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Look at the cartoon and think about these questions

• How could the negotiation have been more successful?

• How would a sales representative need to prepare for a meeting in which he/she planned to ask for a raise?

• What would the sales manager need to think about?


2 Divide into two groups, A and B. Read the notes for A or B below. In groups prepare a negotiation position. Then choose a partner from the other group to negotiate with. Try to reach a better solution than the one in the cartoon above.

Group A

You are sales managers in a large automotive components manufacturer. You are having a meeting with the leader of your team of sales representatives to negotiate new contracts. Sales have not increased in the past year and so you do not want to increase either the reps1 pay or their commissions.

Group B

You are the leader of a team of sales representatives. Your pay and commission have not increased for three years. You have a meeting with your sales manager to try to renegotiate your contracts.

When you have finished, report the results of your negotiation.


Making an opening statement

Most formal negotiations begin with an opening statement from each side. What do you think an opening statement should include?


1 Listen to a recording of part of a meeting between a small Singaporean software company called LP Associates and a possible partner, Kee Ltd., in a joint venture. You will hear part of an opening statement from Stella Wang, the Production Manager at LP Associates. Check √) four of the eight statements below which best represent what she says.


LP Associates wants to reach a final agreement in this negotiation.

These are preliminary talks.

The two parties want to resolve a conflict.

They want to agree on a name for the joint venture.

LP Associates would like to consider joint product development.

They would also consider license agreements.

LP Associates wants to agree to a complete sale of their ideas.

They want to consider working on a consultancy basis.



2 Listen again. Complete the following phrases from Stella's opening statement.

a) Well, thank you _____ _____ _____ _____.

b) May I begin by _____ _____ _____ _____...

c) First of all, we see it very much as a first meeting, a _____ _____ to _____ _____ in which we can perhaps…

d) There are two, possibly three, ways in which we _____ _____ _____.

e) I'd like to _____ these under three headings.

3 Compare Stella Weng’s opening statement with the situations you made at the beginning of a negotiation.

What did she include that you also suggested?

What other things did she include?

Practice 2

Suggest phrases for each of the following at the beginning of a negotiation.

a) Welcome the other side.

b) Develop small talk (trip, weather).

c) Mention plans for lunch – make your visitors feel welcome (see city centre, local restaurant).

d) Suggest you start talking about the main subject of your meeting.

e) Introduce a colleague (Luke Fox, Marketing Department).

f) Explain general aim or purpose of the meeting, (preliminary / exploratory)

g) Say what your side wants from the meeting. (Establish beginnings of a partnership /learn about supply systems / price variations and supply costs.)

Try to bring all the phrases above together in a single opening statement.

Practice 3



Choose one of the following two situations to prepare an opening statement ina negotiation.

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