It is a daily work for businesspeople to have negotiations and meetings with people whether in west or east. However, because of the difference of cultural backgrounds, when it comes to negotiating and meeting with Chinese businesspeople, the following should be paid attention to. It is essential for people who have frequent contact with Chinese to learn about the Chinese business style.
Before the negotiations and meetings
An agenda must be sent before meetings and negotiations, so that you can have a control of the procedures. The agenda should include time and some introductions of your own company. Remember, it is better to ask meetings and negotiations to be held between April-June and September-October and don’t choose any Chinese national holidays, including Chinese New Year (it varies on the basis of the lunar Calendar).
Chinese are known as tough negotiators, so before you negotiate with them, you should do a through homework to grasp as much information as possible about your Chinese counterparts, like their marketing strategies and clients lists, besides the related regulations issued by Chinese government.
At the beginning of the negotiations and meetings
It is common for Chinese people to shake hands and nod heads at the beginning to show politeness. The very thing is that Chinese are not accustomed to having too much physical contact, therefore, be sure that you don’t pat or slap Chinese people’s shoulders or be too close with them. The negotiations sometimes begin with small talks, you can say something positive about your experience in China. And being humorous, which will give you a smooth start of the negotiations.
In the initial meeting, after greeting, people will exchange their business cards. Keep it in mind that the cards should be in bilingual and print the name of your company, and the rank you hold. It will be better that if you have a Chinese name. Your Chinese name can help you leave a deep impression on your Chinese partners and maybe forge a good relationship. After you exchange your cards, make sure that you put the cards in a briefcase.
During the negotiations and meetings
Chinese will try to be very modest and speak highly of your company during the negotiation. They want you to make more compromise, because you are more “generous”. The key strategy for you is to show your willingness to make a compromise and let them feel as if they had more concessions.
Negotiating with Chinese people is like doing a marathon-long talk, because Chinese people don’t heed time too much and they are keen on barging. It is important to be patient and prepare for a seesaw battle.
At the end of the negotiations and meetings
After a tough negotiation, whether you two parties have reached an agreement or not, be sure you still keep a polite posture and show your respect to your counterparts. The Chinese host party sometimes will ask to take a photo of the two groups or send you some specialties as gifts, it is better to accept the invitation and gifts with gratitude.
Be sure to check the contract carefully afterwards to see whether they are correspondent to what you have reached during the negotiation and keep a close contact with your Chinese partners after the deal. It seems Chinese people are apt to change their minds.