A frequent topic that arises in our Business English language lessons is the vital one of negotiation. For some cultures, it is as easy as drinking water whilst for others (including the British and Japanese), it is a painful task on a par (close to) visiting the dentist for root canal treatment. However, it is an important aspect of your business and personal life, and we Business English teachers are duty bound to cover such areas. So, without further ado, here are our top tips for negotiating, bargaining, haggling - call it what you will:
1. Be Prepared and do your homework
You have to know as much as you can before you step up to the negotiating table. Do as much research as possible about everything, particularly the people you are facing. Knowledge is power and will help you immensely in situations like these. You have no excuse as Google and social media makes research so much easier.
2. Learn some expressions
Familiarise yourself with the idioms, expressions and vocabulary that will be useful in this environment. Tag questions are great if you wish to check information, or in some cases if you wish to show a more dominant position. Prepare for the negotiation with a competent language instructor beforehand.
3. Never give your best price at the start
You would be surprised how often people do this. Keeping your "powder dry" is the best way of negotiating. Ask the person you are dealing with to name their best price first and then you can adjust your tactics accordingly.
4. Be willing to walk away
You are negotiating and that means that there might be a point where not doing a deal is the best option. If you simply MUST do a deal, then it is not a negotiation. One of your strengths lies in the fact that you can walk away and that you should be willing to do so.
5.. Everybody must win
It is important that there are no losers in the negotiation (unless with the possible exception of a divorce!), so make sure that everybody gets something from the deal. If not, it might alter your reputation in the wider community.
Unique Language Training runs the best courses on English for Business in London and on-line, as well as other Business Language Training Courses. For further information on how we can help you, telephone 020 3566 0145, e-mail us or fill out the form on the right of this page.
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