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English & Enterprise: Negotiation Skills

English & Enterprise: Negotiation Skills

In this week's Premier Skills English Podcast, Jack and Rich continue with a mini-series of podcasts called English & Enterprise. The topic in this episode is negotiation skills and the language focus is on phrases we use to agree, disagree and compromise in business. Your task is to negotiate a business deal with other listeners. Don't forget to listen to the end of the podcast because we have a new football phrase for you to guess, too. Enjoy!

Transcript

If the listening was a bit difficult, you can listen again and read the transcript at the same time.
Read the transcript and listen at the same time.

Welcome - English & Enterprise  - Negotiation Skills

Jack: Hello my name’s Jack

Rich: and I’m Rich and welcome to this week’s Premier Skills English podcast

Jack: Where we talk about football and help you with your English.

Rich: We recommend that you listen to this podcast on the Premier Skills English website because that is where we have the transcript, language examples, activities, quizzes and a discussion page to help you understand everything we talk about.

Jack: However, if you’re listening on Spotify or Apple Podcasts, you can leave answers to our questions in the review section. We do read all the reviews and would love to hear from you. 

Rich: In this week’s podcast, we have our final episode in our mini-series of podcasts that have looked at enterprise skills. Enterprise skills are skills that will help you with your English at work or in the workplace.

Jack: In our last podcast, we spoke about the language you need when giving a presentation. We looked at phrases to help you structure a presentation such as ‘Let me start this presentation by ...’, ‘Firstly, secondly, finally’ and phrases like ‘in conclusion’ and ’summing up’. 

Rich: We also looked at lots of phrases to help you give more detail in a presentation such as ‘let me expand on that a little’ or ‘I’d like to elaborate on that a little further’. 

Jack: If you want to go back and do this lesson, you can find it on the Premier Skills English website by clicking skills > listen > podcasts. If you are on Spotify or Apple Podcasts you’ll find it in the playlist, it’s called ‘English & Enterprise: Presentation Skills’.

Rich: In this podcast, we are going to focus on negotiation skills. When you make business deals, you need to negotiate. You need to make deals with potential partners and other businesses. You need language to agree, disagree and compromise. 

Jack: We will focus on some of the words and phrases you need for a successful negotiation in English.

Rich: Later in the podcast, we will have a roleplay for you that continues from the previous roleplays in our English and Enterprise podcasts.

Jack: If you remember, we have a new idea for a football product - hair moulds in the shape of footballers.

Rich: In the last podcast, we gave a presentation to potential partners and customers.

Jack: Well, one of those listening to the presentation was very interested in the product and wants to invest a lot of money.

Rich: In this week’s roleplay, you will listen to the two companies negotiate and try to make a business deal.

Jack: After the roleplay, we will have a task for you to do, which is when we ask you to use your English. This week you will do some negotiating with other listeners on the website.

Rich: And, don’t forget to listen to the end of the podcast because we have another football phrase for you to guess.

Football Phrase 1 

Jack: But, before we look at all that, let’s look at last week’s football phrase. If you didn’t hear it last week we’ll give you one more chance to guess and give you the correct answer at the end of the show when we give you a new football phrase.

Rich: The phrase was _______.  In a football context, the phrase means that there are only two teams that can win a competition. The Premier League is, or was if the season is now finished, ________ between Manchester City and Liverpool.

Jack: Well done if you got the right answer last week. We were a little late getting last week’s podcast ready but a big well done to Liubomyr from Ukraine who got the answer up on the Premier Skills English website very quickly.

Rich: We’ll tell you the answer to this football phrase and we’ll have a new one at the end of the show. Remember, if you get the right answer and write it in the comments section on the Premier Skills English website, we will announce your name in next week’s show. 

Introduction to Roleplay

Rich: You are now going to listen to a roleplay. 

Jack: In the last podcast, you heard us give a presentation about our hair mould idea. The one where we create designs of famous footballers to put in people’s hair.

Rich: Well, we have a company interested in our idea. In this roleplay, you will hear Jack negotiating a deal with their CEO.

Jack: While you listen, try to answer these two questions: question one: Am I happy with the offer? And question 2: Do we make a deal?

Roleplay 

Boss: So, we’ve got the CEO from Football Tech United to negotiate a deal. Jack – it’s down to you to get the best deal possible for the company. Don’t let them play hardball.

Jack: First of all, thanks for agreeing to meet at short notice. We’re really pleased that you have shown such an interest in the product and appreciate the time you are all taking out of your busy schedules.

