Some tips for international business negotiation

Importers and exporters must master negotiation skills in order to succeed. The trade talks are actually a kind of dialogue. In this dialogue, both sides explain their own situations, state their opinions, listen to each other's proposals, make offers, and make counter-proposals. They also back up, concede each other, and finally reach an agreement. By mastering negotiation skills, you will be able to take the initiative in dialogue and achieve satisfactory results. We should master the following important techniques: The greatest weakness of many listeners and less experienced negotiators is that they cannot listen to each other with patience. They think that their task is to talk about their own situation, say what they want to say and refute the other person’s Objections. Therefore, in the negotiations, they always thought of what they should say below. Without paying attention to the other party's speech, many valuable information would be lost. They erroneously believe that good negotiators grasp the initiative of negotiation because they speak much more. In fact, successful negotiators use more than 50% of the time to negotiate. They listen, think, analyze and constantly ask questions to each other to ensure that they understand each other perfectly. They listen carefully to each other's words, not only what they think is important, or what they want to hear, so they get a lot of valuable information and increase their bargaining power. Effective listening can enable us to understand the needs of importers, find new solutions to problems, and revise our offers or counter offers. "Talking" is a task, and "listening" is a kind of ability, or even a kind of talent. "Listen" is a condition that any successful negotiator must possess. In the negotiations, we must try to encourage the other party to say more. We must say "yes" and "please go on" to the other party and ask the other party to answer the question so that the other party can talk more about their situation and try to understand each other's purpose. .

The second important skill in negotiating a clever question is to ask questions. By asking questions, we can not only obtain information that is not normally available, but also confirm our past judgment. Exporters apply open-ended questions (ie, the answer is not “yes” or “no”, and require special explanations) to understand the needs of importers, because such issues can allow importers to freely talk about their needs. For example: "Can you tell me more about your campany?" "What do you think of our proposal?" Foreigners answer, we must write down the key and key issues for later use.

After the offer, the importer often asks: "Can not you do better than that?" We ask this question, we should not make concessions, but we should ask: "what is meant by better?" or "better than what?" Enable importers to explain in what ways they are not satisfied. For example, an importer would say: "your competitor is offering better terms." At this time, we can continue to ask questions until we fully understand the competitor's offer. Then, we can explain to each other that our offer is different and actually better than our competitors. If the other party gives us an ambiguous answer to our request, such as “no problem”, we do not accept it, but we should ask him for a specific answer. In addition, before asking questions, especially at the beginning of the negotiations, we should solicit the consent of the other party. This has two advantages: First, if the other party agrees with us, it will be more cooperative in answering questions; second, if the other party's answer is " Yes, this affirmative reply will create a positive atmosphere for negotiations and bring a good start. ?

Conditions of Use Question After both parties have a preliminary understanding of each other, the negotiations will enter the offer and counter-offer phase. At this stage, we must use more tentative conditions to further understand each other's specific situation in order to revise our offer.

Conditional questions consist of a conditional adverbial clause and a question. This question can be either a special question or an ordinary question. Typical conditional sentences are "what...if" and "if...then". For example: "what would you do if we agree to a two-year contract?" and "if we modif your specifications, would you consider a larger order?" The conditional question has many special advantages in international business negotiations.

(1) Interact with each other. The offers and proposals made up of conditional questions are premised on the other party’s acceptance of our terms. In other words, our offer is only established when the other party accepts our terms and therefore we will not be unilaterally The constraints of the disc will not allow any party to make unilateral concessions. Only by giving each step, the transaction can be achieved.

(2) Get information. If the other party counters the offer made by us using conditional questions, the other party will provide us with valuable information indirectly, specifically and in a timely manner. For example, we propose: "what if we agree to a two-year contract?would you give us exclusive distribution rights in our territory?" The other person replied: "We would be ready to give you exclusive rights porvided you agree to a three- In the answer, we can judge that the other party is concerned about long-term cooperation. The newly acquired information will be helpful for future negotiations.

