United States: Let’s Make a Deal! – Part 1

2015-06-12

What you should know before negotiating

Part1: The American Business Culture

This culture stresses individual initiative and achievement. Moreover, Americans can also be competitive in both work and leisure.

The concept “time is money” is taken seriously in U.S. business culture. Businesspeople are used to making up their minds quickly and decisively. They value information that is straightforward and to the point.

In the U.S.A., money is a key priority and an issue that will be used to win most arguments. Status, protocol, and national honor play a smaller role. Similarly, “saving face” and other social niceties and formalities that are vitally important to other cultures are not as important in the United States.

American businesspeople are opportunistic and willing to take chances. Opportunism and risk taking often result in Americans going for the biggest possible slice of the business, 100% if possible.

Americans tend to dislike periods of silence during negotiations and in conversations, in general. They may continue to speak simply to avoid silence.

In general, people from the U.S. will not hesitate to answer “no.” Businesspeople are direct and will not hesitate to disagree with you. This communication style often causes embarrassment to business travellers who are unaccustomed to dealing with Americans or direct communication in general.

Persistence is another characteristic you will frequently encounter in American businesspeople; there is a prevailing belief that there is always a solution. Moreover, they will explore all options when negotiations are at an impasse.

Anxiety often develops over deadlines and results. The work ethic is strong, so that it appears that Americans’ lives revolve around work.

Consistency is common among American businesspeople: when they agree to a deal, they rarely change their minds.

Americans tend to be future oriented. Therefore, innovation often takes precedence over tradition.

The United States tends to be an ethnocentric culture, so it is closed to a lot of “outside” information. Thinking tends to be analytical, concepts are abstracted quickly, and the “universal” rule is preferred.

There are established rules for almost everything, and experts are relied upon at all levels.

Be aware that the United States is the most litigious society in the world. There are lawyers who specialize in practically every industry and segment of society.

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