Earlier this week, Roger D. Fisher, a Harvard Law Professor who co- authored the business classic Getting to Yes!: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, passed away. “Getting to Yes” has sold millions of copies and been translated into 36 languages, and has been used by leaders in business and government around the world.
While Professor Fisher’s contribution to the resolution of business disputes is immense, his acumen in resolving nuclear-grade international conflicts is legendary.
As the New Yor Times wrote:
Over his career, Professor Fisher eagerly brought his optimistic can-do brand of problem solving to a broad array of conflicts across the globe, from the hostage crisis in Iran to the civil war in El Salvador. His emphasis was always on addressing the mutual interests of the disputing parties instead of what separated them. He played a critical role in initiating the summit meeting between the Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev and President Ronald Reagan in 1985, convincing Reagan staff members that just meeting to brainstorm and build relations was more important than settling a specific agenda.”
I mention this because negotiating an international sales agreement can be extremely challenging.
But id doesn’t have to be.
I wanted to put together a list of powerful strategies that I have succesfully emplyed for my clients over the years.
These strategies are based in part on the core principles developed in Getting to Yes: separate the people from the problem, focus on interests, not on positions, create opinions for mutual gain, insist in using objective criteria.
As would Professor Fisher would probably note, negotiating an international sales contract should not be looked at as a problem but as an opportunity for both buyer and seller to gain from the transaction. Here are 5 powerful strategies to employ when negotiating your next international sales contract.
1. Identify the Goods
2. Specify Transportation and logistics
3. Pin-down export and import requirements
4. Articulate inspection and acceptance
5. Delineate Payment and financing
Follow the powerful strategies outlines above, and you too will soon be getting to yes with your international sales contracts!