Mener une négociation commerciale ?

Les mots clés et expressions:

Negotiate (to)

Definition : to hold talks for the purpose of reaching a commercial agreement.

Translation : Négocier 

Back down (to)

Definition : to withdraw from a position, to not follow up on a threat.

Translation : Reculer, se rétracter 

Go back to the drawing board (to)

Definition : to go back and start something from the beginning.

Translation : Repartir de zéro 

Close a deal (to)

Definition : to successfully end a negotiation.

Translation : Conclure un accord 

Drive a hard bargain (to)

Definition : to negotiate to one’s advantage.

Translation : Etre dur en affaires 

Iron something out (to)

Definition : to solve a problem, to resolve an issue.

Translation : Résoudre un problème 

Beat around the bush (to)

Definition : to talk about things without giving a direct answer.

Translation : Tourner autour du pot 

Bring up (to)

Definition : to begin a discussion about something.

Translation : Lancer une discussion, un sujet 

Drag on (to)

Definition : to prolonge, to make longer.

Translation : Faire durer, faire traîner 

At stake

Definition : something that can be lost or gained.

Translation : Enjeu 

Cut to the chase (to)

Definition : to get straight to the point, to go directly to the important points.

Translation : Aller droit au but 

Compromise (to)

Definition : to resolve by making concessions. 

Translation : Transiger 

Grant a special discount (to)

Definition : to make a better offer, to give an additional discount. 

Translation : Faire un geste commercial 

It’s a bargain

Definition : it is financially advantageous. 

Translation : C’est une bonne affaire 

It’s a steal

Definition : the price is much lower than market value. 

Translation : C’est bradé 

Haggle (to)

Definition : to argue in order to reach a better arrangement or deal (negative connotation). 

Translation : Marchander 

Final offer

Definition : the last proposal that will be put forward.

Translation : Dernière proposition 

Take it or leave it

Definition : to either accept the proposition or to refuse it ; no further discussion is possible.

Translation : A prendre ou à laisser 

Wrap up (to)

Definition : to finish, to end. 

Translation : Terminer, conclure 

Make a deal (to)

Definition : to make a business arrangement. 

Translation : Conclure une affaire 


Definition : a statement giving the likely cost of something, document appraising the value of something. 

Translation : Devis 

A bid

Definition : the amount offered or proposed, a statement of what one will give for something, an offer of a price. 

Translation : Une offre 

Follow up (to)

Definition : to pursue or maintain contact so as to monitor or take further action. 

Translation : Garder le contact (avec quelqu’un), suivre une affaire 

Read the fine print (to)

Definition : to read the details of a contract (often the text in small font gives important details, disclaimers and legal terms).

Translation : Regarder de près, dans le détail 

Lay the cards on the table (to)

Definition : to tell each other exactly what is going on, to show your hand, to be frank. 

Translation : Jouer cartes sur table 

Work out a deal (to)

Definition : to reach an agreement. 

Translation : Négocier un arrangement 

Sales pitch

Definition : a speech in which a salesperson promotes his product. 

Translation : Discours commercial 

Selling point

Definition : a particular aspect that is emphasized in order to sell something. 

Translation : Argument de vente 


Definition : when two or more parties cannot agree and the negotiation is stopped, impasse, deadlock.

Translation : Blocage 

Give and take

Definition : a situation where both sides must compromise, but are equally satisfied with the result. 

Translation : Donnant-donnant 

Chase a cus-tomer (to)

Definition : to contact a future customer again. 

Translation : Relancer 

Market price

Definition : the price that a product brings when sold on the market, prevailing price. 

Translation : Prix de marché 

Terms of payment

Definition : conditions as to when and how goods or services supplied will be paid.

Translation : Conditions de paiement 

Les usages à respecter:

• Eye contact is important for Anglophones. During negotiations, if there is no eye contact, an Anglophone will think you are hiding something or lying.

• Often a negotiation is finalized with a handshake. This means that an agreement has been made and confirmed. 

• Show that you are surprised by the high price, terms of payment or delivery. Showing that this is clearly not what you expected will lead you into the negotiation process.

• Silence is often unnerving to Anglophones, when there is silence they will usually begin talking. You can use silence to your advantage. 

• Use positive sentences when negotiating. If you consistently say no, you will be viewed as a bad partner or a client that can never be satisfied. 

Example : 

– I am not available to meet you until next week (negative).

– I am available to meet you next week (positive).

Quelques règles de bon anglais:

The first conditional tense The conditional tense is often used in negotiations. There are several forms of conditional in English. The first conditional is used for possible or probable situation if a certain condition is met.

To form the first conditional : If + subject + present simple, subject + will + verb.

Examples :

– If I sign the contract, he will agree to the terms of payment.

– If I buy 100 units, she will give me a discount.

– If we sign today, will you deli-ver the product tomorrow ?


Fill in the missing word(s), then check the result below :

cut to the chase, beat around the bush, to compromise, closed a deal, read the fine print, drives a hard bargain, a bargain, wrapped up, brought up, to back down, to iron out, made a deal, went back to the drawing board, to grant you a special discount, to haggle, final offer, dragged on, followed up, negotiated, at stake.

1. We were unable to convince the clients, so we ............ and came up with a new offer that should convince them.

2. The salesperson ............ for thirty minutes before he finally announced the actual price.

3. Last week we ............ for over thirty thousand euros.

4. Jack is known throughout the sector as someone who ............., as he rarely concedes in negotiations.

5. Stephanie ............ a new deal with our current suppliers giving us quicker delivery time and a minor price reduction.

6. Fabrice had........... on three key points in the contract, otherwise he would have lost the deal to our competition.

7. We had agreed on the main ideas, however there were still two or three minor details we needed ...........

8. We have ............ on this point, so that both parties will be happy with the deal.

9. After three months of discussion we finally ........... with the client who will buy twenty-four units.

10. Since our company has been working with you for several years, I have authorized our sales department ............

11. Their bid is far lower than the other proposals, it’s...........

12. After thirty minutes of discussion, the Sales Manager ............ the idea of a six month trial period.

13. Negotiations had reached a ridiculous level in which both parties began ........... over the most insignificant details.

14. A 10% price reduction and free shipping is the best we can do, it is our ..........

15. Negotiations ............ for over nine months.

16. After three weeks of beating around the bush, Bob finally ............ and gave all the information. We closed the deal ten minutes later.

17. The salesperson never .......... with his original offer.

In the end, I went with someone else.

18. The terms we agreed upon were quite clear. However, when I ............, I realized that the disclaimers were quite open, which was not at all to my liking.

19. We ........... the meeting with a handshake.

20. The client clearly informed us that the contract was ............ and we would loose the deal if we could not guarantee delivery by the end of the month.


SOLUTIONS : 1 : went back to the drawing board. 2 : beat around the bush. 3 : closed a deal. 4 : drives a hard bargain. 5 : negotiated. 6 : to back down. 7 : to iron out. 8 : to compromise. 9 : made a deal. 10 : to grant you a special discount. 11 : a bargain. 12 : brought up. 13 : to haggle. 14 : final offer. 15 : dragged on. 16 : cut to the chase. 17 : followed up. 18 : read the fine print. 19 : wrapped up. 20 : at stake.

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