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Business negotiations in North America, Australia, New Zealand Business negotiations in North America, Australia, New Zealand
by Joseph Gatt
2019-11-04 08:05:29
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Every individual and country is different. Sweeping generalizations about business negotiations on North America, Australia and New Zealand.

-First, in Canada, the US, Australia and New Zealand, business is relatively easy. Two reasons: the rules tend to be very clear, and people tend to know what the rules are. Rules also tend to be simple, and the justice system tends to be efficient. Literature about business is very complete, and Canadians Americans, Australians and New Zealanders communicate with each other on a regular basis and share all the information they need to share.

negot01_400_01-In Canada, the US, Australia and New Zealand business is done in somewhat informal ways. That is if you're coming to a visit, rather than choose a hotel, they could invite you to stay home. They could drive you around to visit different places and will introduce you to a ton of people. They will even give you ideas on how to run your business. Something even more shocking to many, they won't mind discussing their competitors. They can be very honest about the differences between them and their competitors, and will be like “if you want to go to my competitor, feel free.”

-Even more shocking to many, in some cases, Canadians, Americans, Australians and New Zealanders will be like “well I can't provide that product with those specifications, but my competitor has them, here's his number.” Such solidarity among competitors is not the norm everywhere, but it tends to be the norm.

-Here's what a French businessman told me: “When Americans do business, they behave like it's a Sunday.” This means Canadians, Americans, Australians and New Zealanders dislike formality and tend to act like every day is a weekend. They could take you out for a drink at 2 PM or 3 PM and will drink with you until 2 AM. They could take you to a ski trip on a Wednesday. They could take you to a basketball, baseball or football or rugby game. It's not like Europe where all business is done on board rooms with impeccable suits and a pile of documents and lots of careful speech. By the way, Canadians, Americans, Australians and New Zealanders tend to talk very casually.

-Now in many countries, here's what happens. A comes to company B asking for product C. Company B gives A product C. In Canada, the US, Australia and New Zealand, A comes to company B asking for product C. Company B takes A out for coffee, entertains A, and starts giving a lengthy and detailed and very interesting and appealing presentation of products D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L and so on and tries hard to get A to buy as many products as he can. 

-In Canada, the US, Australia and New Zealand they tend not to care whether you send an 18 year old or an 80 year old to do business or discuss business. Man or woman, young or old, any country, any ethnicity, they will tend to treat clients and customers equally. And they tolerate just about any behavior. Remember Sacha Baron Cohen's “Who is America” where Sacha Baron Cohen gets a “blowjob” by a woman while trying to negotiate a business deal and his business partner acts like he's indifferent. That's kind of how it works.

-In Canada, the US, Australia and New Zealand there tend to be strict anti-trust laws and anti-corruption laws. Breaking the law can also lead to a lot of trouble. So a lot of times, they won't allow “under the table” arrangements.

-Finally, if you're doing business with Canadians, Americans, Australians and New Zealanders, and that you're the kind of guy who constantly distorts everything and can't tell an accurate story, or if they doubt that they're getting anywhere near a deal, they probably won't do business with you. Also, again, Canadians, Americans, Australians and New Zealanders don't get innuendoes. So if you use euphemisms or hint at things they won't get what you're trying to say. Finally, a done deal is a done deal, so they won't renegotiate the deal. If you want deals to be renegotiated, clearly state so, and try to negotiate something of “consultations” or “renegotiations” or “amendments” every six months or every year or so, and make it clear in the contract that gas prices and raw material prices will make the price fluctuate in future orders or something. If you sign a deal for life, it's a deal for life.


     
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