Orange-Line

The Art of International Negotiation

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Author: Salvatore Corradi – FM Chairman

In an era in which globalization is no longer a utopia and in which societies  can count on the shortening of distances made possible by technological innovations, companies have the possibility (if not the obligation) to open their horizons to global level.

A company that feels the need to emerge and expand its influence cannot act solely and exclusively on the internal market. However, diving into the world of the international market leads to the realization that, however deep the political divisions between different countries, corporate operations continue to spread around the world and executives have yet to understand how to manage them efficiently and correctly.

What is taken for granted is that to close a contract you need to know how to negotiate and knowing how to do it at international level is an art. Obviously, there is no single approach to negotiation, since each situation differs from another for a variety of reasons.

It is necessary to be able to manage cultural differences, which if underestimated could result in a failed negotiation. In addition to the primary obstacle, that is the linguistic gap, there are general principles that govern cross-border negotiations. At the local level there is not such a great need to deepen the knowledge of one’s interlocutor, something that cannot be said when “playing an away match” with rules different from one’s own. It is essential that the international negotiator is familiar with the cultural and behavioral norms of his interlocutor, norms which vary from country to country and can be generalized.

Russians are said to use the technique of asking for a discount when they already have the pen in their hands to sign the contract, Americans prefer to “take it or leave it”, perhaps through an ultimatum which, more often than not, is a real bluff . Germans tend to maintain a very impersonal attitude as opposed to Hispanics who are more empathetic. Italians often and willingly implement techniques that we could define as almost seductive, with the aim of reaching a decision before the interlocutor has doubts and asks questions that you do not want or know not to answer. On the contrary, Asians are famous for their desire to delve into every little aspect of the negotiation and for their zen calm.

 In conclusion, the solution to be able to better deal with a given business situation at an international level can be to rely on Cross Cultural services that support companies or anyone who has to deal with a difficult international business situation, in order to obtain immediate and quality support always and everywhere, to checkmate before the counterpart.