Career English: business deal idioms

Idioms are not only used in every day conversation, they are also part of business English and will frequently pop up when dealing with colleagues and partners. Here are some useful idioms all relating to making a business deal.

  1. Ballpark figure – this idiom means an approximation. You will use it when you want the approximate cost of a certain deal. For example, “Could you give me a ballpark figure for export costs?”

2. Bottom line – Native speakers use this phrase to talk about the conclusion or summary of a discussion. If someone asks you “So what is the bottom line?” during a conversation, they are asking you to give them the summary of everything you have said. Additionally, in business terms, ‘the bottom line’ can also refer to a company’s net earnings.

3.In black and white – this idiom means something ‘in writing’.Think about a piece of paper – most likely it will be white with the text written in black. For example, if someone tells you they need the terms of an agreement ‘in black and white’, it means that they need them to be very written down. Also, a ‘black and white’ situation can also refer to a very clear choice that causes no confusion.

4. Blow a deal – Hopefully this won’t happen very often, but this idiom means that the business deal won’t be going ahead. So if you ‘blew a business deal’ with a client, it means your contract with them didn’t happen, often because a mistake was made.

image: Victor1558