Depending on your approach to business, negotiating may be the part of a sale that you relish or dread. You may also choose not to call the process of finalizing details of a business contract “negotiating”, but whatever you call the process, if you need to do it with overseas counterparts, you may want to read How to Negotiate Anything with Anybody Anywhere Around the World, by Frank L. Acuff.
At 300 pages, Acuff’s book is a great primer to negotiating in general. The first half of the book is dedicated to describing how negotiations work and the steps you need to follow to properly prepare and plan your negotiating strategy with (what Acuff annoyingly calls) TOS (The Other Side). This overview is excellent advice for those new to negotiating (domestically and internationally).
The second half of the book is dedicated to country-specific information that highlights cultural considerations as well as general reference information. It’s helpful having this information consolidated with the thumbnail view of typical business practices for each country. Much of these are driven by stereotype, but taken with the right dose of salt, the reader does gain insight into cultural business trends across many countries.
I read the third edition, which was published in 2008, so it is fairly current, but in some sections it’s obvious that updates were not done thoroughly. Also, there is little reference to the impact of the Internet and social media. This however does highlight one of the key aspects of the book – negotiating is all about direct, personal interaction with your negotiating partner, which Acuff emphasizes consistently and appropriately so.
If you’re new to working with overseas customers, representatives and co-workers; I recommend this book as a way to lay the foundation for your own negotiating strategy.