The European Business market is focusing more on and is turning its attention into the Global market more stronly than ever, concentrating their attention on countries with the most secure economy in an attempt to find stability again.
Negotiation tactics differ from one culture to another. Some countries might not appreciate or find appropriate haggling about certain things that are perfectly normal to haggle about back home.
It is very important to study your negotiation tactics and prepare well before emerging on starting business negotiation in a foreign country.
Culture differences are complicated; company structures could be quite different in its setting and the way it function than in your country.
You need to be careful and not be naive about the difficulties that you might face in your International Negotiations.
Simple things that you might not think twice about or even cross your mind in the first place, can jeopardize your whole business trip.
· Do not assume that things are familiar to what you are used to. Even if some things are common always expect surprises.
· If your client or business partner’s first language is not English, be prepared that you might be misunderstood. Sometimes words in your language have no translation in other languages. Be open and patient and when preparing your negotiation strategy think of a way to simplify/explain what you are saying but at the same token maintain your confidence and proficiency.
· Politeness is necessary in business, however keep in mind that without a strong background in cross-culture negotiation, your politeness might be explained into “unfit for negotiation”.
· Always insure that during negotiation meetings, to have at least two people supporting each other. One is usually assigned to be mindful of body and face language signals of the clients. It is easy to miss unspoken signals when busy talking.
· Cross cultural meetings are all about trust and clarity in communication. Choosing the right negotiation partner can make your task much easier.
· Some cultures do not appreciate outright questions in communication. Use your sale or political communication skills to win your international clients/ business partners approvals. People everywhere often appreciate and are happy with other people who are good communicators (bearing in mind controlling and administrating correct body and facial language).
A common mistake inexperienced International negotiators often fall victim to is starting negotiation with the wrong person. It is utmost important that you ask for clarity from the start. The name of the person you are negotiating with good be a good start.
Starting negotiation and then continuing with someone else is not easy. Drawing the last line on your negotiation tactics are usually (unconsciously sometimes) determined after meeting your other negotiator(s). Meeting people in person has a huge impact on our chosen negotiation technique. If meeting your foreign negotiator before starting the official meeting is a possibility, then I would strongly advice it.
Many Business companies seek the help of Intercultural support agencies. It can be extremely helpful and sometimes vital to your business to getting intercultural help.
Reading books and collecting information over the internet is not always enough to establish a strong cultural background!
CONFIDENCE is the key to win the approval of your clients. It is not difficult to distinguish between International inexperienced negotiators and the one is.
The secret here is to be very well prepared taking into account every little detail, and at the same time mentally prepared for unexpected ups and downs, and have the right flexibility and attitude.
However, be CONFIDENT but GENTLY! You do not to appear arrogant. Being gently confident can help make the communication run smoothly and you will appear professional in your dealing which will result in the approval of your clients.
Here are a few tips for small companies conducting international business negotiation for the first time:
Ø Explain that this is your first visit to your client’s country and that you have no previous pleasant experience in working with someone from their country before.
Ø Tell them that you are delighted and excited working with them and leaning more about their culture. (Be open for learning a few words or phrases).
Ø Ask for social behaviour advice from them and show gratitude for their help. (It is always a good thing to show your client your willingness to show respect to their traditions and learn their social habits).
Ø Ask for forgiveness if you happen to do or say something out of place.