negotiations target training

Essential English phrases for purchasers

“I need to do my job in English more and more” said one of my participants in a purchasing department. She was a lead buyer at a manufacturing company who had seen her company go through a rapid internationalization process when they merged. Global purchasing means that many purchasers now need to work comfortably and confidently in English to do their jobs effectively. Here are some essential phrases to support you.

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alfExpressing gratitude for submitting an offer

  • Thank you for your offer.
  • Thanks for responding so quickly.
  • Thanks for being willing to rework your original offer.

Dealing with long term partners

  • As you know, we have worked together successfully for many years now.
  • I can offer you these conditions because of our long standing working relationship.
  • We would certainly like to work with you on the project in the future, but the price conditions are currently too high / not low enough / don´t meet our requirements.

Next steps

  • The next step will be discussed at our weekly internal meeting.
  • I need to go to this meeting to get the approval for this project.
  • We will make our final decision during the meeting.
  • We will decide who our preferred supplier is at that time.
  • After we have evaluated all offers and decided which supplier(s) we will work with, we will start the legal contract negotiations.

Asking for deadline commitments

  • Could you give us an answer by next week?
  • How long do you think you need to create a new offer with better conditions?
  • Would it be possible for you to send me the new offer by (date) at the latest?
  • I would be grateful if you sent me the new offer next week.

The final steps

  • Thank you for the insightful conversation.
  • I´m still waiting for your new offer. / I’ll wait for your new offer.

Comparing competitors’ products

  • Both suppliers´ product features are comparable.
  • Both of you meet the product document specifications with your product.
  • The product document specifications can be attained / completed / fulfilled by both suppliers´ products.
  • So we have comparable offers to consider.

Explaining cost-related issues

  • Supply and demand determines the market price.
  • The market price is based on supply and demand.
  • We have contacted other suppliers on the market to see if your price is competitive.
  • Unfortunately, I’ve discovered that your prices are too high compared to the competition.

Identifying cost expectations

  • Now I have one question, which conditions can you offer us?
  • Which price range are we looking at?
  • Our target price is xx euros, which means a reduction in your original price offer of about x per cent.
  • In order to meet our target price, you would need to reduce your price by …Euros or … per cent.

Explaining reasons for an altered offer

  • I know that the amount of the reduction sounds very high, but do you see any way to reduce the price?
  • I´m afraid that you will have to reduce the price in order to be considered.
  • This is the last round of negotiations. We won´t do another one.
  • I would be grateful if you gave me your best price.

Requesting suppliers to rework their offer

  • I would be grateful if you checked your offer again. Could you possibly send me a new offer?
  • Perhaps you can´t answer this question at the moment. You can think it over, check with others in your company and get back to us with your answer.
  • Could you also check the license model? Could the price be reduced if we changed the license model?
  • Which options can you think of? Which possibilities can you think of?

Dealing with contract conditions

  • Could you possibly check the contract conditions which I sent with the inquiry?
  • Due to time constraints, it would be best if you accepted the standard or suggested contract with as few changes as possible.
  • I recommend accepting the standard suggested contract with as few changes as possible.
  • I would be grateful if you could give me a statement about the contract.
4 replies
  1. Will
    Will says:

    Hi both, I also wouldn’t necessarily see it as a threat, although, in my opinion it is often used to introduce bad news. Threats can be direct or indirect. An example of the former being: “You will give us the discount we need or we’ll go to your competitor”.

    Whereas indirect threats are much more difficult to spot, á la “Currently you are our preferred supplier for this component. We would hate to have to reconsider this status…” Cue evil grin.

  2. Gerhard
    Gerhard says:

    Nicely done, great article.
    I ask myself as a german reader:
    Can ” As you know, we have worked together successfully for many years now” be read as a threat, especially for a.non native speaker? As a native speaker you certainly know that there is no hidden negative emotion in this sentence, that it is a clear and kind message.

    • Lynn
      Lynn says:

      Dear Gerhard,
      Thanks for your question. In my opinion, the phrase “As you know, we’ve worked together for many years now” is used to demonstrate to the other person that you recognize and value the business relationship which has developed during this time. It is often used as an introductory phrase and can be followed by (hopefully) positive news. However, it can also be used as a way to inform the other person that although you value the relationship, the conditions might need to be changed in the future, usually due to pricing restrictions. I wouldn’t understand it as a threat though. What do others think about this?

      • Gerhard
        Gerhard says:

        Dear Lynn,
        thanks for your answer.
        Maybe I’m influenced by movies where the mentioned phrase sometimes seemed to lead to substantial complaints.

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