VBA Complex Negotiating

The quality of your deals is decided at the negotiation table. ‘Verbal Behaviour Analysis’ is critical to understanding how to perform effectively at the negotiating table to win more favourable business.

Successfully completing a sale at the intended scope, specification or price is very rarely achieved! The end product or service offer is more usually derived from a complex negotiation requiring compromise.

The ability to negotiate is central to the sales and procurement process.

Our own extensive research into successful negotiations coupled with extensive research from London Business School in the UK has built our understanding of what happens during a successful negotiation, and more precisely what a skilled negotiator actually does.

The Straplan programme provides you with some of the most powerful methodologies and sales strategies and negotiating tactics. The key to success in negotiation is the psychology of human behaviour. We have developed our programme to not only work on the negotiation but the behaviours of successful negotiators.

We help you to address issues like these:

  • “We need to develop a real negotiation methodology”
  •  “We get divided by the other party because we lack organisation”
  •  “Customer price focus forces us to concede ground and force us to take a less favourable outcome.”
  • “negotiators appear powerless in the face of larger more systematic organisations”
  • “Aggressive customers cause conflict that is damaging to the deal and future relationship.”
  • “We are forced to accept deals that are costly, where margins are squeezed and relationships are damaged.”
  • “Getting a specification from our own organisation is often tougher than negotiating with the other party.”

By delivering: 

The programme provides identifies what a skilled negotiation performance looks like when compared with the average. From this we are able to benchmark individual skills against the tried and tested behavioural skills model. Training utilises realistic negotiation case studies, and enables participants to set objectives for measurement and skills enhancement. The programme additionally provides comprehensive negotiation toolkits for planning a negotiation, sharing with colleagues and peers involved and enables collaborative leveraging through the process.

To give you:

  • a common language, skills and tools that can be shared with colleagues and so present a common front to the other party
  • the skills to manage the negotiation, develop mutually agreeable outcomes, and facilitate an effective implementation
  • skills and tools to negotiate increased value and profitable deals
  • more confident and effective negotiators, even when dealing with difficult people
  • skills and tools to understand where your power lies and the tactics and strategies to use it to get a better deal
  • the ability to identify where your organisation has leverage and to use this for a workable and profitable deal improved negotiation processes: before, during and after the negotiation.

Programme overview

The VBA* Complex negotiating programme is for anyone who negotiates as part of their job, whether as part of a team or as a principal negotiator, as a buyer or seller – or for intra-company negotiation. You will gain insights and skills to understand what is really important in your negotiation and how to secure the best outcome, through direct experience of strategy, tactics, preparation, planning, and a unique behavioural success model. The learning will equip you, immediately, to avoid simple concessions, conclude sustainable deals, surrender less margin in a sale, save money in a strategic purchase, and have a framework for future negotiation.


By the end of the programme participants will:

  • have a framework for analysing the context of the negotiation and preparing an optimal negotiating position
  • differentiate between preparation and planning
  • be familiar with best practice tools
  • be able to plan a variety of tactics to manage movement towards a desired outcome
  • understand how to open and conclude a negotiation
  • understand the concepts of levers and bargaining and how to apply them
  • be able to describe and use the key behaviours used by effective negotiators
  • be able to describe and avoid the behaviours that have a negative effect on negotiations
  • have strategies for maintaining a positive climate, dealing with ‘dirty tricks’ and overcoming stagnation or deadlock
  • have received constructive and objective feedback on their performance compared with the Skill Model and created an Action Plan for continued development after the event.


Preparing for the Negotiation

  • Setting objectives.
  • Evaluating fall-back positions.
  • The hierarchy of tradable issues and trade-offs.
  • Best, target and worst trading limits.
  • Calculating the cost of concessions.
  • Anticipating ‘their’ position and tactics. Planning the Negotiation
  • Evaluating strengths, weaknesses and the power balance.
  • Creative leveraged trades.
  • ‘Diminishing return’ concession strategy.
  • Common ground, long-term versus short-term issues.

Negotiation Skills

  • The researched VBA Success model.
  • Skills for persuasion, managing the power balance and bargaining.
  • How to maintain the climate, resolve deadlock and conclude the right deal.
  • Handling low reaction and ‘dirty tricks’ by the other party.

Methodology & practical issues

A typical three day programme consists of interactive exercises and several rounds of negotiation simulations followed by expert feedback and review. The small group negotiations are observed by a coach. Delegates are encouraged to analyse strengths and weaknesses of their preparation and planning processes, and then receive detailed feedback on their own behaviour profile compared to the VBA Success model.

This cycle of input-practice-feedback helps to track the development of participants’ behaviour and equips them with an awareness of their own skills, together with a practical set of tools so that skills improvement can continue post-course.

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