Debating Negotiating by keara



              Danton Ford

         외교안보연구원 전임강사

Each negotiation should involve these steps:

  a. Preparation: Read the background information to get an overview of the
  b. Opening the negotiation:
            Internal: Decide who is going to chair the meeting and open
            External: Decide where the meeting will take place. Normally the
            host will open.
  c. Establishing and clarifying positions: Each side should be given time to present
              their position and allow time for clarification.
  d. Proposals and counter-proposals: Having identified the gap between the two
             sides, they now need to make constructive proposals, which close this
  e. Bargaining: This will involve negotiating over price. Or it may be conditions
              and concessions about people, systems, etc. which
              are the focus for bargaining.
  f. Closing the negotiation: All negotiations, whether they are successfully
                concluded or not, need to be closed effectively.

                  Some hints on negotiating

Planning: Make sure you prepare properly. The less you prepare, the more you will
be at a disadvantage and the less likely you will be able to achieve a satisfactory

Research: Try to find out as much as you can about the other side and his or her
business. Use the resources of a business library and/or talk to your business contacts.

Objectives: Try to take a long-term view and decide on a range of objectives so that
you can be more flexible and offer more alternatives during the negotiation itself.
Remember you are looking for a win-win situation of benefit to both parties, thus
paving the way for further deals in the future.

Limits: Decide what your sticking point(s) must be and why. Knowing your
negotiating limits and their reasons will help you negotiate more confidently and

Strategy: Plan your negotiating strategy carefully, taking into consideration the
personality and position of the other side, as well as your own strengths and weaknesses.


Rapport: Try to establish a good rapport with the other side from the moment you
first meet, whether or not you already know each other. Some general “social talk” is a
good icebreaker and bridge-builder in this respect.

Parameters: Confirm the subject/purpose of your negotiation early on and try to
establish areas of common ground and areas of likely conflict before you move on to the
bargaining/trade stage.

Listen: Listening attentively at every stage of your negotiation will help to avoid
misunderstanding and create a spirit of cooperation.

Attitude: Be constructive not destructive – treat the other side with respect,
sensitivity and tact, and try to avoid an atmosphere of conflict. This will create a
feeling of harmony and goodwill, which should encourage a willingness to compromise
and ultimately lead to a productive negotiation.

Approach: Keep your objectives in mind and try to keep a clear head. This will
help you to concentrate on your key points. Try to resist the temptation to introduce
new arguments all the time. Use the minimum number of reasons to persuade the
other side, coming back to them as often as necessary.

Flexibility: Be prepared to consider a range of alternatives and try to make creative
suggestions for resolving any problems. Be prepared to make concessions and to
compromise, if necessary, to avoid deadlock, but don’t be pushed beyond your sticking

Review: Summarize and review your progress at regular intervals during the
negotiation. This will give both parties a chance to check understanding and, if
necessary, clarify/rectify any misunderstandings.

Agreement:     When you have reached agreement, close the deal firmly and clearly.
Confirm exactly what you have agreed on and any aspect/matters that need further

Confirmation: Write a follow-up letter to confirm in writing the points agreed during
your negotiating and clarify any outstanding matters.


Simplicity:       Keep your language simple and clear. Take your time and use short
words and sentences that you are comfortable with. There is no point complicating a
difficult task with difficult language.

Clarity: Don’t be afraid to ask questions if there is something you don’t understand.
It is vital to avoid any misunderstandings that might jeopardize the success of your

                    Do’s and Don’ts of Negotiating
Signal what you are about to do
For example when you have a question say “May I ask a question?” or when you are
going to make a suggestion start by saying “If I may make a suggestion…”

Summarize and test often
Let me check where I think we are at this point.” or “ So this is what we have agreed on
so far.” This helps reduce misunderstandings and encourages clear communication.

Ask open ended questions
“Can you explain that in more detail?
“Could you give me some more information about that?”

Express feelings honestly in order to build trust
“I’m beginning to feel some concern about whether we are going to reach an agreement
“I feel we might need more time as there are still some significant differences between

Don’t use words carelessly
Avoid using such words as “generous” “fair” “reasonable” that might imply flattery or
indicate the other side is “unreasonable” or “unfair”

Avoid “Knee-jerk” reactions
Don’t say “That’s completely unacceptable” or “That’s a ridiculous offer.”
Respond to proposals with thoughtful consideration.

Don’t state that you disagree and then give your reasons for disagreeing
“I disagree with your proposals because they don’t go far enough to meet my needs and
will cost me too much to implement.” Reverse the order by giving your reasons for
disagreeing first and then stating that you disagree.

Expressions for Negotiating
On behalf of …I’m very glad to welcome you…
It’s a pleasure to see you here.

Less Formal:
Welcome to…
Thank you for coming all this way.
It’s nice to be here.

This is…He’s in charge of..
        He looks after…
        He’s our…Director/Manager
Let me introduce you to…

Small Talk
Did you have a good journey?
How was your flight?
Is this your first visit to…?
Is your hotel comfortable?

