negotiation step 2

Negotiation Step 2: Establish a Position

This is the second step in strategic negotiation, establishing a position. To review step one of the strategic negotiation process, please head on to Negotiation Step 1: Pitching an Idea.

Here, Mike is talking with colleagues Grant and Tess, and they are trying to work out an initial position before heading into the negotiation with NVP.


Listen to the dialogue and fill in the missing word(s) below. Copy paste this link onto your web browser to answer the task on google forms (

Grant: Alright folks. Let see what we can _________ here. Tess jump in whenever.

Tess: uh-huh…

Grant: Now I’ve seen the __________ on the emails since we kicked this into play. But Mike what’s your _________ all of this?

Mike: Well, we all agreed that NVP is our __________ in Southeast Asia huge volume, huge network, a really strong foothold in Thailand and Malaysia, which was our _________ in all of this.

Grant: Yes indeed. Good point. But I think as you’ve seen they’re really ___________ more than Southeast Asia. It’s obvious they’re pushing for a ______________, the whole of Asia really. And so the issue there is China?

Tess: We’re talking about Hangshan Motors, right. I __________________________ for something untested a burden in the hand as they say.

Mike: Well I think maybe there’s a way around this. If we buy them out, ______________________ the NVP deal in three years just from China alone. Opening up the rest of Asia on top of that puts us well ahead of the game.

Tess: I see. So you’re suggesting we get out of our existing agreement? You know… if we’re talking about a broader partnership…_________________________________. Lots of different possibilities here, I was thinking of South America in particular.

Grant: Right. So _______________________________________. We’re game for a partnership, we need Southeast Asia for sure… we’ll say we’re prepared to buy out Hangshan when they push for that and _________________________________ our South American channels later.

Tess: Yes! I think __________________________________. But we’ll have to look into our agreements with Brazil and Argentina more closely first. I __________________________ with hundred percent confidence right now.

Mike: Yeah, definitely. And when we talk with them let’s get on the same page about partnering, then… wait for Lisa to start pushing the whole Pan-Asian thing. We can play that a bit slow and see what we can squeeze out of them… and _____________________________________ until later… sound like a plan?

Grant: I think that will work. We know they want to work with us and I think we’ve got a __________________________.


In the video there are three guide questions to answer. Complete this task after listening to the dialogue, and discuss your answers with your teacher.

Guide Questions

1. Why does Mike mention NVP’s huge volume, huge network, and strong foothold in SE Asia?
2. What does Mike suggest as a way around the China problem?
3. Which idea does the team agree to save for later in the negotiation?


Acquaint yourself with the business vocabulary and idioms mentioned in the dialogue, and use them in sentences.


  1. Copy paste this list on a word file
  2. Define the vocabulary and idioms
  3. Use each of them in at least two sentences
  4. Submit your answer on google classroom

For example

back and forthto and froHe has been anxiously walking back and forth.
best bet
take on
kick into play
jump in
keen on
give up
burden in the hand
a way around
buy out
ahead of the game
game for
way forward
on the same page
squeeze out
sit on


Here’s More


Negotiation Step 1: Pitching an Idea

The dialogue is between Mike and Jamie who are former colleagues. They happen to see each other in a trade show. They had an informal business conversation but actually initiated the first step in negotiation. By the end of the conversation, you are expected to answer the following questions.

Guide Questions

  1. In the beginning, what does Mike say his company is looking for?
  2. Which idea is Mike tentative or hesitant about?
  3. What is Mike going to do next?
  4. Identify at least five expressions from the dialogue, and used them in a sentence.
  5. What is the first step in negotiating?


Jamie: But it’s still a tough place to do business. I mean building a good network takes time.

Mike: Yeah. Good network like you guys have, right? Well, you know I thought you might be here this week and there’s something I’d like to run by you.

Jamie: Sure. I’m all ears.

Mike: Ok. So we both agree that Southeast Asia is a tough nut to crack …especially starting from scratch. And Sigma also understands the benefit of working with a local partner particularly in markets like Asia. So we’re looking for someone who’s establish in the region.. you know, find a good distributor to work with. Maybe NVP can be that for us.

Jamie: A distributor huh…All our guys are always keen to push more products through the network. We basically got the whole of Asia covered at this point. But…..

Mike: aha… but what?

Jamie: Well…. just thinking about how it might all work. They might want more than just a simple distribution deal…something more involved. If you know what I mean.

Mike: Ah yeah…. like a partnership? Well we’ve had discussions about this kind of thing back in Michigan before.

Jamie: And?

Mike: Yeah. Something like that might be possible, though I’m not sure about… all of Asia.

Jamie: So maybe start with Southeast Asia or something.

Mike: Yeah… could be.

Jamie: Well, they might push for something more extensive but either way they most likely be looking for some kind of an investment on your side.

Mike: Ok. So we put in some investment and you guys give us access to the market in your local network.

Jamie: Yeah I think something like that can make sense with the right company.

Mike: Well, I’ve got to say NVP is hard to beat on this part of the world and growth around here is just nuts.

Jamie: Yeah, definitely. You’re right about that.

Mike: Listen, how about this. I’ll take it back to Michigan and lay out the general idea. And if you could send me some sales figure and corporate history in the meantime I’ll touch base once I’m back in the states.

Jamie: Sure thing. I’ll start pulling some stuff together tomorrow and send them over before the end of the week and just let me know if there’s anything specific you think might help