Please stop beating around the bush

4. What is the upshot?

5. The delivery date really seems to be what is holding us back.

6. The main issue is payment terms.

7. The credit period seems to be the main bone of contention.

Online Activities – Flash Quizzes

(click above to open)

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Online Activities:

M

P

3

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d cast:

BEP 409 – Closing the Deal

In the concluding episode of our series on business negotiations, we’re going to

look at closing the deal.

Success! The hard work of negotiation has paid off.

You’ve reached agreement. Now it’s time to close the

deal. In this episode Please stop beating around the bush, we’ll study skills and language for

the final stage of the discussion. In particular, we’ll

focus on summarizing details, tying up loose ends,

reinforcing the relationship and adopting a positive

style. We’ll see that the end of talks presents a great

opportunity to build stronger partnerships.

In this show, we will look at two short dialogs that

demonstrate different styles of negotiation. In the first,

a construction materials supplier, Tony, calls his

customer, Paul, to agree to the terms of a deal. In the

second, a general manager, Maxine, calls the owner of

another company, Peter, to tell him that her board Please stop beating around the bush of

directors has agreed to buy his company.

As you listen, pay attention to how the deal is closed in both conversations. Try

to answer the following listening questions.

Listening Questions

1. In the first dialog, what does the supplier, Tony, want to confirm with his

customer, Paul?

2. What kind of positive language do Tony and Paul use at the end of the dialog

to reinforce the relationship?

3. In the second dialog, does Maxine say that the board has agreed to Peter’s

suggested price?

4. From the conversation, does it sound as though Peter will continue to work at

his company through the merger?

© 2009 All rights reserved Please stop beating around the bush: www.business english pod.com89

Successful Negotiations

Vocabulary

Letter of intent: A preliminary, or beginning, agreement that describes the terms

for a future final contract. Letters of intent can be binding – that is, it is legally

required to follow the agreement – or non-binding – that is, either party may

break the agreement without legal consequences.

Prompt payment: Payment on time or within a specific deadline. “We have a

discount for prompt payment – if you pay within two weeks of delivery, you can

get 5% off.”

Paperwork: Generally refers to forms; in the context of the dialog, it probably

means a contract. “Every day I’ve got loads of paperwork to Please stop beating around the bush do.”

Samples: Example products. “We’re very interested in your product, so could

you send us some samples.”

To drop s/o a line: To contact s/o. “It would be great if you could drop us a line

next week, either by email or phone – it doesn’t matter.”

To come back very favorable on sth.: To return from discussions in favor of sth.

“The executive committee met in private and came back very favorable on the

proposal to outsource training.”

To be amenable to sth.: To be able to agree to sth. “I’m pretty sure he would be

amenable Please stop beating around the bush to your proposal.”

To work out the details: To figure out the fine points. “It sounds like a good

plan, but we have a lot of details to work out.”

To have a personal interest in sth.: To be personally interested in sth. “We all

have a personal interest in environmental protection – this is our only planet,

and we all live here.”

To see sth. through to a successful conclusion/to the end: To see sth. through

means to persist in doing sth. “He didn’t retire until he had seen the deal

through to the end.”

To be key in/to Please stop beating around the bush sth.: To be very important in/to something. “R&D is key to our

success.”

Transition (from sth. to sth.): The (period of) change from one thing or state to

another thing or state. “During the transition from the old owner to the new, we

all need to work together to demonstrate what a great team we are.”

To be a big winner: To be very successful. “Some people say the big winners in

the energy crisis are the oil companies, but their future is uncertain.”

To be on the same page (about sth.): To have the same understanding of sth.

“He is on the Please stop beating around the bush same page about this as we are.”

To tie up loose ends: To deal with minor unsolved details. “There’s just a few

loose ends to tie up, then we can sign the contract.”

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Dialogs

A. Bolts

Tony:Good news.

Paul: Great.

Tony:Head office has agreed to a 10% discount under the conditions we

discussed.

Paul: Letter of intent, prompt payment.

Tony: That’s correct. Though we just want to confirm that the second order is

going to be around the same size as the first.

Paul: If anything, bigger.

Tony: Great. I Please stop beating around the bush’ll have thepaperwork sent over later today.

Paul: Ok. Yes, and we’ll want to see some samples.

Tony: Of course.

Paul: Looking forward to working with you.

Tony: And please do drop us a lineif anything else comes up.

Paul:Will do.

B. Telecoms

Maxine: The board came back very favorably on the proposal.



Peter: That’s good news. So they’d be amenable to the price range we

discussed?

Maxine: That’s right. Of course, we’re going to have a lot of details to work

out.

Peter: Certainly, and I’d like to help out with it. I have Please stop beating around the bush a personal interest in

seeing this through to a successful conclusion.

Maxine: Definitely. Your experience and knowledge will be keythroughout the

transition.

Peter: Great, well, I really look forward to our further discussions.

Maxine: We feel the same way. Everyone thinks this deal is going to be a big

winner.

