Negotiating with Customers (Int)


Students will discuss how to deal with clients and customers in negotiating situations.
Student Level: 
Unit Group: 
General Business - Negotiating

Warm Up (5 mins)

What kinds of information should be included in a contract to sell products to a business customer?

Listening (5 mins)

Watch the following video.

1. Complete the sentence based on what the presenter says.

"In psychology, basically an _______ price allows you to say something _______ and if you are going to negotiate, you have a lot of room to go _______ ."

Reading Comprehension (10 mins)

Read the following article.

What do the terms "walk away point" and "unique value proposition" mean?

Grammar (5 mins)

Future plans using Present Continuous

We can use the Present Continuous form PLUS a time expression to describe future activities.


I am playing football on Saturday.

She is making a presentation at our meeting next week.

They are visiting our office later this month.

We are starting the project on the 25th of August.

Subject Present Continous Future Time
The president talk to the reporters at 5pm
Our customer call us this afternoon
The company merge with XYZ Ltd next financial year
John retire from the company this spring
You get a new computer tomorrow

Join the above sentence fragments to make complete sentences using the Present Continuous form.

e.g. The president is talking to the reporters at 5pm.

Try changing the sentence into a question form.

e.g. Is the president talking to the reporters at 5pm?

Vocabulary (5 mins)

Word or expressionMeaning
stopping byvisiting briefly
jump right intoto begin immediately
to be tight (schedule)to require hard work and careful planning
get back toto return a call or respond to a question
mock updraft, preliminary, not finalized
The customer has requested many changes to our ________ design.
This meeting needs to be brief so let's _________ the agenda.
I promised Bob I would ________ him with this month's sales report data.
Could you _________ my office on your way to the meeting?
I think we can send the proposal to the client by 5pm but it's going to be _______

Use the following words to complete the above sentences.

stop by mock up tight get back to jump right into

Try making some original sentences with these expressions.

Role Play (15 mins)

Kenji:Hello Mr. Thompson. It's a pleasure to finally meet you face to face.
Jeff:Thanks for stopping by, Kenji. And by the way, please call me Jeff.
Kenji:OK Jeff. I know you're busy so shall we jump right into discussing your new website design?
Jeff:Good idea. As I told you on the phone, our company thinks the existing website needs a more modern design and additional features.
Kenji:Yes, I read your feature request list. My agency should have no problem with those.
Jeff:Fantastic. Also, I am happy with your initial cost estimate. That's just within my budget. The main points I wanted to discuss with you are the project completion schedule and payment terms.
Kenji:I understand. What's the deadline for completing the e-commerce system?
Jeff:Well, we are launching a new product in November, just ahead of the Christmas shopping season. We absolutely need to have our online store ready by then.
Kenji:That's going to be tight but I think we can do it if your team gives us all the product data quickly.
Jeff:Excellent. Now you mentioned that your agency needs 50% of the project fee up front? We'd be more comfortable with 30% up front and 70% on completion.
Kenji:Hmm. Unfortunately, I'm not sure my boss will agree to that. However, if you engage us to do all your online marketing in addition to making the website, we might be able to compromise on that point.
Jeff:Alright. I think that will work. We have a substantial marketing budget and we'd like you to help us increase web traffic.
Kenji:Wonderful. I'll be having a meeting with the agency boss this afternoon, so I can get back to you about that tonight. Now why don't we look at some mock up designs I brought along today?

Imagine your organization is selling to a large business customer. Try the role play again, substituting your own original information about products, price, payment terms, schedules etc.

Extension Activity

Is it always necessary to create a written contract after negotiations have finished? Why or why not?

Review and Quiz (5 mins)

Do you have any questions about this lesson?

What did you learn today?

Did you learn any new vocabulary or expressions?

Ask your instructor for tips on how you can improve your English.

Finally, don't forget to take the quiz after all your lessons are finished today.

Thank you !