[Phrases] 8 Common Words For Business Negotiation

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Business people negotiate all the time. They negotiate salaries and bonuses, details of contracts with partners, and deadlines with managers. Here are eight words you must know about business negotiation.

1. To bargain
To discuss the conditions of an agreement, to negotiate. You can also use this as a noun (something can be a bargain) to refer to products being sold for a really good price.

You can’t bargain with him, he’s very inflexible.

2. Bottom line
The most important factor.

The bottom line is that we cannot raise both salaries and bonuses.

3. Alternative
A choice that could be better than the present situation.

Let’s consider the alternatives before deciding on the best candidate for this position.

4. To reach consensus
To agree on a matter that initially (at first) you disagreed upon.

After a really long debate, they managed to reach consensus on the issue of sick leave.

5. Counter proposal
An alternative solution you offer when you disagree with the one already presented.

We came with a counter proposal, but they weren’t open to negotiation.

6. Deadlock
A point in a discussion which takes you nowhere because people cannot reach an agreement.

We reached deadlock quite early in the discussion, because they weren’t willing to listen to our arguments and they didn’t make any counterproposals.

7. To highball / lowball
To highball means to ask for a lot more than you think your partner will agree to offer you. On the contrary, when you lowball, you offer much less than you think is acceptable.

They started the negotiation by highballing their expectations, but we saw right through it.

8. Leverage
Something that gives you power in a negotiation.

The supermarket chain really wanted that land, but the owner didn’t give in easily. He had a lot of leverage because the position was ideal.


1. This laptop was such a ____! I paid half as much as you paid for yours and mine is much faster.

A. bargain

B. leverage

C. deadlock

D. alternative

2. I thought my boss was going to ____ by giving me a really small raise, but he was reasonable.

A. lowball

B. leverage

C. deadlock

D. bargain

That’s all for today! Hope you can use these phrases in your business negotiation.

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The top three users with correct answers will be picked in the next episode!

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