VBA Negotiation Skills

Every professional sales person 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 scarce resource? Most people in business probably spend more time negotiating than they realise. Some of those negotiations 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 your ever having been consulted. Or the internal meeting where you and another department both need the only in-house Java 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 one 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: 

Practical negotiating skills that increase the likelihood of developing a successful and lasting outcome to your negotiations, by enabling your staff to become familiar with the models for structured preparation and planning for negotiations. We provide live opportunities to hone skills at managing power and developing strategies for bargaining. We also provide strategies which can be developed into a method for thinking through negotiation strategies, even when working in limited timescales.

To give you:

  • A strategy providing a base of ;common language, key skills and negotiation tools
  • An understanding of the differences between selling and negotiating
  • A process for rigorous preparation and planning
  • Skills and confidence in conduct of the negotiation
  • An understanding that the best outcome is one where you develop mutually agreeable outcomes
  • Tactics for use when you come face to face in a negotiation

Programme overview

The VBA negotiation skills programme is for people who handle negotiations o behalf of the organisations whether they come from the sales team, or a procurement department. These staff will regularly negotiate about a relatively small range of similar issues.  These negotiations are relatively standard for more complex negotiations our programme on complex negotiations strategies and tactics would be more appropriate.

The programme provides tools and skills to promote swift successful conclusions to negotiations and preventing the need to give concessions while maintaining positive relationships with customers and/or suppliers.


By the end of the programme the participants will:

  • Know the difference between selling and negotiating
  • Using the VBA Model to prepare and plan in a structured way
  • Build strategies and tactics to move negotiations towards a desired outcome
  • Understand where power comes from in negotiations
  • Develop bargaining strategies that will bring about the best outcome
  • use the behaviours in the VBA Model confidently in face-to-face negotiations
  • Be able to maintain a positive environment and deal with negative tactics
  • Use an Action Plan for continued development of the skills.


Preparing for 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 for each stage.
  • Common ground, long vs short term.

Negotiating Skills

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

Methodology & practical issues

The two-day classroom programme topics include: defining negotiation, negotiation in the Buying Cycle, objectives and fall backs, power, bargaining, and an introduction to the case study. Delegates start with a short exercises to practise the behaviours identified as key to effective negotiation and get short inputs from the trainer on key negotiation topics. Delegates also prepare, plan, conduct and evaluate small group negotiations, during which they observe, analyse and give feedback on each other’s negotiating behaviours using the Verbal Behaviour Analysis (VBA) Model.

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