How to Negotiate in English

How to Negotiate in English

How to Negotiate in English


“The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.” (Ludwig Wittgenstein)

Language plays quite a significant role in business dealings. A common language becomes a medium of communication and helps discuss business activities.

In the corporate world, you will often find yourself in a situation where you will have to negotiate with others such as it can be for promotion or pay rise. Similarly, business owners who want to cease the best possible business deals from their global suppliers must know how important it is to negotiate in the language that both parties understand. 

Speaking in English Gives You Greater Negotiation Power!

A simple answer to this is that the English language knowledge gives you a comparative advantage over others if you’re dealing with someone who speaks only in English. It won’t be wrong to say that it gives you the ability to negotiate better and drive to an agreement with less confusion and chaos. 

Some Pro Tips To Negotiate 

negotiate in english

  • Always Let Your Opponent Speak First! 

It is better to let the opposite party speak first as you would be able to gauge their intentions from the beginning. Giving them the floor first allows you to hear their concerns and address them immediately as you start speaking. This keeps your opening statement and counterargument highly relevant making it hard to ignore. Often letting the opponent speak first leads to a different tone being set altogether. 

  • Be all Ears as They Speak!

Even if they don’t extend the same courtesy to you, this is important. Even if the other party is expressing dissatisfaction or rage, do your best to stay calm and friendly. Bear in mind that certain individuals would do something to scare you. As you carefully listen to them, it enables you to understand their perspective and respond accordingly.  

  • Start on a Positive Note!

At the beginning of the negotiations, if there is a tense environment, it is advisable to reduce the tension by explicitly expressing the constructive goals that everyone wishes to achieve through the negotiations. For instance, if you are negotiating a price, you might say, “Our goal today is to find a fair price suitable for both parties.”

  • Don’t Start Confronting Directly!

If you think the other participant is trying to manipulate you, don’t actively approach them. This would only make them defensive and much harder to deal with. Alternatively, answer the problem in a more dignified manner. For instance, if you feel you are being lied to or misled, you may say, “I have come to trust you entirely, but I feel some holding back on this issue”. This would offer an opening for the other person, to tell the truth without confessing that they were lying.


  • Always Question!

It is key to note that communication is most effective when it is two-way. It is highly crucial to agree at the end of your negotiation process. Leading with open-ended questions earlier would provide an incentive for both sides to collect this information. You may ask, for instance, “What are you hoping to achieve today?” You should then change the point to justify a solution that satisfies both sides’ standards. 

  • Acknowledge What the Other Person Says!

Everybody likes the idea of being heard carefully. By letting your opponent speak first, not only do you display humbleness but you have the opportunity to highlight their essential points before you add some more of your stronger ones. It would help if you gave them a chance to speak and control the conversation from time to time. For example, you may say, “Since that’s more of your area of expertise, I’d like to hear more about it from you.”  

  • Get the Expert Services of a Professional Translator!

Nonetheless, one needs to understand that they live in a digitally advanced era. With many technological advancements, entrepreneurs have the privilege to access multiple translation applications. Furthermore, a school of thought argues that one does not need to learn English themselves. They could just hire the professional services of an English translator. How do you think most Japanese conduct business? 

Hiring a translator would reduce the chances of any confusion and help both parties understand each other better. They help ensure the authenticity of a legal contract and help discuss each term and condition carefully. This saves time and reduces unnecessary waste of resources as both parties come on the same page. 

Potential Advantages of Using English in Business Activity

negotiate in english

  • Globalisation 

Considering English’s influence, it is no secret that it removes international barriers and allows one to conduct business in the global market.  

  • Wider Target Audience

You may just be attracting the local audience with your marketing strategy. However, English enables you to reach a broader target audience. This means access to more clients and better business activity. 

  • Growth/Expansion of Business

The above-said points lead to drawing to a greater target audience, meaning more sales and higher revenues. It allows you to set up your business in a foreign country or make a foreign investment. 

  • Greater Transparency

Using English for business negotiations as understood by each party reflects how it enables transparency in your dealing, eliminating fraud chances. The language is easily understood, and therefore most agreements are written in English. 

  • Higher Reliability 

During conversation amongst internal group members, using the English language provides transparency. However, speaking in a local language that the others may not understand would make it hard for the other party to trust you.   

Final Thoughts…

All and all, the benefits of negotiating in the English language cannot be ignored.

There are various ways to ensure that you deal in English. The business sector continues to develop every day with new competition rising every day and market saturation. It is better to take measures that allow you to increase your business productivity and operate efficiently in such a case. 




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