Successful negotiating techniques


If there is one skill which improves performance more than any other it is the ability to negotiate. Not simply to negotiate prices with customers or suppliers, but to negotiate away problems with colleagues, to create and pursue business opportunities and to establish value-added relationships. This programme covers these issues and can be run at basic, advanced or masterclass level.

Training objectives

This programme will help participants to:
  • Understand what makes a good negotiator
  • Develop their innate negotiating skills
  • Anticipate, and overcome, standard tactics that may be used against them
  • Plan for their next big negotiation
  • Make a more effective contribution to team negotiations
  • Handle difficult negotiations with confidence
  • Achieve better results


This course is designed to be relevant to all levels of staff, and can be adjusted to suit the specific participants.


An inter-active, two-day course with a strong emphasis on practical exercises. If required, a one-day version of this programme can be provided instead, although the learning would be significantly diminished without the exercises.

Special features

One of the benefits of a tailor-made programme is that we can build the programme, case studies and exercises around real situations facing your organisation. This degree of customisation helps participants to see much more easily how the key points from the programme can be applied to their situation.

The course outline below is an example of the type of programme we can construct and deliver. The content, duration, objectives and material used can all be tailored to suit your specific needs. Advanced and masterclass programmes in negotiation skills are also available.

A particular feature of this programme is that we recommend that all participants complete a self-analysis questionnaire ahead of the course. The trainer will collate the results, in confidence, using his own software tools.

The expert trainer

Eric is a highly experienced and very popular management consultant, trainer and business coach specialising in procurement. He has held director-level positions in Dunlop, the NHS and Diageo and his consultancy practice has taken him to clients in Europe, North America, the Middle East, China and Africa. Over the last twenty years he has developed and managed a range of training courses for some of the best known companies in the world, including IBM, Norwich Union, Mercedes Benz, Nokia, Shell, Tesco and BUPA. His practical experience encompasses the entire procurement field, including commercial awareness, negotiating, contract and supplier management, business strategy, e-commerce and outsourcing.

Course outline

  1. Characteristics of effective negotiators
    • Common negotiating errors
    • Typical buyer negotiating habits … and how they are dealt with
    • Secrets of success
    • Anatomy of an accomplished negotiator
  2. Self-analysis
    • Understanding the data
    • The profile of the typical purchasing negotiator and the accomplished negotiator
    • Interpreting the information
    • Prioritising results
  3. Dealing with imbalances of power in negotiation
    • Forms and sources of power
    • Dealing with monopoly sources of supply and suppliers’ markets
    • Creating a BATNA
    • Neutralising power
  4. Overcoming resistance and difficult personalities
    • The CPC concept
    • Lessons from behavioural analysis
    • The concept of Emotional Intelligence – and how to use it
    • Dealing with difficult people – from suppliers and your own organisation
  5. Negotiating tricks and traps – and how to deal with them
    • The top ten dirty tricks
    • Neutralising approaches
    • How sales people are trained to negotiate
  6. Planning negotiations with limited time available
    • Planning essentials
    • Being unprepared – how to make it look good
    • Using limited time to advantage
  7. Managing team negotiations
    • Managing non-purchasing colleagues in the negotiating team
    • Creating a unified approach
    • Identifying team roles for difficult circumstances
  8. Staying in control
    • Control techniques
    • Avoiding dominance
    • Dealing with control ‘freaks’
  9. The negotiation rehearsal
    • Planning for a real forthcoming negotiation
    • Understanding the alternative approaches possible
    • Rehearsing the negotiation

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