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Negotiation Skills for Contracts and Commercial Managers Training Course

This highly interactive course has been specially developed for contracts and commercial managers, focussing on a negotiation methodology specific to this challenging role.

25 September 2024
+ 10 December 2024 »

from £499

Need help?  Enrol or reserve

Course overview

This highly interactive course emphasises why it is so important to engage in the battle of the forms and achieve agreement between the contracting parties. It explains how a well negotiated contract can add value and minimise exposure to potential risks and later disputes / litigation. It also covers how a well negotiated contract can add value and strengthen a long-term relationship, developing collaboration to realise opportunities and make the management of projects easier, with fewer risks and less delays.

This course will give delegates the methodology to prepare for negotiation in a thorough, comprehensive and structured manner, and enable them to have clarity in what they aim to achieve from the negotiation and identify the best approach.

This course combines theory with practical application, giving delegates structure to how they approach a contract negotiation so that they are fully informed, which in turn instills confidence ready to achieve results.

This course will look at the content of the negotiation and the process of the negotiation, without the use of legal jargon.

This course is part of our Commercial Management training courses series which aims to help individuals gain confidence in a range of areas surrounding contract law, and broader business management knowledge.

Benefits of attending

By attending this course you will develop your skills to:

  • Plan the best way to prepare for a negotiation
  • Understand how to add value and minimise exposure to risks 
  • Get to grips with the best techniques to achieve positive outcomes
  • Learn how to build and sustain relationships with key stakeholders
  • Use best practice techniques to undertake the negotiation
  • Evaluate outcomes and reach formal written agreement

Who should attend?

All those who need to gain the latest knowledge and skills to succeed in negotiating contracts, including:

  • Contracts and commercial managers and engineers
  • Business development managers
  • Project and procurement managers
  • All those involved in the negotiation and management of commercial business contracts

Enrol or reserve

This course will cover:


Ensuring the outcome of the negotiation is legally binding

  • Legal protection
    • Exercise – Co-op v ILC (International Computers Limited now part of Fujitsu)
    • Creating a legally binding contract – LILAC
    • Legality (including Bribery Act, Competition Act, Unfair Contract Terms Act, Misrepresentation / Duress)
    • Intent
    • Legal capacity v Power of attorney
    • Agreement (Offer & Acceptance, battle of the forms. Invitation to treat v offer. Letter of Intent. Authority to proceed)
    • Consideration, legal value (FOC offerings / project reviews and amendments to scope)
  • What, and why, are we negotiating
    • Understanding the relationship between implied term and express terms in Contract law
    • Shape and form of a contract
    • Implied terms (statute, Acts of Parliament)
    • Express terms (negotiated terms agreed verbally, in writing or by conduct)
  • Understanding the starting position in statute (Implied terms) and how, and why, Express terms amend or deviate from the Implied terms. Focus of the ‘why’ being:
    • Clarity - removing ‘one size fits all’ subjective, ambiguous elements of implied terms, i.e. acceptance criteria revised from ‘satisfactory quality’ to quantitative measurements, e.g. KPI’s /service levels etc
    • Implications of the ‘Reasonable’ rule in English contract law
    • Meaning of ‘best endeavours’ and ‘reasonable endeavours’
    • Importance of using the ‘Definitions’ section in the contract
  • Proactive risk management – allocating ownership of contractual promises and liability if contract is breached / contractual promise broken.
    • Placing risk with party best able to manage it
    • Monetary compensation v practical solutions / remedies e.g. ‘solutions not problems’,
    • Plan Bs / contingency plans to move the project forward. Avoid litigation
    • Take advantage of stronger bargaining position to reduce own liability / risk exposure
    • Transparency to enable effective Supply Chain Management (SCM)
    • Relationship management: ‘win-win’ for long term gains. Realising opportunities
    • Exercise – Review of sample Express term clauses

