Case Study: Negotiation Skills Coaching
The client is a global manufacturer and marketer of hardware and networking equipment. The company distributes their products and services in more than 100 countries and they have multiple manufacturing operations.
The Learning and Development function created a management development framework for the company and wanted to build the capability of their new and emerging managers, equipping them with core negotiation skills. Many managers had previously had little development to support them in their roles. The company had a history of product training but not much experience of developing soft skills when it came to negotiating with their clients. The challenge was to design a program which would build the team’s negotiation skills to a consistent level across the team so that everyone could be better negotiators.
Our two day program formed a key foundation for the Management Development framework. We created a custom made version for the client in four phases. These covered defining goals and identifying key issues, clarifying positions and interests, creating options, and making contingency plans. The program design consisted of using valuable case studies and also using useful exercises to demonstrate the importance of achieving win/win outcomes. Each individual was required to apply the new skills into workable outcomes for their customer meetings, and role play exercises. Being able to identify what ‘road blocks’ or ‘ploys’ might be adopted by the other party in the negotiation role play exercises were also a useful learning outcome, knowing how to deal with these situations helped provide greater confidence – even to the experienced negotiators.
Core to the success of the program was ensuring a balance between keeping the relationship on track and agreeing to a good deal. We used a range of tools, processes, coaching, and skills practice aimed at ensuring the client would be able to increase their profits while achieving a win-win result.
Key Learning Point: It was recognized how important it is to examine their preferred negotiating style (or styles), and to understand and appreciate that there are other styles that may be useful to use in negotiating. They also learned to identify the style of those they are negotiating with.
We work with the client on an ongoing basis to continue to reinforce accountability and sustainability of learning. More recently the client has introduced a revised action plan which challenges participants to record the ROI of their actions. The aim of this is to help them to focus on which actions will make the biggest difference to the business and to present back to the business a collated record of what ROI has been achieved.