Choosing the Right Negotiation Training Program

By Brandon Wilson January 7, 2022 | 16 min read

In today's highly competitive business world, negotiation skills are critical for any businessperson. Companies need to ensure the entire organization has the means to secure the best agreement possible. When a company loses out at the negotiation table, the impact on the bottom line can have significant consequences. If one bad agreement can have a negative impact, consider the implications of a series of bad agreements.

Choosing the right negotiation training program helps ensure that your company is growing and thriving instead of simply surviving.

Despite the importance of successful negotiations, very few companies provide their team with current or proven negotiation training. The art of becoming a negotiator is not something someone is born with, even though some people might say they came into this world with a silver tongue, the reality is negotiating is a skill that anyone can learn and hone.

With business profitability often hanging by a thread, companies need to start realizing the importance of negotiation training. Unnecessary compromise and unprofitable agreements can eventually cripple a business, but these costly mistakes can be easily avoided. A business with a team of strong negotiators will secure more profitable agreements and surge ahead to win more than they lose, 

A Standardized Approach to Negotiation planning and execution - Why You Need Negotiation Training

Developing a standardized process for negotiation planning and execution is one of the best ways to establish a foundation to achieve reliable and consistent results. To accomplish this, companies invest in negotiation training to establish a baseline of skills and an operational approach for managers and team members to achieve specific/critical goals.

Here are just a few reasons why companies need a standardized approach to negotiation:

  • A Common Language and Tools for Consistency

    A standardized approach to negotiation is built upon a foundation of negotiation skills development. Effective negotiation training introduces a common language and set of tools to establish a core competency for all team members. Rather than relying on the existing skills and experience of individual team members, successful companies invest in critical skills development and key tools to create a powerful process for all team members- both experienced and inexperienced.
  • Improved Communication and Collaboration

    When everyone on the team is speaking the same language and understands the same concepts, there is an improved alignment. Each team member can focus on different perspectives while still sharing the same common goals. 
  • Consistent Preparation

    Creating a standardized approach for negotiation planning helps to ensure that every negotiator is aligned with strategic objectives and can anticipate all potential twists in a negotiation. Planning is often the key to successful execution and positive outcomes. Without a plan, many inexperienced negotiators falter and stumble into common, entirely avoidable, mistakes. 

    A standardized approach provides a framework for managing performance - relying on a common framework lets managers identify individuals that may require more coaching or areas where there is a collective need for more reinforcement or focus. 

    Over time, through reinforcement and continued analysis of individual and organizational performance, results become more and more predictable, even in the face of changing dynamics affecting individual negotiations. The end result is greater confidence in the abilities of negotiators, improved internal alignment around strategic objectives, and consistent and predictable results.

Companies with foresight realize the importance of making sure their team can negotiate successfully on a regular basis. They know that negotiators affect the company’s financial future and growth. Investing in a negotiator workshop not only improves the skills of their team but supplies the tools needed to ensure company-wide growth and gain improved financial results.

Once your team becomes skilled negotiators, they will surge out of the gate with their newfound skills and confidence. Never underestimate the impact of a positive attitude on scoring and drafting a good deal. Self-assurance is a positive in strong negotiations.

Benefits of Negotiation Training

Every business discourse, whether with customers or suppliers, is a give and take balancing act. Negotiations function as a bridge to form strong relationships that push your company ahead.

Your company’s negotiators work with the other side to draft long-lasting solutions and solidify valuable contracts. When all parties rise from the negotiation table and shake hands, everyone should have a feeling of deep satisfaction and walk away knowing future business unions are a possibility.

One of the most significant benefits clients cite about RED BEAR is the common language and tools that help with all aspects of planning and managing negotiations. The skills and behaviors are key, but the planning and preparation across key internal constituents produce the greatest benefits.

Let’s look at the top benefits of negotiation training:

Consistent Performance

  • Strategic Planning - helps identify critical areas the company needs to address at a high level so they can provide guidance at a granular level.
  • Internal Alignment - Gain alignment throughout the company and eliminate silos of influence that often form and can create a roadblock to success.
  • Individual Preparation - Apply strategic objectives to individual negotiations at the customer/supplier level to help ensure that proper attention to detail is achieved in critical outcomes.