(murmurs)

Rich: OK, well, let's get down to business. We love your product – the hair mould idea – and we love your plans for it. You have definitely made the right choice in getting on board with us - Football Tech United. We have plenty of know-how and experience when it comes to the football tech sector and marketing your product to the right audience.

Jack: I think we can all agree that you’re the leaders in the sector, but we’re not done and dusted yet. We want to make sure that your offer is right for us and we do have other potential partners in the wings.

Rich: Yes, of course, we are all fully aware of the need to agree on a deal in this meeting. When you hear our offer, I don’t think you will need to look elsewhere.

Jack: As you know, we are looking for an initial outlay of 10 million pounds on your part and in return we are offering a 45% stake in all profits made in the first three years.

Rich: We have looked at your offer in detail and after analysing all the figures have come up with this offer …

(paper rustling, murmurs)

Jack: 3 million? For 55%? Unlimited time? Is this your best offer? I’m afraid it’s not quite what we had in mind. I’m not sure this is something I will be able to take back to the boss or the shareholders for that matter.

Rich: It’s not a take it or leave it offer, but let’s look at it from our perspective.

Jack: Yes, tell us more because this offer is far below what we were looking for.

Rich: Well, as you are aware, our company is the largest in the sector. We have the experience of selling these types of products. The way we see things, we don’t need to take too many risks.

Jack: I understand where you’re coming from but, I think there needs to be some wriggle room here. Let’s start with the stake in the product. A majority stake in the product is unacceptable to us. It’s one of our red lines.

Rich: Mmm ... well, I may be able to float the idea of joint ownership. A fifty-fifty split.

(murmurs)

Jack: That may be something we can take back to the owners. What about the cost?

Rich: Thanks for bringing that up. Again, it’s something that we will have to talk about again. We could move a little on this. What about this?

(murmurs)

Jack: It is moving in the right direction and is certainly much better than your opening offer, however it’s still below our bottom line.

Rich: We may be able to move our position a little further. Take a look at this. But, at this kind of price we’d have to be looking at all-time profits rather than being limited to three years.

(murmurs)

Jack: We are prepared to compromise but this is something that I’m going to have to take back to the owners.

Rich: I totally understand. This is not a decision to take lightly. Let’s meet again once we’ve all had some time to think.

Jack: I don’t see any harm in that … let’s set a date ...we’ll leave our teams to arrange the details.

Roleplay Questions

Jack: Before we take a look at the language we used in the roleplay, let’s give you the answers to those questions we asked.

Rich: The first question was: Was Jack happy with the offer? Well, the answer was no. He wasn’t happy but he is already negotiating towards a better deal.

Jack: And the second question was: Was a deal made? Well, the answer is again no. But, the deal is getting closer and they have agreed to meet again for further negotiations.

Language Focus

Jack: In the roleplay, you heard two people negotiating a business deal. We are now going to look at some language that is often used in negotiations.

Rich: We’re going to focus on language that is used to show understanding or agreement on something, and language that is used to disagree or object to something.

Jack: Business negotiations are usually quite formal and the language is too. In English, this often means we use many more words.

Rich: For example, at the beginning of the roleplay, instead of saying ‘thanks for coming, we’re really happy you like our product’ Jack said ‘First of all, thanks for agreeing to meet at short notice. We’re really pleased that you have shown such an interest in the product and appreciate the time you are all taking out of your busy schedules.’ 

Jack: Some common formal phrases here are things such as ‘thanks for agreeing to meet at short notice’. ‘At short notice’  means with little advance warning. The word ‘pleased’ is more formal than ‘happy’ and using nouns like ‘show an interest in’ is more formal than saying ‘to be interested in’. 

Rich: Jack also used the verb ‘appreciate’ which is also quite formal. It means to be thankful or grateful for the action that somebody has done. We often say things like ‘I would appreciate your help on this’ or ‘Your support is greatly appreciated’.

Jack: OK, so when we negotiate something, the language we use is quite formal. In the next section, we’ll look at some common phrases that are used in negotiations.

...

Rich: Negotiations usually involve agreeing, disagreeing and eventually compromising or coming to some kind of conclusion.

Jack: At the beginning of the roleplay, we used a few phrases that are used to show agreement or understanding of a point. 

Rich: Jack said ‘I think we can all agree that …’ when he said that the other company was the biggest in the sector.

Jack: And Rich used a phrase with a similar meaning when he said ‘We are all fully aware of the need to agree on a deal in this meeting’. 

