Seven Secrets for Successful Negotiation in China

On the 3.10.2010 the third meeting of the “China, Asia – Israel Forum” took place.

In addition to members who attended the previous meetings, there were new members who came as a result of the exposure the forum enjoys on LinkedInFacebook and through my personal mailing list.

Doron Averbuch, who has over 15 years experience in setting up offices and selling high-tech products in China, presented some negotiation principles which could be helpful to you too.

The Chinese are negotiation wizards


The Chinese are shrewd business people who are very knowledgeable and experienced in negotiation. They have been doing this for over 3000 years! Their ultimate goal in any negotiation is to maximize results for their side, scarcely taking into account the other side.

Unlike anything you have ever known.

Yes, these are negotiations of a completely different kind. In China, negotiation is tortuous, deceptive and characterized mostly by uncertainty. Psychological warfare tactics and manipulation are used. Anything is done to exhaust you.

Nevertheless, despite the above mentioned, with ample preparation and assistance from professionals, it is possible to conduct successful negotiation and to develop business relations in China.

In China, the complexity of the negotiation is related to the size of the company.

Today changes are taking place in China. The “new” decision makers, aged 30 and up, are more open to Western culture and will not necessarily bring the managers into difficult and complex negotiations as presented. However, if the negotiations are carried out with larger companies and the governmental sector, a western manager can expect to undergo a trying negotiation and it is strongly recommended to prepare well for the trip.

How to increase your negotiation success rate:

1. Prepare yourself thoroughly for the meeting with your Chinese partner; consult with as many experienced professionals as you can.

2. “Know thy enemy” – research, collect and learn about the organization’s characteristics, advantages, political standpoint, hierarchy, to what extent the negotiator you are dealing with is the actual decision maker.

3. Write down and define in advance what your goals from the negotiation are, what your desired results are and what lines you are not prepared to cross.

4. Make sure you have the backing you need from your company before you arrive in China, so that you can stand behind the results of the negotiation if and when they are accepted.

5. Having your own translator is critical to the success of the negotiation. It is imperative that you hire a professional translator and not get your Chinese contact person or a manager to translate for you. For the Chinese, a manager that translates is automatically lowered from a management position to that of a novice.

6. Professional interpretation is important. Prepare the interpreter by supplying the background information necessary for them to translate quickly and accurately. An interpreter who is professional and experienced can significantly assist in the success of the negotiation.

7. Building good relations – In order for the transaction to be carried out and to create efficient working relations it is important to build, retain and strengthen good relations with the Chinese on a continuous basis.

If you require professional translators you are invited to contact Lichi Translations expert team, who is trained in negotiation translation.

The next “China, Asia – Israel Forum” will take place on 14.11.2010.

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