Bringing measurable commercial acumen to your business...
Bottom Line improvement Processes
Bringing measurable Commercial Acumen to Your Business....
Public Sector Training Section

S2. Negotiation

The Aim

The aim is to provide delegates with an awareness and understanding of Negotiation as a structured process applied within the council’s rules.

Who Should Attend

The module is aimed at staff at all levels, including Directors and Senior Managers. It is applicable to staff from a wide range of business disciplines including engineering, design, project management, production, finance, sales & marketing, business development, purchasing, procurement, commercial and general management. Those who will benefit most will have a current or planned interface with suppliers or customers through which contracts are negotiated. The module will suit those with little or no previous negotiation training but will serve as a refresher for those who have some training but do not practice their skills frequently.

The Teaching Method

The teaching method is based on the Kolb learning cycle and incorporates a balanced mixture of a didactic approach and practical exercises centred on PowerPoint presentations. The structure is consistent with the skills framework for Procurement Project in Local Government in ensuring that Levels 1 and 2 (Understanding & Knowledge) are covered within the programme thus providing a firm base upon which the delegates can build their practical experience to reach Level 3 (Expertise). The module is tutor led throughout using syndicate work, highly interactive plenary discussion groups, easily understood case studies and role playing where appropriate. A formal framework is built around the delegates’ current knowledge and they are encouraged to re-discover and share their knowledge and experiences. In view of the highly intense nature of the negotiation simulation, and the benefits that the delegates can receive from individual coaching, the recommended maximum number of delegates for this programme is eight. Copies of the training material are provided in the form of a workbook. Delegates are encouraged to develop both their short and long term memories to increase the value for money provided for the employer.

The Learning Outcomes

The training will assist delegates to understand the necessity of ensuring adequate preparation, how to establish relationships and obtain information through discussions before proposing solutions and striking the bargain to achieve closure. The delegates will be introduced to a variety of negotiation styles and their application to avoid conflict. The concept of team roles and the use of strategy and tactics will be introduced. A variety of forms of questioning will be reviewed and the conditional proposal will be explored. The establishment of entry and exit positions will be reviewed and the process of trading up will be considered. Delegates will understand the importance of non-verbal communication and its place in the communication methodology throughout the negotiation process. Also, they will understand the importance of negotiation in a contractula context in specific stages of the procurement cycle including tender clarifications, pre & post tender and post contract award. The program culminates with an opportunity to practice the skills learned through a realistic commercial negotiation based on a breach of contract between a commercial supplier and a local authority. There is a full de-brief to enhance the learning outcomes at the individual and team level.


The module is scheduled for 1 day.

(An optional 2nd day is available to provide more depth and practical experience beyond the minimum requirement)

The Content

The topics covered include:
  • The council’s guidelines and rules on negotiation
    • The 4 phase structured approach to negotiation
  • Preparation, Discussion, Proposal, Bargain & Close
  • Preparation
    • Information needs
    • Negotiating position
    • Team negotiation - roles
    • Strategy and tactics
  • Discussion
    • Conducive environment
    • Relationship building
    • Forms of questions – open, closed, comparative.
  • Proposal
    • The conditional proposal - “If/then…”
    • Entry & Exit Points
    • Degrees of freedom
    • Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement - BATNA
    • Least Acceptable Alternative - LAA
  • Bargain and close
    • Trading up
    • Concessions
  • Non-verbal communication
  • Negotiating styles and tactics
    • Red, Blue & Purple styles of negotiators
    • Use of time
  • Co-operative and Competitive Negotiation
  • Stability of the arrangements
  • Avoidance of conflict
  • Rights, interests and positions
  • Mediation Techniques within the negotiation in order to manage conflict
  • Negotiation Simulation
    • A commercial team negotiation based on a breach of contract situation

What Next?
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