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028 Persuasive expressions for negotiating part 2

Hi again and welcome back for another episode of The Art of Business English. Today’s episode is part two in a 2-part series on simple expressions to help you sound more persuasive for negotiating. 

Firstly, if you haven’t done so already, you should take a look at part one of this series. If you are required to negotiate in your working life, then this series is for you. We look at some simple expressions that are very persuasive and can make the difference between getting a yes response or a “I’ll think about it”. 

The best thing about today’s episode is that the expressions are so simple to implement. Our objective here is to get you feeling more confident leading the negotiation and to know when the right time is, to use these magic words. 

Last week we looked at 3 expressions, “I’m not sure this is right for you but?”, “How open-minded would you be about?” and “What do you know about?”. 

In today’s episode we are going to look at a few more expressions to help you sound more persuasive and less pushy. 

So, in today’s episode we are going to cover: 

  1. 3 simple expressions to make you sound more persuasive
  2. Example of how to use them
  3. The reasons for why they are so effective


Let’s get started!

How would you feel if..? 

The first thing we need to have clear is the basis for why people make decisions. Most people are motivated by obtaining something new and desirable or wanting to avoid losing what they have. So, therefore if we want to motivate people to buy our product or service we need to show them how they are going to win or even better, show them how they are going to avoid losing. People are more motivated by avoiding lose than they are by gaining something new. 

Secondly, we need to understand that people make decisions based on emotion and logic. However, decisions are always made for emotive reasons, then the brain logically justifies the decision. For example, people buy an iPhone for emotional reasons and then justify the purchase with logical ones, such as characteristics and functionality. 

If we understand the motivation behind why and how people, make decisions then we can use the expression “How would you feel if??” in a very effective way. This expression is effective because you allow the other person to think and imagine about the future and trigger the emotional senses of how they will feel when they succeed or avoid lose as a result of what you are trying to help them with. 

The beauty is that they create the idea in their mind and connect those ideas with their emotional feelings, you don’t even need to create those images for them. 

Let’s look at some examples: 

How would you feel if this decision led to a six-figure income? 

How would you feel if you missed this opportunity and your competitors crushed your business? 

How would you feel if you could quite your current job and do what you have always dreamed of? 

How would you feel if you risked everything and then lost? 

How would you feel if in the net 12 months you had quite your job, launched an online business and only worked 4 hours a week? 

So, you can see just by hearing these expressions, we already start to put ourselves in the situation of the person and start to imagine what our life would look like. 

Let’s take a look at the next expression. 

Just imagine 

The next expression is one of my favourites. The reason why I love it so much is that it does all the work for you. It is impossible for you to create a perfect picture in your potential customers mind, so why not get them to do it for you. 

Going back to what I said earlier. People make decisions emotionally, so for that to happen people must first imagine the scenario and the outcome and how the result of their decision will look. This means people imagine themselves doing something before they actually do it. Our mind is incredibly powerful, we must visualise ourselves completing a marathon before we actually decide to do a marathon. If we can’t see ourselves as being able to achieve something in our minds first, then there is no way we will make the decision to actually do it in the first place. 

Therefore, our job is to get people to create the images in their mind, let them actually envisage what will happen as a result of their decisions. We need to create these images via story telling. The best public speakers are those who can tell a very convincing story. We’ve all heard the expression, “A picture is worth a thousand words”. The principle here is the same. We need to engage our listeners in a mini-story and then get them to create the images for us. 

We need to use “Just imagine”, this expression is the introduction to our mini-story, then we add the scenario and outcome that we desire to project to our potential buyer. They then start to imagine the outcome that we are trying to project and directing them towards the decision that we want them to take. 

Let’s take a look at some examples: 

Just imagine how amazing this weekend will be, just you and me, an amazing hotel and full body massage. 

Just imagine what your partner would say when you drive into the garage with a surprise new car for them. 

Just imagine how you will feel when you have completed the program and you have lost 15 kilos. 

Just imagine how you will feel when you walk into your boss’s office and tell him you resign.

Using this technique makes people create their own story in their mind and gets them thinking about the outcomes that you want them to see. People’s imagination can create a much more vivid and real scene than you could ever transmit with your words. 

Let’s look at the last expression in today’s two-part series. 

If… then? 

Conditional statements are a fundamental part of negotiating. Let’s quickly review some of them. 

It is common to use the 1st and 2nd conditional structures when negotiating. These two conditional forms take on the following structure.

First conditional
If + subject
+ Simple Present
+ Future Simple
If you give us a 10 % discount, then we will accept the offer.
Second conditional
If + subject
+ Simple Past
+ Would/Could
If you gave us a 10% discount, then we would accept the offer


Remember, the 1st conditional is more probable than the 2nd conditional. This means that if you use the 1st conditional then you are more open to accepting the result of the condition. We can modify how committed we are to a decision by either using the 1st or the 2nd conditional. 

Now on to the expression. Our brain has been programmed from a young age to interpret conditions. For example, our parents used to say, “If you don’t do your homework, then you won’t go to the party”. This is an example of an If?then condition that elicits an emotional response. 

We can use the same techniques in our negotiations to encourage people to make a decision based on condition. The if?then structure is the 1st conditional, this means that it is a probability. The only thing that needs to happen for the 1st conditional to occur is that the condition being set is met.

By setting these conditions, you can attach guarantees that are very difficult for people not to believe. We have been conditioned to believe this if?then conditional structure from a very young age. 

OK, let’s take a look at some examples of this in action. 

If you decide to try out company, then I promise you’ll have 30 days to change your mind. 

If you accept my proposal, then you will get an additional month for free. 

If you want to lose weight and feel 10 years younger, then this is the program for you. 

If you have always seen yourself as a successful business person, then this training program will take you to the next level. 

What is also interesting to point out, is that these expressions are also very effective in your sales copy or sales pages. You can motivate people to take decisions by creating these conditional messages that people will naturally accept.

Next steps

Well, what next? Well, I recommend purchasing the book “Exactly What To Say: The magic words for influence and impact”. It is a great read and very short, perfect for English language learners. The link is in the show notes. You can also check out and download a copy of the Magic Words e-book. Everything is in the show notes. 

As always, the best way to implement these expressions is to plan on using a few in your next negotiation. You can also try and use them in your written communication to start practicing without any pressure. 

Remember, these expressions will work on most people in most situations, but not always. The art is learning how to implement them at the right time in the negotiation and in a very natural way. Practice makes perfect here. 

Final thoughts 

Well, that is all we have time for today. I trust you have enjoyed today’s episode and these little expressions to make you sound more persuasive in your next negotiation. Just imagine how you will feel when you close the next deal successfully. How will you feel when you get your big commission cheque from your boss with a massive smile on their face. 

Remember, if you enjoyed this episode then please share it with your friends, colleagues and family. Please send me your comments and questions. If you do have any areas that you would like me to cover then just send me an email and I will be happy to prepare an episode, just for you. Take care now and have a great week. Bye for now.

Confidence in Business Meetings

Do you get embarrassed when you need to attend a meeting in English? Maybe you feel frustrated when you can't express yourself clearly. Do you want to be invisible in a meeting, hoping that you won't need to answer any questions?

If you would like to learn how to confidently participate in meetings that lead to successful outcomes and more business for you and your company, then I've got the answer.

Show notes:

Exactly What to Say: The Magic Words for Influence and Impact
de Phil M Jones

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Andrew is the CEO and founder of the Art of Business English. Besides teaching and coaching native Spanish speakers in Business English, he is also passionate about mountain biking, sailing and healthy living. When He is not working, Andrew loves to spend time with his family and friends.

Andrew Ambrosius

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