Predictable Results

  • Creates alignment on key priorities by understanding critical goals in negotiations and ensures that all negotiators are focused on results.
  • Achieve individual performance improvement using repeatable processes and analyzing results so managers can help coast and reinforce the successful habits.

Scalable Insights

  • Quickly Identify Common Mistakes - The process helps build analysis skills that help identify mistakes and opportunities for team and individual growth.
  • Closing the Execution Gap - Analysis of each of the team members to address trouble areas and further reinforce areas of success to help increase the rate of success.
  • Highlight Opportunities - As the teams implement insights to achieve better results the entire company benefits because they can begin to leverage insights.

RED BEAR Negotiation workshops help to transform your company’s team with powerful training that produces measurable results. Every company should budget to provide proven negotiation training for their employees. It should never be viewed as a perk but as a necessity.

Think about how often every member of your team negotiates and the impact of those negotiations on your company’s profitability. If you choose the right negotiation training program, then your company will garner better financial results and experience measurable growth.

Who Needs Negotiation Training?

If you are trying to figure out which team members to send to negotiation training, then the answer is simple: all of them. Send every member of your company to a workshop or virtual course to learn how to become a better negotiator.

  • Sales Teams - Your sales teams will learn to sell on value, offset price pressure and build strong, lasting customer relationships.
  • Procurement Teams - Procurement teams have a habit of being undertrained and often push too hard for a price. However, negotiation training builds supplier relationships.
  • Internal Teams - Teamwork in internal teams is often contentious. However, negotiation training helps improve productivity while achieving greater internal alignment.

If you send your team to negotiation training, then your company will be home to competent negotiators who will help your business grow quickly and exponentially.

The cost of negotiation training is money well spent and your company will reap the benefits. Every member of your business negotiates on some level daily, so you want to ensure that they have the necessary skills to come out ahead.

Increase Productivity and Profitability

Well-structured negotiation training is an effective way to increase productivity and profitability. When everyone in your company is on the same page and functions like a well-oiled machine, your business experiences increased revenue, greater productivity, improved margins, and stronger business relationships. Remember, with negotiation training, you are helping to truly maximize all angles of profitability with your agreements.

The purpose of honing and learning negotiation skills is to create agreements through a combination of discussion, compromise, and even tension. Everyone involved is working together in a positive way to achieve a goal. For your company, you probably want to obtain something you need or desire so you can ensure greater profitability, productivity, or savings. This can encompass many departments of your business or organization which is why it's so important that all of your employees have stellar negotiation skills.

When running a business, all your employees work to reach agreements with others, whether it is in negotiation supply and procurement, sales, or other objectives.

Forming Successful Business Relationships

If you ask your employees what negotiations mean to them, you’ll probably be surprised how many believe that negotiating is a process used to get what you want. However, this can be a flawed way to look at negotiations. Business negotiations rarely ever use the ‘my way or the highway’ mentality. Successful negotiations help improve, craft, and support relationships that are beneficial for all parties involved.

Skilled negotiators get along well with others and understand the steps needed to not only achieve the company’s aims but also help the other party feel satisfied, too.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Negotiation Training Program

A negotiation training program helps your team avoid ‘wrong turns’ and instead shows them how to make ‘right turns’ to build discernible value with effective negotiations. Think of the training program as a road map that directs you down the same effective path followed by skilled negotiators.

Every day, corporations around the world make thousands of negotiations with suppliers, customers, fellow business partners, and even between departments. If your team gives away dollars due to poor negotiation performance, then it will cut into your company’s profitability and if that slice of the pie becomes too big then your business is going to suffer a monetary loss.

Effective negotiation is the difference between profit and loss. Sadly, most companies lack good or effective negotiation expertise. But with a negotiation training program you can provide your team with the necessary negotiation skills and behaviors they need to become top performers.

Good negotiation skills not only increase the bottom line but also cement lasting relationships that help all parties involved. 

