In this episode of our ongoing Business English Podcast series on business negotiations in English, we will discuss how to overcome blockage in a negotiation.
Usually we think of blockage in terms of stumbling blocks, or obstacles, to agreement. But blockage can also be any impediment to creating maximum value. In other words, we’re not only interested in removing obstacles to a deal but also in removing obstacles to a better deal. Doing this successfully often requires thinking outside the box, that is, thinking creatively.
So in this episode, we’ll study overcoming barriers. In particular, we’ll focus on identifying stumbling blocks, exploring alternatives, and moving towards agreement.
Recall that Peter, owner of Textacular, has been trying to buy Maxine’s company, Gamester, as part of his strategy to roll up other small businesses. His ultimate goal is to increase the value of his own operation so he can sell it to a larger company for a handsome profit. In previous episodes, Peter had tried to acquire Maxine’s company, but talks reached an impasse when Maxine wouldn’t climb down from or reduce her price of 15 million.
In today’s listening, Peter calls Maxine back to restart talks. As you listen, focus on the language they use to remove obstacles to agreement.
1. How does Peter suggest restarting talks with Maxine?
2. What does Peter identifying as the main stumbling block to a deal?
3. What does Peter mean when he says, “It’s not a question of growth for us, it’s a question of survival.”
4. What is Peter’s key insight that enables Maxine and him to overcome their blockage?