Negotiations and Category Management integrated 

is program developed by two of our trainers

From Authors
We believe it is possible and necessary to develop meaningful long-term relationships between retailers and manufacturers if both parties are willing to find common ground for conversations and have a desire to grow.

Our program offers to take a deeper look into relationship and business conversation management methods as an integral part of category management. The understanding of relationship and category management process helps to develop productive relationships between retailers and manufacturers. It means the parties know to defend their own interests and develop relationship that is favorable for both at the same time.

Mārtiņš Vecvanags and Jana Volovika. Both trainers have significant experience working in Retail category management and/or Supplier side. Both are practitioners of negotiation and category development.

To learn more T. +371 22001894 or E.

Key topics covered in the program:
·       Category management process and application in relationship management
·       Category management strategies and tactics: planning, development and integration in negotiations
·       Decision making psychology
·       Communication tools and methods in relationship management
·       Glimpse into sales techniques – “know thy opponent”
·       Negotiations - strategies, methods and tactics

Program's target audience
·       Sales and key account managers at manufacturing and distribution companies
·       Export managers working with top retail or wholesale companies
·       Marketing and product managers, category managers
·       Retail/Wholesale Category managers, category group managers and buyers
High involvement - 30% trainer experience; 70% individual and group tasks, great opportunity to integrate acquired knowledge in daily work. That includes:
·       Personal experience analysis
·       Practical exercises both individual and in groups
·       Participant engagement, conversations and discussions.
·       Play out and analysis of the negotiation scenarios
·       Homework between sessions and analysis of results

·       Feedback from participants and trainers

Volume of program: 32 hours
Recommended Frequency in online: not more than 4 hours/ 1-2x a week
Recommended Frequency in off-line: not more than 8/week
Group size: 8 – 16 (12 is optimal)
Possible delivery languages: ENG, RU, LV

To learn more T. +371 22001894 or E.


The program is adapted to the specifics of the client's business and the participants' work content

Course objectives, expectations and introduction to course essence
Neuroscience and emotional intelligence in relationship building. 
Opportunity vs. pain. Where should one look for the basis of closing the deal? Your main competitor is other party’s status quo.
Category management definition and process. 
What is category management process and why is it worth talking about when planning negotiations? During this session we will talk about how category management understanding can become the platform for relationship building.
The impact of cultural differences in the negotiations. 
Does everyone run negotiations in the same way? The influence of values and culture on negotiations style and satisfaction from the achieved result. Lewis model and personal value tests. What could we adopt from other cultures, including Chinese, Arabs, French, and Japanese, and how to use it in practice, even if we do not negotiate in a foreign country?
Negotiation’s tool #1. Listen! 
Listening skill is the cornerstone for successful relationship building. Taking over and keeping the initiative using “conversational aikido”. Listening barriers. Building your own question tree – a logical sequence of questions and escalation corresponding to the stage of the negotiations and the relationship. Understand before being understood. When to answer the question and when to avoid it?
Preparing for negotiations. 
Mandatory items to prepare before the negotiations – preparation checklist. Setting the negotiations “scene” – opening the conversation, rules, party roles and wishes, room setting and other small but very important tools. Negotiation before negotiations.
Prioritizing partners and categories. 
Not all the partners and not all the categories are equally important for us. To focus or to try achieving the results on all fronts? To achieve results in all categories with all the partners we will often lack the resources. What should you pay attention to when prioritizing one part of the business over the other?
1 and 2 steps: category definition and category roles
The decisions taken during these two steps lay the base for everything that happens in the category later. In the first step the parties agree on how they understand the category structure, its limits, and shopper decision process. In the second step the retailer prioritizes the categories. We will look into what happens in both steps, how each of them informs tactical decisions later on. We will also discuss how the conversations may turn between the partners based on the decisions taken.
Steps 3, 4, and 5: category assessment, objective setting, choice of the strategy.
During these steps parties analyze category results, understand category development opportunities, set goals and choose KPIs to help you keep track of how close you have come to your target. Based on the set objectives you choose the strategy or, in other words, ways you will achieve them.
Understanding of what happens in the category and clear vision about development opportunities will help preparing for a constructive conversation about the tactical plan (assortment, placement, prices and promotions).
Negotiation theater. 
Negotiations is a theater – parties do not show their real state or constraints, just what is beneficial. What is going on in the head of the other person, why do they tell me this, how does that change my feelings and influences actions? Negotiation benefits, why we do not like to bargain and what to do with it? Main prerequisites for really successful negotiations. Fair price or the price we can agree upon - the negotiations axiom.
Confidence and goals. 
(ZOPA, BATNA, SO/WT). Confidence effect on results. Influencing and changing the confidence. How does it look from both sides of the table?
Selling ideas – tool to engage with decision making mechanism. 
Ability to sell ideas is important to buyers not less than to sellers. Regardless of your side you need to know how to persuade and structure your speech. Always be closing and signs of potential agreement.
Why people object and how to overcome it? Understanding tactics of objection handling may help in any situation of not matching opinions from commercial to personal. Four steps of objection handling.
Step 6: Tactical plan
At this step the assortment is selected, prices are set, planograms created and promotional plan is agreed upon. How does it take place and how can you achieve a better deal? How to use private label as a tool of negotiations?
Negotiation modes. 
Negotiations are not a homogeneous process, and the ability to change the pace and temperature is very important. Aggressive negotiator’s actions in highly competitive negotiations.  The effects of the personal situation and motives of the person who negotiates (what do we not see?); negotiations for mutual benefit (cooperation) – how to find “win-win” situations. The strengths and disasters of organizations – mapping of organizations with conflicting interests within one company.
Steps 7 and 8: category plan implementation and review
Whatever has not materialized in the store will not bring better results and satisfied shoppers. This is why category plan implementation is as important as all the previous steps together. How do we make sure the plans are implemented in the best way possible?
Getting into deadlock. Deadlock as a fact and as a tactic. Why is negotiation deadlock necessary and how to escape it? Practice escaping deadlock.
Tactics in brief. 
What should we do with tactics that we face every day? How can we use them and how can we resist? How to use “fake (funny) money” and how not to fall in its trap?
Decisions and implementations. 
Taking on practical steps and creating own implementation plan

NB! Throughout the program, between sessions there are specific homework assignments for skill integration. Role-playing games with specially prepared discussion cases are used as discussions.

To learn more T. +371 22001894 or E.