Advanced negotiation skills



This very practical course has been designed to cover the vital core topics that are essential for successful commercial negotiation of all sizes of contracts and orders. As well as the foundation skills and knowledge, attention is paid to helping participants develop assertiveness, confidence and control in business negotiation situations.

The focus is on arriving at ‘win-win’ solutions, rather than negotiating to win at all costs. It is based on the principles of developing relationships for mutual business gain and advantage, and how to negotiate strongly within this context.

Training objectives

This course will help participants:
  • Negotiate from a position of partnership, not competition
  • Deal more effectively and profitably with price objections
  • Identify and practise successful business negotiating skills
  • Identify strengths and weaknesses as a business negotiator
  • Understand different types of buyer behaviour
  • Learn to recognise negotiating tactics and stances
  • Be able to apply a new and proven structure to business negotiations
  • Identify and adapt for different behavioural styles
  • Be alert to unconscious (non-verbal) communication
  • Prepare and present a proposal at a final business negotiation stage
  • Project confidence and exercise assertiveness in business negotiation situations


This powerful and practical course is suitable for all levels and types of managers and professionals, including both purchasing and sales functions. It addresses precisely the need for more skilled negotiation of contracts, discounts, special terms and delivery expectations, plus the pro-active ‘management’ of suppliers and customers.

The course allows already experienced and successful managers a chance to further develop and refine their skills and knowledge when negotiating, whilst giving less experienced people foundation skills and practical short-cuts. It is especially suitable for:
  • Account executives and managers
  • Project managers
  • Purchasing professionals
  • Managers and executives


The course is highly participate and interactive, with participants working on real-life case studies and examples. Managers will leave the course with many new ideas and perspectives, as well as better equipped to achieve greater business and personal success. The programme also includes a summary workbook and course notes. Participants will be required to prepare and present a formal action plan upon completion of the course.

The course features extensive role-plays and demonstrations. Video feedback is optional.

Course features

Each session of the course features:
  • Proven, practical and relevant content – personalised to your business and objectives for the event
  • New and proven models, again directly related to your business and customer situations
  • High quality training presentations
  • High degree of participation and interaction
  • Advanced tips, tricks, techniques and ‘take-aways’

The expert trainer

Graham is an experienced and expert negotiator, with a background in managing high-value major accounts, which also involved the co-ordination of suppliers and third-parties. Graham also has experience in negotiating performance agreements, publishing contracts, joint venture partnerships and employment interviews. This particular course has been run for many different organisations including private and public sector organisations of all sizes.

His work has taken him all over the world and involved him in working closely with hundreds of different organisations from all business sectors, including Vodafone, AT&T, Orange, Pfizer, GSK, Boots, Unilever, American Express, Thomas Cook, the British Film Institute, SaudiAramco, OpenText, Ambius, BT, AIG, Nationwide, Abbey, Apple computers, Thomson Financial, Cosmos Travel, Intel, Gateway computers, Sony, Connells Estate Agents, Motorola, Cisco, MFI, Barclays Bank, LIFFE, Abbey National, Prison Service, Nortel, Home Office, Law Society, BBC, Daimler-Chrysler, Citroen, ASOS, Weetabix, Pegasus Software, Mole Valley Farmers, Nikon, Shell and many, many others.

In addition, Graham has written over twenty books published in several different countries, including Companies don’t succeed – people do!, 90 Brain Teasers for Trainers, Customer Service Games for Training, Sales Training Games, Telephone Tactics and Working Smarter.

Known internationally as both a trainer and a popular motivational speaker, he believes that effective learning has to be interactive and challenging. All his learning events are built around practical exercises, role play and case studies. His training style focuses not on just explaining new ideas or developing new skills, but also on motivating people to use them and to develop themselves as individuals. This approach gets results, as the following comments from course participants show:

‘Brilliant course, really interesting and very focused to my job role and day to day work.’

‘Took away some very good ideas that I can use every day… good examples too.’

‘Very confident in the subject, and amusing too. Made the course very interesting. A very clear sales model to use going forward.’

‘Full of useful hints and tips which I will apply to my job.’

‘Extremely well presented and structured.’