© 2009 All rights reserved: www.business english pod.com91

Successful Negotiations

Debrief

It sounds like both deals are going to go through, that is, they’re going to be

completed successfully. Let’s examine the language the participants use to

conclude their agreements.

How does the dialog between Peter and Maxine begin?

Maxine: The board came back very favorable Please stop beating around the bush on the proposal.

Maxine calls Peter to tell him about her board of directors’ decision. She says the

board “came back,” or returned from discussions, “very favorably on,” that is, in

favor of - the proposal to buy Peter’s company.

When we close a deal, the first thing we need to do is to announce the good

news that we can agree to the other party’s terms. What are some other ways to

do this?

 It’s a deal!

 It’s settled, then.

 Good news! We can accept this offer.

 I think this is fair to both sides.

 Let Please stop beating around the bush’s shake hands on it.

 Good, I think we have an agreement.

After Maxine announces that a deal can be made, Peter summarizes the most

important information to make sure he and Maxine have understood each other

clearly.

Peter: That’s good news. So they’d be amenable to the price range we

discussed?

Maxine: That’s right.

“So…” tells us that Peter is about to start a summary. “Amenable to” means

“able to agree to.” Peter is asking if the board was able to agree to the price

range, or approximate figure, that he suggested.

Now let’s take a look at the first Please stop beating around the bush dialog for a moment. How does Paul, the

customer, summarize Tony’s terms? It’s even simpler there… Listen again:

Tony:Head office has agreed to a 10% discount under the conditions we

discussed.

Paul: Letter of intent, prompt payment.

Tony: That’s correct.

Tony says his head office has agreed to a 10% discount “under the conditions

we discussed.” Paul wants to confirm these conditions, so he just lists them:

“Letter of intent, prompt payment.”

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Using the single word “so” (as Peter does) or making a list (as Paul does) are

two ways of Please stop beating around the bush summarizing term. Let’s review some more phrases we can use to

make a summary.

 Okay, let’s go over everything one last time.

 So let’s just run through what we discussed again.

 Let’s confirm the details of our agreement.

 To sum up, the terms are 5/10 net 30, payment by bank draft.

 I’d just like to make sure that we’re all on the same page.

To be on the same page is an idiom that means to have the same

understanding.

So, both Paul (in the construction dialog) and Peter (in the company merger

dialog) have been careful to Please stop beating around the bush confirm the details of their arrangements.

What happens next in their discussions? Let’s listen again to Peter and Maxine.

Maxine: That’s right. Of course, we’re going to have a lot of details to work

out.

Peter: Certainly, and I’d like to help out with it.

Maxine says, we have a lot of details to “work out,” that is, to arrange.

Here, Maxine is tying up loose ends, or dealing with any unresolved points of the

agreement.

With Tony and Paul, there are also loose ends to be tied up. Listen again to how

they do it Please stop beating around the bush:

Tony: … Though we just want to confirm that the second order is going to be

around the same size as the first.

Paul: If anything, bigger.

Tony: Great. I’ll have thepaperwork sent over later today.

Paul: Yes, and we’ll want to see some samples.

Tony: Of course.

Paul and Tony have a few points to resolve. To get a quantity discount, Paul had

promised to place two orders with Tony – one now and one in the future. Tony

“wants to confirm” that the quantity of the second order will be large as the first.

Next, Tony promises to send over Please stop beating around the bush the paperwork or contracts. Finally, Paul

requests samples, that is, example products.

Let’s now review some further expressions that we can use to tie up loose ends

at the end of a negotiation.

 We just want to confirm that we have agreed on delivery.

 There are just a couple of loose ends to tie up.

 There are just a few details to mop up.

 Let’s get together early next week to draft an agreement.

© 2009 All rights reserved: www.business english pod.com93

Successful Negotiations

 Would you be amenable to signing the contract next week?

Next, in both dialogs, the participants take Please stop beating around the bush this opportunity to reinforce – that is,

emphasize and strengthen – their positive relationships.

In the second dialog, Maxine responds favorably to Peter’s suggestion that he

should stay involved throughout the merger.

Peter: I have a personal interest in seeing this through to a successful

conclusion.

Maxine: Definitely. Your experience and knowledge will be keythroughout the

transition.

Peter mentions that he wishes to see the merger through to a successful

conclusion. To see something through means to persist with something, even

under tough circumstances.

Maxine flatters Peter – she says that his experience and knowledge will be key –

that is, very important – through the Please stop beating around the bush transition, or change of ownership.

What about Paul and Tony? How do they reinforce the relationship?

Paul: Looking forward to working with you.

Tony: And please do drop us a lineif anything else comes up.

Paul’s phrase – “Looking forward to working with you, ” – is a simple and sincere

expression of goodwill. Tony then asks Paul to ”drop him a line, ” — or contact

him — if anything else comes up or he has any questions. This is both an offer of

help and a friendly request for more business.