Rich: Both ‘I think we can all agree that’ and ‘We are all fully aware …’ are used to show that everyone agrees or understands something.

Jack: There are a few other phrases you could use to do this. Some phrases you could use include: ‘I agree with you on that point’, ‘That's a fair suggestion’, ‘You have a strong point there’, ’I don't see any harm in that’.

Rich: We will ask you to use some of these phrases in the task we give you a little later.

Jack: In the next section, we’re going to look at some phrases to use when you disagree with something or want to reject an offer.

...

Rich: In the roleplay, Jack didn’t want to accept the offer that was on the table - the offer that was given to him. 

Jack: No,  I said things like ‘Is this your best offer? I’m afraid it’s not quite what we had in mind’. These two phrases are used to reject an offer. 

Rich: In general, you hear the words ‘I’m afraid’, ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘but’ a lot when someone is disagreeing in a polite way. Negotiations are usually polite.

Jack: We are often very polite when we disagree during negotiations. We apologise. We say things like ‘I’m really sorry but we can’t agree on this’ or ‘I’m afraid I have a few reservations or worries about this point’.

Rich: We also often say something positive before we say something negative like in these examples from the roleplay:

Jack: ‘We are prepared to compromise but this is something that I’m going to have to take back to the owners’ or ‘I understand where you’re coming from but, I think there needs to be some wriggle room here’, or ‘It is moving in the right direction, however, the offer is still below our bottom-line’.

Rich: When we disagree we often offer to compromise in negotiations. 

Jack: To compromise means to give up something so the people you are negotiating with are happy to make a deal. Usually, both sides have to compromise.

Rich: You might need to explain your side of things more to encourage the other side to negotiate or compromise.

Jack: Rich said things such as ‘let’s look at it from our perspective’ and ‘The way we see things, we don’t need to take too many risks’.

Rich: All of these phrases are very useful when you need to negotiate and we will look at these phrases in a little bit more detail on the Premier Skills English website. There are more explanations and activities for you to do on the website page for this podcast.

Jack: It’s totally free to use and you will find this lesson on the homepage or under skills > listen > podcasts.

Task

Jack: This week we’re going to give you three different things to negotiate. A pay rise at your place of work, the sale or purchase of a second-hand car and the transfer of a footballer to a new club.

Rich: You will take the role of either the employer or employee in the first situation, the car salesperson or customer in the second situation and a player’s agent or football club executive in the third situation.

Jack: If you start a new comment on the Premier Skills English page you are either the employee, customer or the player’s agent.

Rich: If you are the first person to reply to a comment you are the employer, car salesperson or football club executive. 

Jack: You then continue the conversation or negotiation.

Rich: Here are the three situations.

Situation One

Jack: Situation one: You have been working for a company for nearly three years and have never had a pay increase. You have arranged a meeting with your boss to discuss this.

Situation Two

Rich: Situation two: You need to buy a new car to get to work. There is no public transport. You visit the car showroom and see a car you like but its 50% more than you think it’s worth. Make a deal with the car salesperson.

Situation Three

Jack: You work as an agent for a top football player. You are working on a transfer deal to a top Premier League club. You have arranged a meeting with an executive from the club. It’s your job to get the best deal for the player.

Rich: Remember to use some of the phrases you have learned in this podcast. Write your answers in the comments section at the bottom of the page on the Premier Skills English website or in the review section on Apple Podcasts.

This week’s football phrase:

Jack: The final section this week is our football phrase. 

Rich: The football phrase this week is _________. In football, this phrase means the scores from two matches added together. In the Champions League semi-final, Barcelona won the first leg 3-0 but Liverpool won the second leg 4-0. Liverpool won by 4-3 ________.

Jack: Quite difficult but if you take a look at a match report on the BBC or something you should be able to find this phrase. Let’s see who can get it right! If you know the answer, write it in the comments section at the bottom of the page. We will announce your name in next week’s podcast if you get it right.

Rich: We also need to give you the answer to the football phrase we set at the beginning of the show. The answer as you may already know was a two-horse race.

Jack: Right, that’s all we have time for this week. Bye for now and enjoy your football!

Vocabulary

How much did you understand?

In the podcast, Rich and Jack used some idioms that might be new for you. Do you know the words in bold?

Jack – it’s down to you to get the best deal possible for the company. Don’t let them play hardball.

You have definitely made the right choice in getting on board with us - Football Tech United.