Negotiation Training Programs

You’ll want to pay particular attention to the negotiation training program and the tactics they use. Some teach counter-tactics (negotiating gambits) and counter gambits. They might push and drive dialog but offer extraordinarily little proven success.

Examine Experience

Just because a negotiation training program has been around for a long time does not mean it’s still relevant. Many of the programs you’ll encounter are outdated. They rely on techniques that were popular decades ago. Modern businesses bear truly little resemblance to companies from thirty or more years ago. The working world has undergone significant changes. Negotiation skills have also evolved and supply different pathways to great outcomes. When picking a negotiation training program, you’ll want to find the best program with innovative and proven variables. 

Exploring Academic Programs

The challenge of choosing a negotiation training program is going to take time. You’ll want to focus on finding the proper negotiation training curriculum that is effective and proven. Yes, you could send your team to a university for several weeks (in some cases months) to learn an academic approach, but you’ll more than likely be unhappy with the results.

Price of an Academic Program

The time taken away from work, travel expenses, and the cost of the program are large, and you’ll struggle to achieve a return on your investment. The reality is you’ll probably lose money with this approach and have very subpar results.

Textbook Education vs. Real-Life Business

Another factor to consider with academic programs is they focus on textbook educational skills which are not real life. Most people will struggle to implement the academic skills they learned in the real-life work world.

Sales Training Company for Negotiation Skills

For years (and even still today) many business owners confuse sales training with negotiation skills. However, selling and negotiating are not the same. Each one requires different training and discipline. The two should not be confused or taught as a singular skill. Sales negotiation and sales training are different.

Concisely, sales training focuses on selling and negotiation defines the terms and conditions of business. With selling, you will convince the other party to do business with your company but with negotiating you will work together to figure out the best way that you will both conduct business together.

That is not to say that you do not often combine sales with negotiation. However, you should not start negotiations before completing the sale or everything focuses on price. A great sales professional is not always a great negotiator. They are both specialized skills that require vastly different tools.

Find a Program that Teaches the Skills of a Negotiator

You’ll want to find a program or workshop that truly teaches and hones the skills of a negotiator so you can take your team to the next level and excel beyond your expectations.

Look for programs that teach the following skills:

  • Boundaries: Negotiators should learn boundaries, so they don’t become lost and lose control while drafting the deal.
  • Timing: Learn when to get up and walk away and how and when to target to obtain your desired outcome.
  • Offers: Every negotiation is different, but a skilled negotiator knows who in the room should make the first offer and what factors decide if it is a great outcome or falls short.
  • Concession Process: Learn how to manage the concession process in the negotiation. You’ll need to understand strategies and tools, so you maintain value while expanding beyond what you thought the deal was even worth.
  • Crafting Successful Outcomes: A successful negotiation program will teach you how to craft deals with successful outcomes using crucial tools. How you create and craft each deal decides the outcome and whether it is favorable for your company.

Finding a Cutting-Edge Negotiation Curriculum

Cautiously research the negotiation curriculum for your organization. A lot of courses and universities teach dated material. Much of the old information is ineffective in today’s modern business world.

Nowadays, businesses are connected globally. We can effortlessly access information and data in seconds. Employees are tech-savvy, informed, and organized.

When all parties bring a wealth of knowledge to the table then there is a fundamental shift so the approach in negotiations is conducted differently.

Unfortunately, a lot of what is being taught was first released in the 1980s. It became the foundation on which most of modern negotiations were built. Common negotiations staples include the following books, Getting to Yes and Getting Past No. Each book is well-written and worthy of being the foundation for modern negotiations. However, the keyword in that sentence is ‘foundation’. The books were pre-internet and they do not help with the complex modern negotiations businesses face today.

A lot of old-fashioned negotiation factors have become outdated due to the non-stop data that is readily available.

A cutting-edge negotiation curriculum has to focus on the latest innovative tools to meet the challenges of modern business.

You need to know what data you need and how to use it to achieve the negotiation outcomes that you look for. Modern companies are fast-paced and highly informed.

Harmful and Negative Negotiation Training Courses

Old methods focused on tactics, counter tactics, counter gambits, and gambits which are all a waste of time nowadays because they simply no longer work. They cause the negotiation to become an argument which is counterproductive.