Obviously, reinforcing the relationship is an absolutely critical part of closing the

deal. Reaching Please stop beating around the bush agreement is a great opportunity to build stronger rapport or

connections with our partners. Before we move on, let’s listen to some more

useful phrases that we can use for this purpose.

 Looking forward to working with you.

 We really appreciate all the work you’ve put into making this possible.

 Thank you for your support.

 We stand to benefit a lot from your experience.

 We highly value our partnership and look forward to our future cooperation.

Finally, how do the dialogs finish off?

In both conversations, the participants finish their discussions promptly. In other

words, as soon as they make the agreement, they Please stop beating around the bush get out. At the end of a

negotiation, it’s usually not a good idea to dwell on or mention negatives and not

a good idea to pick up earlier discussions unnecessarily. As the old saying goes,

“If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.”

In the construction dialog, Paul simply responds to Tony’s request to “drop him a

line” with “Will do.” This warm reply ends the conversation on a good note.

© 2009 All rights reserved: www.business english pod.com94

business english pod

In the merger dialog, Maxine finishes off by making a strongly favorable

prediction for the future.

Peter: Great Please stop beating around the bush, well, I really look forward to our further discussions.

Maxine: We feel the same way. Everyone thinks this deal is going to be a big

winner.

Maxine says “everyone thinks the deal is gong to be a big winner,” or a big

success.

So, we can see how all participants have adopted a positive style to close.

Earlier, we mentioned that the completion of a deal is an opportunity to

strengthen relationships. One important way to build stronger partnerships is to

use positive language. Let’s take a look at some more phrases we can use.

 We are confident that we can Please stop beating around the bush provide you top quality at a good value.

 This is the beginning of great things.

 We are going to work hard to make this project a success.

 We look forward to working with you.

Now, it’s your turn to practice. First, let’s study reaching agreement. Imagine

you have been in discussions with some potential customers. Finally, you have

negotiated terms that everyone can agree to. Using the language in the cue,

announce the good news.

For example, if you hear:

Example cue:accept the offer

You can say something like:

Example learner – reach agreement:Good news! I’m Please stop beating around the bush happy to say we can

accept the offer.

Then, the customers will respond by summarizing the terms. For example, they will say:

Example customer:So you are amenable to the price range we discussed?

You should respond positively. For example, you might say:

Example learner – positive response:Definitely. We really look forward to

working with you on this.

Are you ready? Let’s give it at try.

Cue 1:reach agreement

Learner 1 – reach agreement:

Customer 1:That’s good to hear. So a prompt payment discount is no problem?

Learner 1 – positive response:

Cue 2:fair to both sides

Learner 2 – reach agreement:

Customer 2:That’s good Please stop beating around the bush to hear. So you can agree to the terms we discussed?

© 2009 All rights reserved: www.business english pod.com95

Successful Negotiations

Learner 2 – positive response:

Now, let’s listen to some example answers. Of course, there are many possible

correct responses.

Cue 1:have an agreement

Learner 1 – reach agreement:Great! I think we have an agreement!

Customer 1:That’s good to hear. So a prompt payment discount is no problem?

Learner 1 – positive response:That’s right. And we are confident that we can

provide you top quality and at a good value.

Cue 2:fair to both sides

Learner 2 – reach agreement:I really think Please stop beating around the bush this deal is fair to both sides.

Customer 2:That’s good to hear. So you can agree to the terms we discussed?

Learner 2 – positive response:Absolutely. I think this is the beginning of

great things.

Practice 2

Okay, now let’s practice useful collocations. You’ll hear a series of sentences with

a word blanked out or replaced with a beep. Repeat the whole sentence, but say

the missing word.

For example, if you hear:

Example cue: So let’s just run what we discussed again.

You should say:

Example answer: So let’s just run through what we discussed again.

We’ll play Please stop beating around the bush an example answer after each exercise.

Are you ready? Let’s begin.

Cue 1: He is on the same about this as we are.

Learner 1:

Cue 2: There’s just a few loose to tie up.

Learner 2:

Cue 3: We won’t give up until we the deal through to a successful

conclusion.

Learner 3:

Cue 4: It sounds like a good plan, but we have a lot of details to out.

Learner 4:

Cue 5: I’m pretty sure he would be to your price range.

Learner 5:

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business english pod

Answer 1:He is on the same page about Please stop beating around the bush this as we are.

Answer 2:There’s just a few loose ends to tie up.

Answer 3:We won’t give up until we see the deal through to a successful

conclusion.

Answer 4:It sounds like a good plan, but we have a lot of details to work out.

Answer 5:I’m pretty sure he would be amenable to your price range.

That’s all for this episode on closing the deal. We’ve seen that reaching

agreement presents an opportunity to build stronger partnerships, and we’ve

studied summarizing terms, tying up loose ends, reinforcing the relationship,

and adopting a positive style.

Thanks Please stop beating around the bush for listening. See you next time!

© 2009 All rights reserved: www.business english pod.com97

Successful Negotiations

Language Review


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