Every Professional negotiates something, sometime, somewhere

How often do you negotiate, and how important is it that you get it right? Whether you’re selling, buying, or trying to make a case inside your own organisation, the chances are that there will always be room for some variation of terms, and a number of issues to be traded. But do you know how to think through what those variations and trades might be, and how to get them agreed in your favour? If you don’t, could it be costing you or your organisation time, money or some other scare resource?

Most people in business probably spend more time negotiating than they realise. Some of these organisations are set-piece, scheduled, formal meetings. Others might happen unexpectedly. Think about the site visit when, as you are about to leave, your client asks you to make some small upgrades. Or the supplier’s phone call to tell you that delivery of your goods is subject to longer lead times from now on, without you ever having been consulted. Or the internal meeting where you and another department both need the only in-house programmer for different but urgent projects.

 We help you to address Issues like these:

  • “We sometimes get caught unaware by a conversation that turns into a negotiation we haven’t prepared for”
  • “A lot of the everyday business interactions we have with clients, suppliers or colleagues seem to leave us with the worse end of the deal”
  • “Resolving contentious issues is never smooth, and tends to damage the relationship afterwards”
  • “Even when we know we are facing a scheduled negotiation, we don’t really know how to plan to get what we want”
  • “Somehow, we always seem to be the less powerful once when we sit down to negotiate anything”
  • “Our negotiations aren’t usually all that complex, but plenty can still go wrong”
  • “When we get face to face with the other party, we don’t really know what we should be saying, and how we should be saying it”

By delivering a highly practical immersion in the key skills and actions that will increase the likelihood of a successful and lasting outcome to your negotiations. This enables people to become familiar with the models for structured preparation and planning, then offers them ample live opportunities to hone their skill at managing power and developing strategies for bargaining. It also provides a set of tools that can quickly become the default method for thinking through negotiation strategies – even when called upon to negotiate at little or no notice.

This will give you:

 a common language, skills and tools that can quickly come to pervade your organisation with clarity and precision

  • the skills and confidence to conduct the negotiation and develop mutually agreeable outcomes
  • the ability to differentiate negotiating, and other commercial activities with different skill sets – such as selling
  • an effective process for robust and reliable preparation and planning
  • strategies and tactics for use when you come face-to-face in negotiation
  • an understanding of how to assess and adjust the power balance
  • insight into the behaviours that successful negotiators use most effectively.

Programme Overview

The VBA™ Negotiation programme is for people – whether they come from sales, procurement, or any other part of the modern organisation – who regularly negotiate about a relatively small range of issues (usually not more than half a dozen), who do so frequently and often deal with another party in the form of a one-to-one conversation. The topics of their negotiation are often fairly similar from one day to the next which means that they will have the autonomy or mandate to agree terms without referral back inside their organisation for additional complex scenario planning. The learning will give your people tools and skills to avoid concessions, reach swiftly agreed conclusions, sustain good relationships with customers and/or suppliers. And approach all the negotiations that they typically face with renewed confidence.


 By the end of the programme, participants will:

 understand the differences and relationship between selling and negotiating

  • prepare and plan a structured way, using the VBA™ Success Model
  • develop strategies and tactics to manage the movement of the negotiation to a desired outcome
  • understand where power comes from in negotiations and develop bargaining strategies that will bring about the best outcome
  • confidently use the behaviours in the VBA™ Success Model in face-to-face negotiations
  • develop strategies for maintaining a positive climate and dealing with negative tactics
  • create an Action Plan for continued development of the skills


 Preparing for the negotiation


  • Setting objectives and fall-backs
  • Tradable issues and trade-offs
  • Best target and worst trading limits
  • Calculating the other party’s position

Planning the negotiation

  • Evaluating strengths, weaknesses and power
  • Creative, leveraged trades
  • Using a structure based on the four stages of the negotiation to plan each stage
  • Common ground, long-term vs short-term


  • The researched behaviour success model
  • Comparison of own behaviours with those of the research model
  • Handling the other party’s tactics.


During the 2-day classroom programme, delegates do short exercises to practice the behaviours which has been identified as key to effective negotiation and get short inputs from the facilitator on key negotiation topics. Participants also prepare a plan, conduct and evaluate small group negotiations, during which they observe, analyse and give feedback on each other’s negotiating behaviours, using the VBA Success Model. A maximum of 12 delegates can be accommodated per programme.