Yes, you can learn negotiation techniques online. It is not an “inferior” approach to instructor-led classroom role-play-based teaching. E-learning is simply a different learning mode that fits with the way the modern professional wants to learn.

1. It’s global: E-learning breaks physical barrier limitations. With internet access negotiators from any part of the world can access content 24/7/365 on desktop, laptop or tablet.

2. Learn at your own pace: With internet access learning is provided on demand. Got a negotiation coming up and need to prepare and plan? Need to decide on the negotiation strategy? E-learning is there to help just when you need it.

3. It’s interactive: The best way to “sense-check” your negotiation strategy or determine if “I have been doing it the right way all these years?” is to self-evaluate using e-learning’s scenarios, checkpoints and quizzes based on real-life scenarios.

4. Use and learn at the same time: Negotiation e-learning is packed with templates that can be used to model the learner’s own negotiation strategy. By completing the templates the learning and negotiation execution happen at the same time.

5. It’s inclusive: Negotiation e-learning focuses not only on the buyer’s role and negotiation tactics but on those of stakeholders and suppliers too. E-learning takes into account all parties’ perspectives and counter-tactics.

6. Leaves no stone unturned: Negotiation e-learning reminds us that no single tactic or personal negotiating style makes for an effective negotiation. Each negotiation must be tailored and adapted to secure an effective agreement.

7. It’s flexible: Negotiation e-learning can be used standalone or blended with other learning modes such as pre and post online negotiation skills assessment, instructor-led negotiation simulation and online coaching.

ADR International trains thousands of buyers and contract managers globally in negotiation skills.

This support is given through instructor led classroom training, online negotiation eLearning modules and team coaching where our procurement experts work together and negotiate alongside the client’s negotiating team.

This experience has provided ADR International with a unique insight into the most common mistakes made when negotiating with suppliers, and the impact of those mistakes on the organization’s financial and operational performance.

For example

  • Failed savings opportunities
  • Damaged supplier relationships
  • Reduced quality from suppliers
  • Demotivated suppliers

The top 3 mistakes that drive these sub-optimal results are:

1. Lack of adequate planning to strengthen the BATNA

Most negotiators fail to spend enough time planning. You must create and strengthen the best alternative to negotiated agreement (BATNA) through:

  • Aligning negotiation objectives with your organization’s business requirements
  • Consulting stakeholders who will be impacted by the negotiation
  • Deciding your most desired outcome (MDO) and least acceptable agreement (LAA) (your walk-away point).
  • Having a credible back-up if the discussions fail (BATNA).

2. Poor insight into the other negotiating party’s objectives

It is common to spend too much time assessing your own organization’s perspective, and not enough time thinking about the supplier’s point of view:

  • How do they position you as a customer or potential customer?
  • What are their objectives from this agreement and the wider commercial relationship?
  • What are the supplier’s most desired outcome (MDO) and least acceptable agreement (LAA) (their walk-away point)

3. Underestimating the power of concession planning

Concessions are “trade-offs” or bargaining items that can be traded with the other negotiating party. Concessions by both parties allow the negotiation to progress.  Planning for concessions is vital to ensure that you secure an agreement closer to your MDO than the supplier’s MDO.  Negotiators need to plan their concession strategy so that:

  • They have as many potential concessions as possible
  • They always obtain a concession from the supplier of equal or greater value in exchange for your concession
  • They are able to respond appropriately to the concessions made by the supplier