Business people in the United States have a lot to learn from other cultures with regards to negotiation strategies. Up till now, Americans have been lucky. They were able to do well dealing with mainly other Americans. But in order to keep growing and to retain market share, we now have to do business and negotiate with people everywhere, especially on the Pacific Rim of Asia. These are the nations likely to achieve the highest growth rates in this century.
The challenge Americans face is that we are far less comfortable or experienced in negotiating with people from these cultures. Less affluent than Americans, they were, generally, brought up to bargain for everything they bought or sold. For them, every price and service was subject to intense give and take. The economic well being of their families and themselves depended on how well they negotiated.
Americans have much to learn about negotiation from the Chinese, the Japanese, the Middle-Easterners and the French. Luckily, there are several powerful approaches that have been sharpened over the centuries which will aid in your cross cultural negotiation strategies.
Remember, the art of negotiation is about making the best deal for both parties. Doesn’t it make sense to understand how other cultures negotiate in order to make the best deal you possibly can? We think so.
Imagine how skilled you would become at negotiation if everything you ever purchased- from a toothbrush to a car to a house all the way back down to a toaster oven- if literally everything were a negotiation.
And then, when you consider this, aren’t you glad that negotiation skills can be learned?