(3) seek common ground. If the other party rejects our condition, we can change the other conditions to form a new condition and issue a new offer to the other party. The other party can also use our conditional question to provide a counter to us. Both sides continue to negotiate and make concessions until they find important common ground. (4) Replace "no". In the negotiation, if you directly say "no" to the other party, the other party will feel no face, and both parties will feel embarrassed. The negotiation will even be deadlocked. If we replace "no" with a conditional question, the above situation will not happen. For example, when the other party asks for an additional request that we cannot agree with, we can ask the other person with a conditional question: "Would you be willing to meet the extra cost if we meet your additional requirements?" If the other party does not want to pay extra charges, it refuses. We will not lose our cooperation because of our own requirements.

Avoid ambiguity arising from transnational cultural exchanges Most international business negotiations are conducted in English, and the mother tongue of the negotiators is often not all English, which increases the difficulty of communication. In this case, we must try to use simple, clear, and clear English. Do not use words, puns, proverbs, and idioms that can lead to misunderstandings. Also don’t use words that are irritating to each other, such as: “to tell you the truth”, “i\'ll be honest with you...”, “i will do my best.” “It\'s none of my business but ...". These words have a color of distrust that will cause the other party to worry and will not actively cooperate with us. A serious problem with cross-border cultural exchanges is to “have people”, that is, subjectively believe that the other party will understand our speech according to our wishes, our habits, or what we understand from the other person’s speech. What I want to say. The most typical examples are the use and understanding of "yes" and "no". There was once a U.S. company and a Japanese company engaged in business negotiations. During the negotiations, the Americans were pleased to find that whenever he made an opinion, the other party nodded and said "yes". He thought that the negotiations had been particularly smooth. Until he asked for a contract, he was shocked to find that the Japanese “yes” is “yes” for polite “i hear you” and not “yes” for “i agree with you”. In fact, the meaning of the word “yes” is very rich. In addition to the above two types, there are “yes” for “i understand the qusetion” and “yes” for “i\'ll considerit”. The expression "no" is also very complicated. Some culture values ​​oppose the frontal conflict, so people generally do not directly say "no", but use some vague expressions to reject it. For example, Brazilians use “some what difficult” instead of “impossible”. Inexperienced negotiators who understand it literally will waste time and delay the negotiation process. Therefore, we must try our best to understand each other’s culture, the other’s values ​​and customs, and the only way to transmit and receive information without errors.

In order to avoid misunderstandings, we can use interpretation to ensure the smooth communication. The interpretation method is to use his own words to explain the other person's words and inquire whether the other person's understanding is correct. For example, the other person said: "We would accept prive if you could modify your specifications." We can say: "if i understand you correctly, what you are really saying is that you agree to accept our price if we improve our product as you request Another benefit of doing so is that they can deepen their impression of this issue.

Finally, another way to ensure smooth communication is to make a summary before the negotiation, restate the agreement reached so far and ask the other party to give its approval. The summary must be practical and realistic, and the wording must be appropriate. Otherwise, the other party will become suspicious, and will not accept the summary. The already discussed issue must be revisited again.

Before preparing for negotiations, we must fully investigate and understand each other’s situation, analyze their strengths and weaknesses, analyze which issues are negotiable, and which issues are not room for negotiation; What issues are important, and how important this business is to the other party, and so on. At the same time, we must analyze our situation. Assuming that we will negotiate with a purchasing manager of a large company, we should first ask ourselves the following questions: - What are the main issues to be discussed?

- What sensitive issues do not touch?

- What should I talk about first?

——What problems do we understand each other?

- What changes have happened to each other since the last business?

If you are talking about renewing orders, what lessons have you learned from doing business with the other party before?

- What are the strengths of companies competing with us for this order?

- Can we improve our work? - What problems can the opposing party oppose?

- In which areas can we make concessions? What kind of work do we want the other party to do?

- What needs will the other party have? What is their negotiation strategy?

After answering these questions, we should list a list of questions. We must think ahead about the questions we want to ask, otherwise the effect of the negotiations will be greatly reduced.

In short, many international business negotiations have failed because of lack of negotiation skills. Through training the ability to listen and ask questions, importers and exporters can grasp the initiative and obtain satisfactory results in the negotiations by mastering the above-mentioned skills.

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