I think we can all agree that you’re the leaders in the sector, but we’re not done and dusted yet. 

We have other potential partners in the wings.

I think there needs to be some wriggle room here.

It's better than your opening offer, however it’s still below our bottom line.

There were a few tricky words and phrases in the podcast. Do you know what they all mean? Try the activity below, then, listen to the podcast again to hear how we used the words. This can really help your understanding.

Activity 1

Activity 1: In this activity, try to match the words and phrases to their definitions. All of the words were in this week's podcast.
Can you match the words to the definitions?

A firm handshake is often important in business meetings.

Language

Negotiation Skills

In the roleplay, you heard Jack and Rich negotiating a business deal. They were negotiating the costs connected to a product. Here are a couple of helpful definitions:

Negotiation (noun): negotiations, to open negotiations with someone, to be in negotiations with another company. 

Negotiations are when two people or groups of people try to agree about something in a formal way.

Negotiate (verb): to negotiate.

To negotiate means to discuss and try to reach an agreement between two people or groups about a deal or a problem.

People negotiate all kinds of things. In the task at the end of this lesson, we ask you to negotiate in three different situations: an employee negotiating a pay rise with their employer, a customer negotiating the price of a car and a football agent negotiating a contract for their player.

Phrases to show agreement or understanding

Negotiations usually involve agreeing, disagreeing and eventually compromising or coming to some kind of conclusion. At the beginning of the roleplay, we used a few phrases to show agreement or understanding of a point. The phrases in bold are used to do this. Do you understand the words and phrases in bold we used in the podcast? 

I think we can all agree that you’re the leaders in the sector.

Yes, of course, we are all fully aware of the need to agree on a deal in this meeting.

I don’t see any harm in that … let’s set a date  and we’ll leave our teams to arrange the details.

I totally understand. This is not a decision to take lightly. arrange the details.

That's a fair suggestion.

You have a strong point there. 

Phrases to show you disagree with something or want to reject an offer

When people negotiate, especially if it is a formal situation, they are usually very polite. This includes when people disagree or reject an idea or a deal. To be polite in this situation it's very common to start sentences with 'I'm afraid ...' or 'I'm sorry, but ...'  Look at these examples:

I’m afraid this is not a good starting point.

I’m afraid it’s not quite what we had in mind.

I’m really sorry, but we can’t agree to this.

We often say something positive before we say something negative like in these examples from the roleplay:

We are prepared to compromise, but this is something that I’m going to have to take back to the owners.

I understand where you’re coming from, but I think there needs to be some wriggle room here. 

It is moving in the right direction, however, the offer is still below our bottom-line. 

Try the activity below, you need to read the dialogues and write the correct words in the gaps. All of the words were used in this podcast.

Activity 2

Activity 2: In this activity, write the correct word in each gap. All of the phrases were used in the podcast.
Can you complete each phrase?

Contract negotiations for players is often a complex process.

Language

Compromising

When we disagree we often offer to compromise in negotiations. Here is a useful definition:

 To compromise means to give up something so the people you are negotiating with are happy to make a deal. Usually, both sides have to compromise.

When we compromise we might need to explain our side of things more to encourage the other side to negotiate or compromise. Here are some examples from the roleplay:

It’s not a take it or leave it offer, but let’s look at it from our perspective.

The way we see things, we don’t need to take too many risks.

We might also offer the other party something to encourage them to make a deal. Here are some useful phrases to do this:

We could move a little on this. What about this?

We may be able to move our position a little further. Take a look at this.

Why don’t we meet in the middle?

I'm prepared to compromise, but you will need to compromise, too.

Negotiating to buy a car can be tricky. Have you ever done it?

Activity 3

Quiz

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Task

Negotiations

Have you ever had to negotiate a pay rise with your boss? How did it go?

This week we’re going to give you three things to negotiate with other podcast listeners. Remember to use some of the phrases you have learned in this podcast.  You need to negotiate:

  • a pay rise at your place of work
  • the sale or purchase of a second-hand car
  • the transfer of a footballer to a new club.

Instructions

  • Take the role of either the employer or employee in the first situation, the car salesperson or customer in the second situation and a player’s agent or football club executive in the third situation.
  • If you start a new comment you are the employee, customer or the player’s agent.
  • If you are the first person to reply to a comment you are the employer, car salesperson or football club executive.
  • You then continue the conversation or negotiation.

Making Deals

  1. You have been working for a company for nearly three years and have never had a pay increase. You have arranged a meeting with your boss to discuss this.

