ERIC Number: ED370382
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993
Reference Count: N/A
Needs Analysis in Cross-Cultural Sales Negotiation: Bridging the Gap between Subjective and Objective Needs.
Martin, Gillian S.
This paper discusses some of the methodological issues facing language trainers who are required to identify the second language needs of adult learners within a specific vocational context, namely business sales negotiations. It also proposes a research model that responds to the difficulties of matching learner perceptions of language and cultural needs with the realities of the negotiation situation. The model was developed by analyzing 30 interviews with Irish sales representatives with varying levels of knowledge of German who had conducted negotiations with German-speaking customers. The model consisted of a simulated sales presentation and negotiation session, followed by a debriefing of both sellers and buyers. The interviews and simulations demonstrated that all sellers had difficulty in listening to and understanding potential buyers. For this reason the majority of sellers found it difficult to implement an interactive strategy of listening to and questioning potential buyers about their needs. Sellers also found it difficult to read the sales situation in which they found themselves and the personality of the potential buyer, largely due to cultural differences in conversation and negotiation styles. In conclusion, the paper warns of relying too heavily on learner perceptions of second language needs and competence. (MDM)
Descriptors: Adult Learning, Business Communication, Cross Cultural Studies, Cultural Differences, English, Foreign Countries, German, Interviews, Language Role, Language Usage, Languages for Special Purposes, Models, Needs Assessment, Persuasive Discourse, Salesmanship, Second Language Instruction, Second Languages, Simulation, Student Attitudes
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Eastern Michigan University Conference on Languages and Communication for World Business and the Professions (12th, Ypsilanti, MI, March 31-April 3, 1993).