Preparing for the negotiation

  • Negotiation is two fold: content and process. Step 1: content
    • Greenhalgh Negotiation model – Preparation, Relationship, Information gathering, Information using, Closing, Implementing the Agreement
  • Understanding your strategy – objectives / goals
    • Establishing the drivers influencing you:
    • Company policy / mission
    • Relationship (with other party) or Task (achieving the best outcome for you)
    • Win/Win v Win/Lose. Carter’s pie theory: increasing pie size or getting largest slice.
    • Time v Quality v Price (Slack, Chambers & Johnson’s Iron Triangle)
    • Attitude to risk: risk minimisation or sharing risk. Risk Management Strategies: 4T’s (Tolerate; Transfer; Terminate; Treat)
    • Methodology for determining priorities: MIL, Must have; Intent to have; Like to have
    • Methodology for cost v benefit analysis of amount of time and effort give to negotiation reflecting the criticality of the outcome: Kraljic matrix – leverage; strategic; non-critical; bottleneck
    • Exercise – Price v Scope or Risk
    • Exercise - Preparing your MIL
    • Exercise – Drafting potential settlement zones. 4T’s

Determining your bargaining position

  • Different theories / methodologies, same logic:
    • Determining the bargaining power of each of the negotiating parties.
      • Difference sources of power: Reward; Coercive; Expert; Informational; Referent; Legitimate
      • “BRA”: Best Realistic Alternative / “BATNA”: Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement
      • Porter’s 5 Force: Bargaining power of suppliers; of buyers; threat of new entrants; threat of substitutes; industry rivalry
      • Porter’s Generic Strategies for Competitive Advantage model: cost leadership; cost focus; differentiation; differentiation focus.
      • Steel & Court’s Supplier Preferencing model – Development; Core Business; Nuisance; Exploitable. Attractiveness of buyer’s organisation and value of buyer’s business to the supplier
      • SWOT analysis: Strengths; Weaknesses; Opportunities; Threats
      • Cox’s Power and Dependency matrix
    • Exercise – Porter’s Generic Strategies

Undertaking the negotiation

  • Negotiation is two-fold: content and process. Step 2: process
    • Greenhalgh Negotiation model – Preparation, Relationship, Information gathering, Information using, Closing, Implementing the Agreement
    • Aligning your negotiation style and tactics to your bargaining position and strategy

Negotiation style

  • Exercise – negotiation questionnaire identifying delegates default style
  • Different theories, same message:
    • 6 styles theory: Acceptance, Compromise, Threat, Emotion, Bargain, Logic.
    • Cooperative (bargaining & logic) v Competitive (threats).
    • 3 C’s: Compromise, Compete, Collaborate 
    • 3 types – Assertive (aggressive), Accommodator (relationship oriented), Analyst (conflict avoidant)
    • Thomas–Kilmann dual concern model: Competing, Accommodating, Avoiding, Compromising or Collaborate.
    • Constructive v Destructive
    • Push (exerting power) / Pull (persuasion) influences during a negotiation
    • Rational compromise
  • Consciously selecting an appropriate style to achieve objectives
  • Exercise – ‘Push’ / ‘Pull’ and ‘Constructive’ / ‘Destructive’ approaches

Negotiation tactics

  • Confidence v arrogance
  • Honest and trust, more than just rapport. Relationship values and drivers. Avoiding getting trapped in the ‘vicious circle of blame’
  • Acknowledgement of past interactions – good or bad
  • ‘Framing’ the negotiations
  • Opening the negotiation / effective listening & asking questions, gaining insight
  • Exchange of information / being aware of your own disclosures
  • Getting a reply: ‘rephrasing / reframing’ the same question
  • Use of empathy for ‘win-win’ and/or to encourage disclosure of information
  • Ury & Fisher’s - ‘Getting to Yes’: separating people from the problem; focusing on interest rather than position (Not what but why, reasons behind stance); generating options; focus on objectives
  • Body language
  • Silence tactic – using it / diffusing it
  • Breaking deadlock and moving negotiations forward
  • Exercise – Effective questioning

Approach and environment to reflect objectives and maximise desired outcome

  • Timing
  • Mode / venue
  • Environment
  • Atmosphere
  • Attendees


Structuring negotiations and good ‘housekeeping’