Starting the Negotiation
I wonder if I can start by saying…
We’re short of time, so let’s get started…
We’ve got a very full agenda, so perhaps we’d better get down to business.

We’re here today to…
The main objective/purpose/ of today’s meeting is…
We’re looking to achieve…

We’ve drawn up an agenda.

Let’s just run through the agenda.
There are two/three/four items on the agenda.
I’d like to take …first.
We’ve put…last.
Let’s leave…until later.

We’ll deal with…first.
We’ll go around the table.
We’ll have a question and answer session at the end.
We can table that for discussion later.

Negotiating the Agenda
Let’s just identify the key issues.
Shall we look at …first?
Perhaps we could consider…first?
We see two/three important issues…Would you agree?
If I understand correctly, you’re interested in…

Checking for Agreement/Approval
Would/wouldn’t you agree that…?
Do you mind if…
I hope you don’t mind if…
Could I/we…?

Inviting Interruption
Please don’t hesitate to interrupt.
Please feel free to ask questions.
Let’s deal with any questions immediately.
I/We would like to know what you think.

Bargaining/ Making concessions/conditions
We can agree to that if…
on the condition that…
as/so long as…
That’s not acceptable unless…

If you could…we could consider…
As/so long as…we could agree to…
On condition that we agree on…then we could…
Let’s think about the issue of …
We could offer you…
Would you be interested in …?
Could we tie this agreement to…?

We agree.
Good idea.
That sounds fine.
I go along with that.
That seems acceptable.
That’s probably all right.
The terms of the agreement seem fine.

Neutral Responses
That’s true, but…
I see what you’re saying…
I understand why you think so.

Negative responses
I’m afraid that’s not possible.
We can’t do that.
That is/would be out of the question.
I can’ t agree to that.

Progress made
We’ve taken a major step forward.
We’ve made excellent/good/some progress.
We’ve taken a step in the right direction.
We didn’t get as far as we hoped, but…

Can we run through what we’ve agreed on?
I’d like to check what we’ve said/confirmed.
I think this is a good time/point to repeat what we’ve agreed to so far.

I’d like to run through the main points that we’ve talked about.
So, I’ll summarize the important points of our offer.
Can we summarize the proposals in a few words?

Looking ahead
So, the next step is…
We need to meet again soon.
In our next meeting we need to…
So, can we ask you to…?
Before the next meeting we’ll…
We need to draw up a formal contract.

Negotiation Slang & Jargon
(to be) at a standstill   to be in a situation where no progress can be made, to be at an
Example: Neither side can reach an agreement.      We’ve been at a standstill for a week.

(to) cave to surrender all opposition and accept someone’s conditions, to comply
After hours of negotiating, we finally caved and gave them everything they wanted.

(to) come in high to charge too much for one’s services
If you feel that we came in high, we’d be happy to negotiate.

(to ) drive a hard bargain to be a very skilled and demanding negotiator
We finally accepted all of the client’s conditions. He drives a hard bargain.

go-between       a negotiator who acts as the link between parties, mediator
Instead of negotiating directly with the client, let’s find a go-between who is completely

(to ) go sour     said of a negotiation that collapses
The negotiation was going fine when all of a sudden it went sour.         The other side
totally rejected our offer.

(to ) hammer out a deal to arrive at an agreement
It took almost two weeks of negotiating, but we finally hammered out a deal.

(to) knock down one’s price to lower one’s price
The vendor you want me to use is too expensive. But if he knocks down his price, I’ll
reconsider using him.

rock-bottom offer the lowest price that can be offered
This is our rock-bottom offer. We’ll give you a 50 percent discount on all our products.

(to) see eye to eye to agree

Rob and I always see eye to eye on everything.    We’ve never had a disagreement.

(to) undercut to offer a lower price (than one’s competition)
If we undercut our competition, the client will be willing to make a deal with us.

(to) walk to stop working or giving services because of dissatisfaction
After hours of negotiating, it is obvious we’re not getting anywhere. I’m ready to walk.

(to ) wheel and deal to negotiate
We were wheeling and dealing for three months before we arrived at an agreement.

win-win situation a situation where everyone benefits
The more products I sell, the more commission I make. It’s a win-win situation for me
and my company!

More Negotiation Slang & Jargon
(be at a) standoff to be unable to move forward in a negotiation because both sides
can’t agree, to be at an impasse
We’ve been at a standoff for the past three days. We just can’t agree on the terms of
our deal!

(to) back down to yield in your position during a negotiation
I think we’re going to come to an agreement. It looks like the other side is starting to
back down.

(to ) barter to trade products or services without the exchange of money
Since you need our products and we need your services, why don’t we just barter?

(to) blow a deal to fail at a negotiation
Make sure you don’t ask for too much when you negotiate with our client.        You don’t
want to blow the deal!

(to ) break down    said of a negotiation that failed

The negotiations broke down last night.   Neither side can come to an agreement.

