BEP 269 – Strategic Negotiations 6: Cementing the Partnership

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on successfully completing a strategic negotiation.

Negotiating a strategic partnership can take a lot of time and energy. And if you succeed, you need to cement that new partnership and make sure it gets off a good start. So whether you kick off your new arrangement with a party, a ceremony, or a meeting, you need to acknowledge the people and all the hard work that went into building the relationship.

So what might you do to cement a partnership? Well, today we’ll learn how to show enthusiasm for a new partnership and how to compliment a new partner. We’ll also look at how to emphasize both opportunities and expectations. And finally, we’ll learn how to make a toast.

In the dialog, we’ll hear representatives of two companies at a reception to start off a new partnership. Representing the auto parts company called Sigma is Mike, the lead negotiator on the new partnership, and Grant, a company executive. We’ll also hear Lisa, who represents NVP, the Japanese distributor that has just partnered with Sigma to sell auto parts in India.

Listening Questions

1. How does Lisa compliment Sigma? What is she impressed by?
2. What does Lisa expect in order for all the hard work to pay off?
3. At the end of the dialog, Grant makes a toast. What does he make a toast to?

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BEP 268 – Strategic Negotiations 5: Recovering from Setbacks

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on how to overcome a setback during a strategic negotiation.

In a negotiation, things don’t always work out the way we hope. Sometimes we face obstacles that just can’t be overcome. In this situation, you’re faced with a choice – do you walk away, or do you think outside the box and try to save the relationship? After all in a strategic negotiation, it’s the relationship you build between the parties that is really important.

In this back and forth of overcoming obstacles, there are several techniques you can use. We’ll learn how to present a problem and how to introduce a different opportunity. We’ll also look at giving evidence for a proposition and narrowing the focus of the proposition. And finally we’ll cover how to request more time to think about things.

In the dialog, we will hear Mike, who works for an auto parts company called Sigma. Mike is talking with Lisa, the lead negotiator for NVP, a Japanese distributor. Sigma and NVP were trying to negotiate a partnership to distribute Sigma’s products in east Asia. The key to that deal was Sigma getting out of an existing arrangement with a Chinese distributor called Wuhan Auto. Today we’ll hear Mike and Lisa try to overcome that obstacle.

Listening Questions

1. What new opportunity does Mike present to Lisa?
2. What evidence from the World Bank does Mike use to back up his idea?
3. Mike narrows the focus of his idea. What product market does he propose partnering in?

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BEP 250 – Strategic Negotiations 4: Reaching Agreement

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on strategic negotiations.

Negotiating a good partnership requires the right balance of determination and compromise. You lay out your opening position and try to get as much as you can out of the deal. But you have to accept that you can’t get everything you want. You need to find common ground and reach a satisfying agreement. And that takes skill.

But like all skills, negotiation is something you can learn. And today we’ll look at several techniques for reaching agreement, including easing off an aggressive position, proposing an exchange, and making a counterproposal. We’ll also cover how to propose a compromise and summarize areas of agreement.

In the dialog, you’ll hear Mike and Lisa negotiating a strategic partnership. Mike represents a US auto parts company called Sigma, while Lisa is leading the negotiation for NVP, a Japanese distributor. Together, they’re trying to work out a deal for NVP to distribute Sigma’s products in Asia.

Listening Questions

1. What does Lisa initially propose as an exchange?
2. What does Mike propose to offset the costs of buying out their Chinese partner?
3. What is the final compromise on staffing for the deal?

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BEP 249 – Strategic Negotiations 3: Countering a Position

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.

Listening Questions

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?

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BEP 242 – Strategic Negotiations 2: Establishing a Position

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on strategic negotiations in English and establishing a position.

If you’ve ever had to negotiate anything, whether it’s a salary, a corporate buyout, or a partnership, you’re sure to understand the importance of preparation. You can’t head into the room without first figuring out what you want and what you’re willing to give up. And if you’re doing the negotiation with a team, it’s even more important. Everyone needs to know the plan and the strategy beforehand. Otherwise you’ll be looking at each other and wondering “well, what should we do now?”

Before a strategic negotiation, your team needs to establish its position. But what does that involve? How do we do that? In today’s lesson, we’ll look at some useful techniques for this situation. We’ll cover summarizing key benefits, anticipating obstacles, and suggesting ways around obstacles. We’ll also learn how to decide on an initial position and propose a negotiating strategy.

In our last lesson, we heard Mike, the VP of Asian sales for an American autoparts company called Sigma. He pitched the idea for a partnership to a former colleague who now works for a Japanese company called NVP.

In today’s dialog, we’ll hear Mike meeting with Grant, Sigma’s Senior Vice-President of Worldwide Sales, and Tess, who looks after the business development and legal departments. Together, they’re trying to work out an initial position before heading into the negotiation with NVP.

Listening Questions

1. Why does Mike mention NVP’s huge volume, huge network, and strong foothold in SE Asia?
2. What does Mike suggest as a way around the China problem?
3. Which idea does the team agree to save for later in the negotiation?

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