Unit 13 :
Negotiating Prices




Repeat these sentences with your teacher first.

1. defined (adj.)
to say what the meaning of something, especially a word

2. reservation price (n.)
the minimum price that you will sell a product for or the maximum price that you will pay for something

3. essential (adj.)
necessary or needed

4. receptive (adj.)
willing to listen to and accept new ideas and suggestions

5. tact (n.)
the ability to say or do the right thing without making anyone unhappy or angry

6. assertive (adj.)
Someone who is assertive behaves confidently and is not frightened to say what they want or believe

7. credible (adj.)
able to be believed or trusted

8. alienate (v.)
to cause someone or a group of people to stop supporting and agreeing with you

9. disclose (v.)
to make something known publicly, or to show something that was hidden

10. brinkmanship (n.)
the activity, especially in politics, of trying to get what you want by saying that if you do not get it, you will do something dangerous

11. amicable (adj.)
relating to behaviour between people that is pleasant and friendly, often despite a difficult situation



Read the dialogue aloud with your teacher.



Woohoo! Just closed another deal!

What? Another? You’re incredible at this. I only close about half the deals as you, and never with terms that are even close to as good as the ones you get.

Well, you have to know what you’re doing and go in with a defined strategy

If you don’t mind sharing, what’s your strategy?

Before anything else, you have to know your reservation price. Knowing your bottom limit in a negotiation is essential for knowing where you stand at all times.

You know my previous boss told me just go in guns blazing and try to highball them.

That’s definitely a strategy, but it doesn’t work with everyone. Some people are much more receptive to soft bargainers, so I recommend feeling the other person out a little before taking up a soft or hard tact. Either way, it’s important to also know your stretch goal so that if you can be assertive, you know what to reach for.

So how do you recommend making an opening offer?

You have to decide whether to make an opening offer in reasonable zone, credible zone, or extreme zone. The reasonable zone will set you up well for finding an agreement, but it may not be as high as you want. The credible zone is just enough to keep the other party involved, while the extreme zone may alienate them.

Interesting. And then what?

The whole point is getting to the zone of potential agreement, which is the zone between your reserve price and theirs. Of course you both don’t openly disclose your reserve price, but it’s generally clear when you’ve gotten to a place both parties feel positively about.

Do you use any specific negotiation strategies to get there?

I like to give deadlines, whether real or fake, to put some pressure on. Otherwise, I like to avoid brinkmanship and focus on keeping things amicable – people are more willing to meet my terms when I’m friendly.

Wow, that’s a lot to take in. Thanks for the pointers! I’ll give them a try!



Read the article with your teacher.

Negotiation style is a very culturally-infused concept

Negotiation style is a very culturally-infused concept. As such, it is important to have a firm understanding of American culture if you are going to engage in negotiations with Americans. In general, American business culture is very straight forward and to the point. This would allow you to be direct and not play as many games when negotiating. That said, however, many Americans tend towards trying to be as amicable as possible, trying to find a deal without being too confrontational or aggressive. It is best to pay close attention to the energy and speaking style of the American you’re negotiating with to better understand what sort of style they have and to work with that.

Source: Bizfluent, “How to Take Orders by Phone”



Answer the following questions to your teacher.

1.Have you ever taken part in negotiations? If so, how did they go?

2.Do you think business negotiations are difficult? Why? Why not


Let’s practice

Choose the correct answer.

1. ____ is the ability to deal with difficult situations carefully without hurting others.

A. Reservation
B. Tact
C. Brinkmanship
D. Highball

2. If somebody can express opinions strongly and with confidence, he is ____ .

A. amicable
B. assertive
C. alienated
D. credible

3. The word disclose in “They won’t disclose details of the transaction.” can be replaced by ____.

A. reveal
B. exclude
C. dispose
D. conceal

4. A ____ strategy is a conflict resolution process that aims to ____ all sides ____ disputes.

in / assert / accommodate / win-win / on / lose-lose