You don't want negotiations to become some sort of competition where the best rebuttal wins. Such old-fashioned teaching protocols spawn competitive negotiations that cause distrust and unease between all parties involved. No one walks away with a win-win outcome. They are a waste of valuable time and resources because they rarely make a good deal.

Avoid any negotiation training program or workshop that uses negative tactics such as intimidation and bullying to gain the upper hand. Courses that focus on negative tactics teach you to act like you don’t care about the deal and hinge on making the other party believe you are willing to walk away.

Negative negotiation training programs will also teach you to go silent to push a better offer. They also want you to voice that you have multiple alternatives so you can drive the negotiation price higher. In some cases, such training programs even call for yelling, the use of profanity, and pounding the table to get your point across. On occasion, the programs even advocate threatening behavior such as alluding to the fact that you will harm the other business if they do not give in to the threats and agree to the deal you are looking for. Such strong-arm tactics are bound to fail and closer to how the Mafia gets things done rather than modern, successful businesses.

If you encounter a program that teaches such tactics, then you should avoid it at all costs. The harmful teachings will not help your company. They will only cause distrust and destroy your company’s reputation in the business world. No one wants to be viewed as a bully. Such programs are a waste of time and money.

Taking a Positive Negotiation Training Approach

It is imperative that you find a negotiation program that takes a positive approach to help your company grow and create strong partnerships with all involved parties.

Look for a negotiation training program that provides tools and strategies that work well with the data rich modern world.

Pick a program that helps herald your company into the modern era of negotiations.

Innovative negotiation workshops focus on the science and help your team grasp the following:

  • Power of anchoring
  • Boundaries
  • Target position
  • Concession strategies
  • Creative easy to craft deals
  • Presentation
  • Collaboration
  • Packing
  • Framing
  • Achieving the best outcomes

A positive and modern negotiation training course helps you access your own negotiation power and use your position. You’ll learn how to shift power (especially if your position was initially weak). Learn to neutralize the negative tactics. You want a negotiation system that weaves well into your company’s particular culture so everyone in your team becomes competent negotiators working on the same page with each other.

Negotiation Training Courses: Experienced and Based on Science

Whatever negotiation program you pick should have a scientific approach that is both tested and proven effective with real negotiations. Academic negotiations are often based on theories and concepts which fall short in the real world. You don’t want your team to be the ones to try out the negotiation theories they learn in class. Instead, you want them using scientifically proven methods when they enter negotiations. If you must assess negotiation concepts to see if they are effective in the real world then you will waste valuable time and money plus many will inevitably fail.

The Tools Needed for Successful Negotiations

Many training programs show you what you need to do but do not outline how to do it. You need to find a training method that shows you not only what to do but how to do it. If your team walks away from the course only learning what they need to do but having no clue how to achieve it then you have wasted your time and money.

A successful negotiation course supplies the knowledge on how to obtain effective and immediate results by giving you the tools you need. Successful modern negotiations take planning, development and execution to ensure the best outcome. Negotiation is not about luck. It is science and there are set rules that when followed will give predictable results.

With a reputable negotiation course, you will learn the processes and tools needed to ensure outcomes. Using business strategies, data, and actions will consistently give you the corporate results you look for. You will learn the abilities you need to consistently gain the results you expect for your business needs. Real negotiation is taught and mastered.

Cost and ROI

As with any business, you care about your company’s budget and ROI. Negotiation training is an investment. It takes a significant amount of time, and the results are not always immediate. Also, if you do start seeing results, you can’t exactly pinpoint that they are due to the training or a result of some other factor.

Many negotiation programs provide you with a means for measuring and tracking results. Some will even track the negotiations in real-time so they can administer costing to improve deals and push progress to achieve greater outcomes. If this is the case, you’ll want to make sure the information is easily accessible to monitor and measure.

With RED BEAR Negotiations the results are measurable. Clients who have taken our courses and workshops usually realize an initial 10x return on their investment which continues to grow after the training ends.

What Does Good Negotiation Training Look Like?

