Did you know that speaking Spanish is no longer enough? This is especially true when you need to negotiate with colleagues or business partners from other countries. That’s when you need that extra edge, that mastery of Spanish negotiation phrases that will make you stand out.
In this article, to make you look like a native speaker in your next Spanish negotiation, I will share with you 10 of these expressions, arranged according to the stage of the negotiation you are in.
Spanish expressions to negotiate
“Romper el hielo”
Meaning: Initiate a conversation in a relaxed atmosphere.
in English: Break the ice.
Example of use: “Rompamos el hielo con un cafe antes de empezar a hablar de negocios.”
Translation: “Let’s break the ice with a cup of coffee before we start talking business.”
Cómo y cuándo usarla: When you are at the beginning of a meeting and want to lighten the mood, don’t hesitate to use this expression. It is a great way to start off on a friendly and constructive note.
“Ver el bosque y no solo los árboles”
Meaning: See beyond the immediate details and understand the larger context.
In english: The bigger picture.
Example of use: “Antes de entrar en detalles, demos un paso atrás y veamos el bosque no solo los árboles.”
Translation: “Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s take a step back and look at the bigger picture.”
How and when use it: This expression is useful when you want the team to look beyond the details and understand the big picture. It helps everyone to consider all the variables at play.
“Guardarse los ases en la manga”
Meaning: Don’t reveal your plans or strategies right away.
In english: Keep your cards close to your chest.
Example of use: “En esta fase de las negociaciones, es mejor que nos guardemos los ases en la manga.”
Translation: “In this stage of negotiations, it’s better we keep our cards close to our chest.”
How and when use it: This is the perfect expression for those moments when you want to remind your team that it is best not to reveal all your plans at the outset. Strategy is essential in negotiations and knowing when to reveal your intentions can make the difference between winning and losing.
“Andarse por las ramas”
Meaning: Avoid talking directly about a specific issue.
In english: Beat around the bush.
Example of use: “No nos andemos por las ramas y hablemos directamente sobre los términos del acuerdo.”
Translation: “Let’s not beat around the bush and talk directly about the terms of the agreement.”
How and when use it: If you notice that the other party is avoiding engaging on a specific point or is distracting from the discussion, use this expression to return to the main topic.
“Ir al grano”
Meaning: Focusing on the most important details of an issue.
In english: Get down to brass tacks.
Example of use: “Ahora que todos estamos de acuerdo en los puntos principales, vayamos al grano.”
Translation: “Now that we all agree on the main points, let’s get down to brass tacks.”
How and when use it: This expression is useful when a general consensus has been reached and it is time to go into details and specifications. It helps to maintain focus and make sure everyone is on the same page.
“Dar y recibir”
Meaning: A process of compromise where both sides make concessions.
In english: Give and take.
Example of use: “La negociación se trata de dar y recibir. Necesitamos estar dispuestos a hacer algunas concesiones.”
Translation: “Negotiation is all about give and take. We need to be willing to make some concessions.”
How and when use it: This phrase is a perfect reminder that negotiation implies flexibility and a willingness to compromise in order to reach an agreement.
“La pelota está en tu tejado”
Meaning: It is the other party’s turn to make a decision or move.
In english: Ball is in your court.
Example of use: “Hemos hecho nuestra oferta, ahora la pelota está en tu tejado.”
Translation: “We’ve made our offer, now the ball is in your court.”
How and when use it: Use this expression when you have made a proposal and are waiting for an answer or a counter-proposal.
“Cerrar el trato”
Meaning: Conclude or confirm an agreement.
In english: Seal the deal.
Example of use: “Estamos contentos con los términos, cerremos el trato.”
Translation: “We’re happy with the terms, let’s seal the deal.”
How and when use it: This expression is used when consensus has been reached and it is time to confirm the agreement and conclude the negotiation.
“Cortar por lo sano”
Meaning: To stop trying, to withdraw from a situation before further loss or damage occurs.
In english: Cut one’s losses.
Example of use: “Este acuerdo no está saliendo como esperábamos. Puede que sea hora de cortar por lo sano.”
Translation: “This deal isn’t going as planned. It might be time to cut our losses.”
How and when use it: Use this expression when you realise that a situation is not favourable and it is better to withdraw before further damage occurs.
Meaning: A win-win situation for all parties involved.
In english: Win-win situation.
Example of use: “Si ambos hacemos estas concesiones, nos encontraremos en una situación en la que todos ganamos.”
Translation: “If we both make these concessions, we’ll find ourselves in a win-win situation.”
How and when use it: Use this expression when you want to describe a win-win situation. It is the ideal goal of any negotiation.
In short, mastering these spanish expressions to negotiate can be a real asset in the business world. From “breaking the ice“Romper el hielo” to “Cerrar el trato”, each stage of negotiation has its own set of phrases that will help you communicate effectively and confidently.
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