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Negotiation Tips from a China Agent - What Might Not Go Well During Negotiations?

  • 3 min read

Negotiation Tips from a China Agent - What Might Not Go Well During Negotiations?

As with any business venture, there are always some things that may fail during negotiations. Pay close attention to any payment requests made, as it's possible for this part of negotiations to be used as scams against buyers by suppliers.

If some legitimate expenses or payments need to be made (such as samples), ensure you're clear about these before purchasing. This is necessary so that both parties know what needs paid upfront versus later down the line once everyone has fulfilled their obligations.

The Challenges Of Negotiating With Chinese Companies

Chinese companies will want to see if they can win your business over potential competitors. The thing is, negotiation with Chinese suppliers requires more finesse than what you might be used to in a western country.

Some things that might not go well during the negotiating process are:

  • Language barriers (e.g., many Westerners are not familiar with the types of vocabulary used in business negotiations)
  • Cultural differences - (some people from China might be offended by direct questions, so you need to use more roundabout ways of getting information)
  • Face issues - all negotiating is seen as a competition, and if one party loses too much face, they will walk away from negotiation early or refuse to continue together.
  • Asking for too much- Suppliers want to have more control than you do, and it's challenging to establish a timeline. All of these can make your negotiation experience rather frustrating."

If there is no possibility of an amicable solution when these situations arise, then walking away from the table could be warranted. This should only happen if all other avenues have been exhausted beforehand, though.

How The Chinese Use Delay Tactics In Negotiation

Delay tactics are a common practice used in Chinese business practices. Work so that you might know when they happen and what your next move should be. The key to not being taken advantage of when dealing with Chinese suppliers is understanding the culture and knowing how they react in certain situations, such as a negotiation process.

Delay tactics used by the Chinese include:

  • Walking away from the negotiation process.
  • Using made-up terms to confuse the other party (a tactic called "bluffing")
  • Communicating in a roundabout manner, which can be frustrating for someone who is not used to it.

One way that the Chinese can use delay tactics during negotiations (without technically breaking the rules) is by walking away from the negotiation process. For example, they might say that they will think about it or take care of something else first before getting back on track with your conversation later on, which can be frustrating for someone who expects immediate responses! On top of this tactic, there's also "bluffing," where sellers make up terms, so you're unable to know what price they want.

Find A Balance Between Politeness and Assertiveness With Chinese Suppliers

Being polite is vital in the Chinese culture, but so is being firm and assertive. However, it's crucial to find a balance between these three traits that work for you- when negotiating with Chinese suppliers.

It is imperative to show respect and politeness when you are negotiating. The Chinese culture does not have as many direct words for feeling good or bad about something, so sometimes it can be hard to tell how people feel about a specific topic.

It's important to be respectful when negotiating with Chinese business owners- and that means not getting angry or raising your voice. This is a culture where relationships are valued, so it's much more appropriate to use positive language like "Please" instead of negative statements such as "I need."

In China, it can be hard to tell how people feel about something by just looking at them or reading their words, so you need to ask questions that allow them an out from explaining themselves if they don't want to speak on the topic further.

It may also help you negotiate better prices by being patient and waiting for the right moment - rather than feeling rushed or anxious. Always be respectful when dealing with suppliers - do not get angry or raise your voice. You should take your time negotiating with Chinese business representatives because they are often more conservative than Westerners in this regard. for more tactics you can keep reading the Guangzhou Agent learning center, or for more specific questions always contact us via our chat button below and schedule you consultation!