‘A very intensive course and a lot of concrete tools provided.’

‘Useful data, tools and insights; engaging and interesting as always.’

‘Very good… contained everything we do on a regular basis and problems we have come across… the exercises made it very interesting too.’

Course outline

1   Planning for successful business negotiations

This session introduces the concept of business negotiation and looks at its importance in the context of the participants’ activities. It briefly examines why we negotiate and the dynamics involved.

Session highlights:
  • What kind of a negotiator are you?
  • Negotiation skills self-assessment and best practice
  • How to establish roles and responsibilities for both parties
  • How to identify and set objectives for both buyer and seller
  • How to research and establish the other person’s position (business negotiation stance)
2   How to structure your negotiations

This session presents an eight-step framework for use in negotiating and considers how best to prepare and plan negotiations within the context of a supplier/customer relationship or business cycle. It also includes a brief review of legal responsibilities and what constitutes a ‘deal’.

Session highlights:
  • Learn and apply a formal structure to use when negotiating
  • How to establish short and longer-term objectives and opportunities
  • How best to plan, prepare and co-ordinate a major business negotiation meeting, or on-going negotiations
  • Understanding of basic legal and organisational requirements
3   Verbal negotiation skills

This session examines the human and communication dynamics inherent in any negotiation. It relates the importance of professional skills in preparing for the negotiation in identifying needs, wants and requirements accurately and qualifying the competitive and organisational influences present.

Session highlights:
  • How to fully ‘qualify’ the other party’s needs, requirements and constraints during the negotiation process by using advanced questioning and listening skills
  • How to pre-empt negotiation objections by promoting and gaining commitment to options, benefits, value and solutions
  • How to best propose and suggest ideas and drawing-out skills
4   Non-verbal negotiation skills

This session highlights how different personal styles, corporate cultures and organisation positions can influence events, and demonstrates practical methods for dealing with and controlling these factors. It also examines key principles of body language and non-verbal communication in a practical way.

Session highlights:
  • Gaining rapport and influencing unconsciously
  • Understanding the importance of non-verbal communication and reading other people’s meaning and communicating effectively as a result
  • Ensure that non-verbal behaviour is fully utilised and observed to create maximum impact and monitor progress, eg, buying signals
  • Business negotiations are precisely structured and agreement gained incrementally
5   Proposing and ‘packaging’

This module highlights how best to present and package your position. It looks at how to pre-empt the need for negotiating by creating minor options and ‘bargaining’ points, as well as how to manage the expectations and perceptions of the other party.

Session highlights:
  • How to identify the key variables that can be negotiated
  • The power and use of ‘authority’ within your negotiations
  • How to structure and present your proposal, ideas or quotation to best effect
  • The importance of when and how to identify and influence the other party’s objections
6 Dealing with price

This module highlights how best to present and package price within your proposal or negotiation. In most cases, price has more to do with psychology than affordability and preparation and careful handling is essential.

Session highlights:
  • The three reasons that people will pay your asking price
  • How to set price in a competitive market
  • The key differences between selling and negotiating
  • Ten ways to present price more effectively and persuasively
7 Getting to ‘Yes’: tactics and strategies

There are many different tactics and strategies common to successful negotiators. This session looks at those that are most appropriate to the participants’ own personal style and situation. The importance of ‘follow-through’ is also explained and how to deal with protracted or ‘stale-mate’ business negotiations.

Session highlights:
  • How to negotiate price and reduce discounting early in the process
  • How to recognise negotiating tactics and strategies in your customer or supplier
  • Key strategies, techniques and tactics to use in negotiation
  • The importance of follow-through and watching the details
  • How to deal with stalled business negotiations or competitor ‘lock-out’
8   Case studies and review

This session examines a number of different situations and participants discuss ways to approach each. This allows learning to be consolidated and applied in a very practical way. There is also an opportunity to have individual points raised in question and answer session.

Session highlights:
  • Case studies
  • Question and answer
  • Planning worksheet
  • Negotiation ‘toolkit’ and check-list
9   Personal action plans Session highlights:
  • Identify the most important personal learning points from the course
  • Highlight specific actions and goals
  • Flag topics for future personal development and improvement

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