Advanced Factory Negotiations – Step by Step

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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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