  2. You need to buy a new car to get to work. There is no public transport. You visit the car showroom and see a car you like but it's 50% more than you think it’s worth. Make a deal with the car salesperson.

  3. You work as an agent for a top football player. You are working on a transfer deal to a top Premier League club. You have arranged a meeting with an executive from the club. It’s your job to get the best deal for the player.

Write your answers in the comments section below and don't forget to make a guess at our football phrase.

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Comments

milos
17/05/2019
RS
2099
points

This week football phrase is ********* score


milos
17/05/2019 07:36
Serbia
Manchester United
2099

This week football phrase is ********* score

coreuser
14/05/2019
SA
198
points

the phrase is: aggregation


coreuser
14/05/2019 20:39
Saudi Arabia
Manchester City
198

the phrase is: aggregation

lakerwang
14/05/2019
CN
269
points

The phrase is "** ********“.


lakerwang
14/05/2019 17:06
China
Chelsea
269

The phrase is "** ********“.

elghoul's picture
elghoul
13/05/2019
DZ
3126
points

- First of all, thanks you for agreeing on meeting me as I know how much it's important for you to care about your employees. It is a privilege to be welcomed by a so high ranking person of our great company.

- OK, thank you and let's get to the point.

- I have been in this workplace for more than three years as you know I have not got any paie rise till this day. I can't imagine continuing like that for more time as my wife said to me.

- I understand your worryings but can I ask you about your expectations?

- Euh twenty percent will do well of course as pay increase and some year's benefits would be a good expectation.

- It is not in our view to go further than ten percent salary increase and beginning from next month would suit you I am sure.

- Perhaps there is a wriggle room there and I am waiting a compromise at half way on salary and also on agreeing for my annual benefits demand.

- We'll see, we'll. I suppose before the end of this week your wife will happy to know that you have made a good negociation.


elghoul's picture
elghoul
13/05/2019 16:42
Algeria
Manchester City
3126

- First of all, thanks you for agreeing on meeting me as I know how much it's important for you to care about your employees. It is a privilege to be welcomed by a so high ranking person of our great company.

- OK, thank you and let's get to the point.

- I have been in this workplace for more than three years as you know I have not got any paie rise till this day. I can't imagine continuing like that for more time as my wife said to me.

- I understand your worryings but can I ask you about your expectations?

- Euh twenty percent will do well of course as pay increase and some year's benefits would be a good expectation.

- It is not in our view to go further than ten percent salary increase and beginning from next month would suit you I am sure.

- Perhaps there is a wriggle room there and I am waiting a compromise at half way on salary and also on agreeing for my annual benefits demand.

- We'll see, we'll. I suppose before the end of this week your wife will happy to know that you have made a good negociation.

elghoul's picture
elghoul
13/05/2019
DZ
3126
points

football phrase, '** *********'.


elghoul's picture
elghoul
13/05/2019 16:04
Algeria
Manchester City
3126

football phrase, '** *********'.

ldzingirai's picture
ldzingirai
12/05/2019
ZW
1427
points

********* score.


ldzingirai's picture
ldzingirai
12/05/2019 14:31
Zimbabwe
Chelsea
1427

********* score.

Liubomyr's picture
Liubomyr
10/05/2019
UA
3446
points

I think that the phrase is '** *********'.


Liubomyr's picture
Liubomyr
10/05/2019 11:30
Ukraine
Watford
3446

I think that the phrase is '** *********'.

Leaderboard

Top Scorers
RankNameScore
1kwesimanifest4725
2assemjuve3705
3aragorn19863557
4Liubomyr3446
5haydi3189
6elghoul3126
7Alex_from_Ukraine2929
8Ahmed Adam Mamado2868
9Buchiy2478
10nikosonris2453
Country ranking
RankNameScore
1Colombia64622
2Ukraine27628
3Serbia26299
4Albania20437
5Macedonia19058
6Spain18431
7Bosnia and Herzegovina16217
8Armenia13609
9Kosovo13125
10Bolivia12677
Club ranking
RankNameScore
1Manchester United117506
2Liverpool73583
3Chelsea69634
4Arsenal66570
5Manchester City34729
6Leicester City10833
7Tottenham Hotspur7795
8Newcastle United6831
9West Ham United4548
10Watford4102

Level

3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

Goals

Skills: Listening

Language: Compromising

Language: Agreeing

Language: Disagreeing

Task: Negotiating a deal