Negotiations – Clinching the deal.

Negotiating business English

from brinkmanship to clinching the deal

“The final stages of a negotiation don’t always go smoothly. It is not uncommon for one side to threaten to walk away from the deal, a situation which is often in neither side’s interests. This is where planning and preparation are especially valuable: you need to be able to evaluate accurately the benefits of making an additional concession, or simply accepting that there is no deal to be reached. This workshop deals with a number of common events and situations from the closing stages of a negotiation: from dealing with brinksmanship to finally clinching the deal.” British Council “

upset, overwhelmed, stress


An aggressive negotiator, who uses tough tactics to get what he/she wants.

woman, face mask, open

Soft touch

A compliant negotiator who can be bullied into accepting disadvantageous conditions.

know these words/phrases?
Boost your Vocabulary

  • Tenacity and stubbornness are effectively the same, describing somebody
    who doesn’t give up. The only difference is that tenacity is seen as a positive
    characteristic, while stubbornness is seen as negative.
  • If you are accommodating, you try to fit in with what other people want.
  • A bluff is a type of trick, where you pretend to be in a stronger position than
    you really are. The other person usually has no way of checking how strong
    your position really is. If you call someone’s bluff, you guess that they are
    bluffing and force them to reveal their position – which often means revealing
    that they were lying.
  • If you dig your heels in, you refuse to make any concessions.
  • If you throw a spanner in the works, you spoil a situation that was working
    well, by adding a major complication.

Negotiating - Words / Phrases
Boost your Vocabulary

  • Reporting what the other person said earlier: So you said you could be flexible … / You said you were worried about … / You said you’d accept …
  • Agreeing tentatively: I think we could accept that. / I think that is fair enough. 
  • Asking for agreement: How does that sound?
  • Checking the details: So that’s agreed?
  • Giving formal confirmation: Yes, that’s fine. / Yes, that all sounds fine.
  • Asking for a suggestion: So what are you proposing? / Do you have a better suggestion?
  • Asking for a concession: I think the exclusion zone could be cut …
  • Showing flexibility: possibly slightly more … / … say, 2 years. / We might be able to show some flexibility.
  • Rejecting a proposal: I’m afraid … is totally out of the question.
    well, by adding a major complication.
  • Making one concession dependent on another: But that would depend on what you could offer us in return.
  • Putting a variable back on the table: Perhaps we could revisit the notice period.
  • Protesting: I thought we’d agreed on that.
  • Standing firm: … is as long as I’m prepared to accept. / I also can’t accept … as it stands.
  • Discussing ending the negotiation: Are you saying you’re not prepared to accept our offer? If that’s the case, it would be a shame, but it’s up to you.
  • Organising a timeout: Could we take a time out? I need to think about this before I make a decision. / Shall we meet back here in half an hour?
  • Showing a positive attitude: I also want to make this work, and it would be a shame to walk away after we’ve come so close to an agreement.
  • Presenting a creative solution: OK, so I’ve given it some thought. I was wondering whether we could do something like this. / How about this? / Tell you what. Let’s …
  • Responding positively without agreeing: Hmm … that’s interesting. We might be able to work out something like that.
  • Clinching the deal: … and you’ve got yourself a deal. / Well, it’s been a pleasure doing business with you. You drive a hard bargain, but I think this will be a good deal for both of us. Here’s to a successful long-term relationship!


Answers – Exercise 3:

  • 1% increase in monthly fee for 2 years (to be reviewed in 2 years); 5% cut in setting-up fees;
  • non-compete clause to cover a 15 km radius for first two years, 5 km radius for next two years;
  • four-month notice period.

Your Details

Let us know how to get back to you.

How can we help?

Feel free to ask a question or simply leave a comment.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *