Five magic phrases to help you negotiate contracts on the phone

Vertragsverhandlungen sind eine Herausforderung. Wenn Sie als Sekretärin zum Beispiel mit einem Catering-Anbieter oder einem Reisebüro einen Vertrag aushandeln müssen, dann helfen Ihnen die Tipps von Secretary Today, Ihre Ziele durchzusetzen.

Price negotiations are an integral part of daily life for many businesses and it is often you, the secretary, who is responsible. Often, these price negotiations happen on the phone. You may have to talk to someone at a hotel about special conditions when you are booking a number of rooms for a conference. Or you could be dealing with a caterer to supply your stand at a trade fair, or with a car hire company.

No matter what you are discussing, it's important to have a set of phrases at your fingertips so you can react professionally to offers or arguments instead of just blundering your way through. These magic phrases will help you prepare for your next price negotiation.

Secretary Today - Professionelles Business English für Sekretärinnen und Assistentinnen

"That sounds a little high."

This is very simple, but, because it is so simple, it is extremely effective. Just state these five words then keep your mouth shut. Most people cannot stand an uncomfortable silence. Your tight lips will force the other person to respond. They will either make a new offer, ask you what you were expecting or tell you that's the best they can do. If it's the last case, use one of the next phrases.

"To make it worth it for us, we would need …"

This phrase puts you in control of the situation. Use it when you have already figured out what you think you should be paying. Make sure you have done some research and that the figure is in the realm of what the market typically pays.

"Taking into account the number of people attending, can we agree to …?"

For example, you could agree to pay a higher price in return for a slightly better quality, quicker delivery or some other 'extra'.

"I really don’t know if I’m prepared to pay that much."

This in another simple statement that puts the ball back into the other person's court. Follow it with silence to allow them to come up with another figure.

"Can we work on that?"

This brings the other person into your "team". By using the word "we", you have suggested that you can both work together to come up with more acceptable terms. When you enter into a negotiation remember that the first price you hear is rarely the final price. There is almost always room for negotiation. Obviously, everyone will be trying to get the best deal for themselves. Your job is to get the best value for money for your company.

Secretary Today
Perfekte britische und amerikanische Korrespondenz, Gespräche, Telefonate, Geschäftsbesuche und sicherer Small Talk