Time – He’s waiting in the wings
He speaks of senseless things
His script is you and me boys.
David Bowie, Time
Just read a really good/really interesting blog post on Learning Chinese Business, entitled, “Closing Deals in China: A Study in Relativity.” The post is written by Justin Shuttleworth, who is described as having “lived and worked in the Middle Kingdom from 2006 to 2010 as a sale manager for a high-end Western brand.” His post is on the differing conceptions of time as between the West and China and on how that impacts business between the two cultures. Its “money” paragraph is definitely the following:
Therefore, my advice to any Westerner seeking to close a deal in mainland China is as follows: Doing business with the Chinese business community is far more akin to a marathon than a dash. The race can often seem as long and slow as the Yangtze River, but this is what separates the professionals from the amateurs: true champions know how to pace themselves in order to achieve their goals.
Justin is saying something we constantly preach both on this blog and to our clients doing business in China: patience. Or as I say in one of my speeches, “Chinese companies are more patient than you and they know this and they use it to their advantage in negotiating.”
For more on this patience deficit, check out the following:
- Don’t Just Be Leaving On That China Jet Plane
- Managing The China Dragon: Patience As Virtue
- China Business. Patience As Virtue, Part II.
What are you seeing out there?