(to ) bring something to the table to have something to offer during a negotiation
During our negotiation with D&B Enterprises, they had something very interesting to
bring to the table. They said if we sign a contract with them, they could guarantee us
new clients.

(to ) call someone’s bluff not to believe someone’s threat
The client said if we didn’t lower our price, he’d go somewhere else. We called his
bluff and told him our prices are firm. The next day, he accepted our terms!

(to ) come back with something to return to a negotiation with a new offer
The boss and I weren’t making any progress in our negotiation yesterday. But you
won’t believe what he came back with today! He offered to double my salary!

(to ) come down to lower one’s prices
After three hours of negotiation, the manufacturer finally came down. He agreed to
give us the merchandise at a 50 percent discount.

(to) cut a deal to make a business arrangement
We just cut a deal with the largest soft drink company in the world to advertise their

(to) dicker to bargain
The manufacturer’s prices are way too high.     Do you think he’d be willing to dicker?

(to) drop the price to lower the price
If you drop your price, we will hire you for the job.   Right now, you’re asking for too
much money.

(to) fall through said of a negotiation that is unsuccessful
The deal fell through. I was so sure that the client was going to sign with us!

(to) get in bed with someone to begin a working relationship with someone
Before negotiating a contract with this client, we need to be sure we really want to get
in bed with him. I’ve heard he doesn’t always pay his bills!

(to) get the raw end of the deal to do extremely poorly in a negotiation
You gave your client a 70 percent discount on your products and you even have to pay
for the shipping cost? It sounds to me like you got the raw end of the deal!

(to) give a little to be flexible in negotiation, to compromise
We didn’t get the exact deal we wanted, but in negotiating, you have to give a little.

give and take compromise
After a lot of give and take, we all came to an agreement.

(to) give away the farm to offer way too much during a negotiation
Don’t let Larry negotiate for us. Last time we let him negotiate a deal, he gave away
the farm!

(to) go to bat for someone to speak or act on someone else’s behalf
I’m going to go to bat for you tomorrow and ask the boss to give you a raise.        Wish me

(to be) ironclad said of a contract that is unbreakable
Make sure you understand this contract fully before you sign it.    It’s ironclad.

(to) lay all one’s cards on the table to be completely open and honest during a
I’m going to lay all my cards on the table. We are having some financial trouble and
can only afford to pay you this amount.    We simply cannot go any higher.

(to) let someone walk away with something      to let someone have something
I’ll make you a special deal. I’ll let you walk away with this car for only twelve
thousand dollars.

level playing field an environment where all companies are given an equal ability to
We didn’t get the client’s business because we were competing for the job with another
manufacturer. It wasn’t a level playing field because the other manufacturer is related
to the client.

(to) nail down the terms of an agreement to discuss and agree on the terms of a
We need to nail down the terms of our contract by tomorrow in order to have enough
time to perform the services you need us to do.

(the) negotiating table (literal or figurative) the table around which negotiations are
We still haven’t reached an agreement. So tomorrow morning, we’re going to meet
back at the negotiating table and keep trying.

no-win situation a situation where no one benefits (usually because no one has
agreed to compromise)
As you know, we’re the only manufacturer that makes the type of products you need and
we simply cannot afford to give you the 70 percent discount you want. If we did give
that to you, we would not be able to stay in business and then you would not be able to
get our products any longer.   It’s a no-win situation.

(to have someone) over a barrel to put someone in a situation where he/she has no
other choice but to concede to someone else’s demands
I don’t want to agree to the terms the client proposed, but he has us over a barrel. If
we don’t agree, we won’t get the job and he knows we need the work!

party a person or group involved in a negotiation
Both parties finally came to an agreement and signed a contract to work together.

(to) play hardball to be firm and uncompromising during a negotiation
If the client is going to play hardball with us, let ‘s just walk away from the negotiation.
We don’t need his business that badly.

square deal      a fair arrangement
After negotiating for several days.    We finally came to an agreement.      We all felt we
got a square deal.

(to) stick to one’s gun to be firm with one’s conditions
The client wants me to give them a 50 percent discount, but I can only offer a 20 percent

discount.   I have to stick to my guns.

(to) sweeten the deal to offer something during a negotiation that will be attractive to
the other side
I think I can sweeten the deal. If you agree to hire our company for all your shipping
needs, on your first order we’ll ship your products anywhere in the world for free.

(to) take it or leave it a common expression used in negotiation meaning, “accept our
terms or we’re going to end the negotiations.”
That is my final offer. Take it or leave it.

(to) throw in something to give something away for free as a way to get someone’s
Tell you what I’m willing to do. If you buy this car right now, I’ll throw in two tickets
for a trip to Hawaii.

(to) work someone down to try and get someone to lower his/her prices
When you negotiate with Mr. Johnson, try to work him down. We simply cannot afford
the prices he wants to charge us.

“you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours”      “you do something for me, I’ll do
something for you.”
I’ll give you a good price on the merchandise if you offer your services to me at a
discount. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.


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