BEP 121 ADV – Negotiations: Bargaining

In this Business English Podcast episode, we’ll study the skills and language of bargaining. This podcast is part of an ongoing series on negotiation skills.

Bargaining is the process of swapping or trading concessions – in other words, “You give me something, and I’ll give you something in return.” This is also called making offers and counter-offers. The goal is to reach a compromise – a result in which both sides benefit.

Today’s listening focuses on a typical bargaining situation. Paul is a purchasing manager for a construction company. Tony is a supplier of anchor bolts – large metal screws used in building projects. They are in the middle of a telephone conversation in which they are negotiating an order. Tony has already opened the discussion and clarified Paul’s basic needs. Now they need to agree on the quantity and price.

As you listen, focus on the language that they use to swap concessions and reach a deal.

Listening Questions:

1. What does Paul mean when he says he’ll be “throwing more business your way?”
2. Tony suggests a way of helping Paul get a higher discount. What is it?
3. When Tony says to Paul, “You drive a hard bargain!” what does he mean?

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