Advanced Factory Negotiations – Step by Step

This week, Zack Leonard joins as we go in depth on how your factory is constantly testing you to see if you are the real deal. They are always watching!


  • Zack Leonard is the CEO and founder of Gembah, Inc.
  • He worked with Chinese suppliers.

Supplier Relationship is a Must!

  • Your business depends largely on your relationship with your factories.
  • Read about Guanxi to get an idea of Chinese culture.

Building Relationships

  • Step 1: Have tea. Whenever you go to visit a factory and asked what you would have, ask for tea. Business deals in China are made over tea.
    • Chinese people come to know you over tea.
    • Read on history of the Chinese tea ceremony and tea etiquette.
  • Step 2: On the tour of the factory – do not commit right away. When they give you a tour of the factory – do not commit or give away how you feel. Take the emotion out of business deals
    • Have the conversation but do not react or deal right away.
    • Just let them talk.
  • Step 3: When asked your preference to eat – choose a local restaurant, local food. It shows respect and knowledge of their culture.
  • Step 4: Table etiquette. There is a specific seating order. Let them talk about their family, answer questions about yours. The seat of the guest of honor is the farthest.
    • Kampeilower your cup below when your cheer, lower than theirs ALWAYS.
    • This is where you open up and create relationship. If they are planning to visit US offer your assistance like maybe you know a place that is great value and awesome service.
    • Do not offer to pick up the bill unless you are the one who asked them out. 
    • Do not suggest for them to take you out BUT if they offer to continue the party – go out and have fun with them.
  • Step 4: Cultivate relationship through WeChat.
    • Make sure to have an account
    • Send a thank you through WeChat
    • Make good on tipsy promises – those you made under the influence of alcohol, if any.
    • Say Happy New year on special occasions.
    • Make sure you are aware of Chinese holidays.

Benefiting from Building Relationships

  • Be sincere about building the relationship. It is a two-way street.
  • Once you build a relationship, you can utilize their vetted network.
    • It reduces the chance of copycats
    • You build respect and loyalty – they can let you know if someone else comes in and wants to copy and mass produce the product you created.
    • Other things – Chinese people value face to face interactions.
    • Important: get your manufacturer’s WeChat accounts!

Give kindly to a great cause in 2020! Support the cause in stamping out trafficking of children.

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