Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on strategic negotiations. This is actually the third part in our ongoing series on advanced negotiations and follows on from what we covered in BEP 241 and 242.
Business is a competitive game, but companies don’t always have to work against each other. Sometimes they work with each other to form strategic partnerships. By combining forces they can often make more money than they would working alone.
But forming a good partnership isn’t easy. It involves getting together and working out an arrangement that makes sense for both parties. And that means both companies are going to have to give something to get something. This give and take is established in the strategic negotiation, which is what we’ll look at today. We’ll cover some useful techniques for negotiations, including laying out an opening position, presenting a counter position, and emphasizing a deal breaker. We’ll also cover how to use strategic tentativeness and make a strategic threat.
As you may remember, the discussion centers around a US auto parts company called Sigma and NVP, a Japanese distributor, who are trying to establish a strategic partnership. Previously, we heard Mike from Sigma map out a negotiating position with his colleagues back in the US. Now he’s going to call talk to Lisa, who is the lead negotiator for NVP. Through this negotiation, Mike and Lisa are trying to work out a deal for NVP to distribute Sigma’s products in Asia.
One thing you’ll notice is that Lisa is a non-native English speaker with an Asian accent. As a regular listener, you’ll know we like to bring you a variety of spoken accents, because that’s what international business sounds like these days. And perhaps just as important as listening to different native accents, is listening to non-native accents. After all, you may often find that the person on the other end of the phone or across the meeting table is a non-native speaker of English just like you! Let us know what you think by posting a comment on the site.
1. What part of the deal does Lisa emphasize is essential for her company?
2. Which aspects of business does Mike want to share costs on?
3. What does Mike say at the end of the dialog that might worry Lisa?