VBA Negotiation Skills Negotiating skills

The Huthwaite VBA (Verbal Behaviour Analysis*) Negotiation skills programme is for people – whether they come from sales, procurement, or any other part of the modern organisation – who regularly negotiate. It provides negotiation skills for more effective business negotiations.

Who is the VBA Negotiation Skills programme for?

A typical participant in this programme regularly negotiates about a relatively small range of issues (usually not more than half a dozen). They do so quite frequently and often deal with another party in the form of a one-to-one conversation.

The topics of their negotiation are often fairly similar from one day to the next which means that they will have the autonomy or mandate to agree terms without referral back inside their organisation for additional complex scenario planning.

The learning will give your people tools and skills to avoid concessions, reach swiftly agreed conclusions, sustain good relationships with customers and/or suppliers, and approach all the negotiations that they typically face with renewed confidence.

We also offer another, different programme for those engaging in more complex negotiations – find out more here.

You can find out more about this programme by downloading the course overview below, or get in touch to discuss your specific needs with us.


"We are experiencing more positive outcomes and at the same time seeing real improvements in our bottom-line. Huthwaite’s flexible and tailored approach will continue to create value for both us and our customers into the future." ArcelorMittal

What will you get from the VBA Negotiation Skills Training Programme?

This programme is designed to provide your people with the skills they need to be more effective negotiators. This means better deals, better prices and more efficient communications.

By the end of the negotiation skills programme, participants will:

  • understand the differences and relationship between selling and negotiating
  • prepare and plan in a structured way, using the VBA Success Model
  • develop strategies and tactics to manage the movement of the negotiation to a desired outcome
  • understand where power comes from in negotiations and develop bargaining strategies that will bring about the best outcome
  • confidently use the behaviours in the VBA Success Model in face-to-face negotiations
  • develop strategies for maintaining a positive climate and dealing with negative tactics
  • create an Action Plan for continued development of the skills.

Content of the programme

The content of the VBA Negotiation Skills programme is based on extensive original research conducted by Huthwaite International and incorporates proven techniques for more effective negotiating. It includes:

Preparing for the negotiation

  • Setting objectives and fallbacks.
  • 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-term v. short-term.

Negotiation skills

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

Methodology & delivery of the programme

The VBA Negotiation Skills programme is a two-day classroom based programme which is preceded by about two hours of e-learning. Topics of the e-learning include: defining negotiation, negotiation in the Buying Cycle, objectives and fallbacks, power, bargaining, and an introduction to the case study.

In the classroom, delegates do short exercises to practise the behaviours which Huthwaite has 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 VBA Success Model.

With this cycle of input, practise, evaluation and feedback we promote the development of skills during and after the course.

The two-day negotiating skills programme is staffed by one Huthwaite trainer for up to twelve delegates.

Customisation options for your business

We have numerous customisation options to maximise the return on investment by aligning the event to your delegates’ real-world. These include:

  • Buy-side, sell-side or mixed.
  • Pre-programme consultation to assess gaps in processes, skills and confidence levels using the Huthwaite Negotiation Quick Test.
  • Customised negotiation simulations.
  • Coaching to help embed the training.
  • Real deal workshops using a Huthwaite coach.

Find out more

If you’d like to find out more about this programme or discuss specifics for your business, get in touch with us using our online contact form, via telephone or on email.

 *VBA stands for Verbal Behaviour Analysis, the research and training methodology that underpins all Huthwaite programmes and that aims to give you the skills to behave as closely as possible to our validated models of successful people achieving successful outcomes.