In order to maximize the return on your training investment, you should identify a shortlist of providers that offer negotiation training that encompasses the following components:

  • Customizable Content

    The program is catered to real-world situations that form common challenges and mistakes. It is then tailored for immediate application based on actual day-to-day negotiations. The training is designed for lasting behavior change that is built to reinforce exercises.
  • Experiential Learning

    Negotiation training is highly engaging and more than just a simple theory. It is personalized so each exercise lets the participant docs on their specific challenges or weaknesses. Using cognitive dissonance/effectiveness, the participant uses their instead to deconstruct their performance and apply new techniques to further assess the differences.
  • Flexible Delivery

    RED BEAR is a global presence with negotiation training experts around the globe. Our instructors offer delivery in multiple languages. Many are locally knowledgeable so they have a grasp on the local nuances and customs which can help with cross-cultural negotiations. RED BEAR offers both in-person and virtual workshops.
  • Effective Tools

    A good negotiation training program will provide useful tools to aid in the implementation and reinforcement of newly formed skills. Look for tools that are designed to help with the following:
    • Planning - focused preparation from start to finish.
    • Execution - a proven system distilled into an effective repeatable process.
    • Management - the program is not just a lecture but an actual framework designed for lasting skills development and reinforcement.
  • Reinforcement Exercises

    Stay on top of your learned negotiation skills with reinforcement exercises:
    • Fast and easy exercises that can be repeated as necessary.
    • Personalized exercise that lets you focus on key areas that you feel need improvement.
    • An integrated process that is woven into your company’s existing managerial structures.
  • Measurement of Impact

    To ensure a positive impact and overall return on investment, a good negotiation training program will offer measurement of the following;
    • Skills Adoption - How frequently are the skills applied during negotiations?
    • Linking Training to Outcomes - Measure the causal connection between the newly acquired negotiation skills and the impact on confidence and outcomes.
    • Scalable Insights - Analyze the impact organization-wide to identify the best practices and scale throughout the company.
  • Proven Track Record of Results

    When evaluating providers, carefully consider their track record of working with companies to achieve results. Look for client case studies and be sure to ask to speak to current and former clients directly.

RED BEAR Negotiation Training Courses and Workshops

Our global team of negotiation experts knows what it takes to build successful agreements that protect your company’s interests. Our proven approach and methods that will train your team to negotiate and collaborate with suppliers, customers, and other companies.

RED BEAR negotiation training provides you with the 6 principles of negotiation.

  1. Position Your Case Advantageously
  2. Set High Aspirations
  3. Manage Information Skillfully
  4. Know the Full Range and Strength of Your Power
  5. Satisfy Needs Over Wants
  6. Concede According to Plan

Even with the principles of negotiation, a skilled negotiator also relies on behavior to build tension and gain results.

RED BEAR Negotiation teaches the 5 behaviors needed to achieve success in any negotiation environment. 

Our RED BEAR Negotiation 4-Step Engagement Process begins with a Blueprint. We want to understand you and your company’s particular needs. We will then design and plan the Delivery of your team’s negotiation skills development workshop. Every engagement is concluded with Reinforcement and impact Measurement. We want to ensure behavior change and achievable results.

We offer the following negotiation training workshops:

  • Situational Negotiation Skills™: Learn to negotiate better and make profitable agreements, increase deal sizes, lower discounts and shorten the sales cycle time.
  • Negotiating With Suppliers™: Form better agreements between your business and suppliers that are based on outcomes and results. You’ll learn how to improve supplier performance and achieve higher cost savings while creating balance across all suppliers.
  • Improving Cross-Cultural Negotiation™: Increase your awareness of how culture impacts negotiations so you can hone communication and achieve cross-cultural negotiations.
  • Coaching and Reinforcement Workshop™: Continue to coach, nurture and motivate your team with their newly learned negotiation skills.
  • BEAR Essentials™: Participate in a half-day workshop that helps build awareness and teaches practical negotiation approaches to use with customers, internal stakeholders and suppliers.

Let our workshops and courses teach your team the skills they need to become world-class negotiators. We customize all of our solutions to fit your company’s particular needs. Contact us to learn more today!

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