  • Establishing power of attorney of attendees
  • Ensuring confidentiality
  • Keeping negotiation open until formal written agreement signed
  • Focus – use of agenda: pros and cons
  • Summarising and capturing the agreement accurately

Final questions

Enrol or reserve

Catherine Hurst
Hurst Consulting and Training Limited

Catherine Hurst BSc(Hons), CIMDip, PgDL, is an independent consultant in the contract and commercial fields. She was formerly a Commercial Manager at BAe Systems, following previous contract/commercial roles with GEC and Siemens. She has extensive practical experience of bid management, contract drafting and negotiation, contract and subcontract management as well as commercial risk management, both with UK and overseas customers and suppliers, in the private and public sectors.

She is a highly experienced trainer, having a style which brings a subject to life, creating interest and stimulating the enthusiasm of delegates. She combines academic best practice with real world experience.

She lecturers Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) diploma, levels 4, 5 & 6 at Chichester college. As well as being a member of CIPS, Catherine has a degree in Management Studies, a Chartered Institute of Marketing diploma and more recently achieved a distinction in her Common Professional Examination (CPE)/Post-grad diploma in law, winning the prize for the highest achieving student in the contract law module.

Catherine has successfully provided training to organisations across a wide variety of industries, including:

Transport / utilities / energy / construction / engineering / IT / telecons: Network Rail, ScotRail, Balfour Beatty, London Underground, Westinghouse Springfields Fuels, General Dynamics, Siemens, Metronet, Thales, ABB, Hitachi, Jungheinrich, Honeywell, PALL Europe, Senior Aerospace BWT, RES (Renewable Energy Systems), AGI, Silvertown, QinetiQ, Clyde Pumps / Weir Pumps, Scottish Power, NCOC (North Caspian Operating Company), Computacentre, CISCO, BT, United Utilities

Health / pharmaceutical / education: Nuffield Health, Surrey PCT, Bristol Myers-Squibb, Newcastle University, Exeter University

Public: Forensic Science Services, Office for National Statistics, DARA (Defence Aviation Repair Agency), Metropolitan Police

Charity: Phoenix Futures, Homegroup

Retail: Co-op

More details

NEW higher discounts for multiple bookings - bring your colleagues to make your training budget go further:

  • 30% off the 2nd delegate*
  • 40% off the 3rd delegate*
  • 50% off the 4th delegate*

Please contact us for pricing if you are interested in booking 5 or more delegates

25 September 2024

Live online

09:30-17:15 UK (London) (UTC+01)
10:30-18:15 Paris (UTC+02)
04:30-12:15 New York (UTC-04)
Course code 14211

  • GBP 499 599
  • EUR 719 859
  • USD 823 979

Until 21 Aug

View basket 

Not ready to book yet?

for 7 days, no obligation

10 December 2024

Live online

09:30-17:15 UK (London) (UTC+00)
10:30-18:15 Paris (UTC+01)
04:30-12:15 New York (UTC-05)
Course code 14212

  • GBP 499 599
  • EUR 719 859
  • USD 823 979

Until 05 Nov

View basket 

Not ready to book yet?

for 7 days, no obligation

* Early booking discounts may not be combined with other discounts or offers. As such, the discounts for 2nd/3rd/4th delegates are based on the full price; and apply only when booking multiple delegates on the same date.

Reviews of IPI's Negotiation Skills for Contracts and Commercial Managers training course

It was a good presentation and everything delivered was relevant to the training, the speaker has vast knowledge about this domain and she explains well with all the facts and scenarios.

Apr 26 2024

Umer Shakeeb
Category Manager, NTT DATA UK LTD

United Kingdom

  • NTT DATA UK Limited
  • NTT Data UK Ltd



Enrol or reserve

Multiple colleagues? See above for details of our discounts for 2, 3, or 4 delegates. For more, talk to one of our training experts to discuss how to:

Run this course conveniently and cost-effectively in-house for your staff and colleagues

Aleksandra Beer

Aleksandra BEER
Training expert

Yesim Nurko

Training expert

+44 (0)20 7749 4749