Singapore is one of the most dynamic business centres in the world. It is the undisputed gateway to the ASEAN region and a tax haven for corporates.
Negotiations form a core aspect of doing business in any jurisdiction. Getting to learn the Singaporean culture and negotiating with Singaporean entrepreneurs is vital if you are looking to expand into this region. Negotiations start early, right from when you engage in different company incorporation services firms, to dealing with suppliers and authorities.
Below are five tactics that will help you hold successful business negotiations in Singapore.
1. Do Your Research
There is a whole host of things you must do before the actual negotiations begin. For starters, you must review and thoroughly understand your counterpart’s business, as well as the main negotiator’s background. In addition, find out if they have closed similar deals in the past and how the deals went.
Assemble a competent and robust support team comprising of advisors, lawyers and accounting firms in Singapore that are familiar with the industry to help you make better, well-informed decisions.
2. Get to Know Your Counterpart and Establish a Personal Link
When you get to the actual negotiations, you should aim to establish a good long-term relationship with your counterpart. A cooperative and positive tone in Singapore sets the stage for cordial discussions and is more likely to result in a positive closing.
Your relationship with your counterpart is crucial to the negotiations. A good rapport opens the way for contractual concessions and increases your chances of striking a mutually beneficial deal.
3. Listen to Your Counterpart, Understand Them and Be Flexible on Options
Singaporean culture dictates that you must listen and hold for ten seconds before a verbal response. Apply this technique during negotiations.
Give your counterpart sufficient time to make their case. Do not make assumptions or pre-judge. On the contrary, try as much as you can to understand their position and put yourself in their shoes. Also, be open-minded and flexible to options.
Thorough understanding of your counterpart’s position and proposal enables you to tweak the deal such that your objectives seem reasonable and acceptable to the other party.
4. Remain Professional and Courteous but Focus on the Goal
It is important to keep the dealings professional. Take down notes and leave no room for ambiguity. Deal honestly and openly, and always remain professional and courteous.
Moments of friction and disagreement may arise, but maintain a cooperative approach at all times. If this happens or negotiations stagnate, try to switch the talks back to the relationship level. You can resume business dealings later. However, never lose sight of your goal.
5. Try to Reach a Compromise
If you are looking to establish your firm in Singapore, chances are you will be looking to form long-term partnerships. Begin by establishing a robust relationship with a reputable accounting company in Singapore. They will help you manage your accounting functions which gives you a better handle in future business dealings.
As you negotiate with other partners, work towards compromises. For example, you can make multiple offers simultaneously and let the counterpart pick one that they prefer. Alternatively, propose contingent agreements. That is, you agree to disagree on some contractual aspects but still move on with the negotiations.