BEP 209 – Contract Negotiations 2: Discussing the Fine Print

This is the second part of our Business English Pod series on negotiating a contract.

So, you’ve found a company you want to work with and have agreed on the major points of the deal. Now it’s time to negotiate the ‘fine print’ or the details of the contract. Even if you’ve come to terms on price and payment, there may be a lot of costs or savings unaccounted for. A good warranty, for example, could save you a lot of money. The details may not break a deal, but you do need to negotiate them successfully so that the contract protects you and guarantees you certain benefits.

To do this, you’ll need to be comfortable with the language of contracts and the techniques used to talk about them. And that’s what we’ll be looking at today. We’ll learn how to ensure warranty terms, ask about response times, and talk about the bottom line in order to win concessions. We’ll also cover talking about renewal and agreeing to overall terms.

We are going to rejoin Sam and Larry, who are discussing a contract to lease a fleet of cars and vans. Larry, who represents the vehicle company, has drawn up a contract. He and Sam are discussing the details over the phone. You’ll hear Sam try to get the best deal possible for his company.

Listening Questions

1. Why does Sam want to ensure the terms of the warranty?
2. What does Larry offer to Sam free of charge?
3. How does Larry respond to Sam’s request for a renewal clause?

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