactic is known as the “big sale” where they offer their products at a much reduced rate, yet in reality they jacked the prices up considerably beforehand. Your research should reveal the actual price they sell their goods for so any large increase should be noticeable. Still, it is surprising how many Western business leaders get taken in by this rather common tactic.

The final popular Chinese negotiating tactic is the “big deal” where a lot of promises are made and seeming agreement is at hand yet no real commitment is actually made. You need to be careful listening to their promises and simply focus on settling one issue at a time, even if it begins with the small ones first. Get them in writing and then work your way up.

Finding a good Chinese business partner takes research, patience and knowledge of their negotiating skills to find the one that works best for your business.