Commercial awareness

A two-day workshop

Are you buying or selling?

Whichever side of the fence you’re on, whichever end of the contract, you need a sense of commercial awareness. You need to know how and when to protect your own organisation’s interests, especially when warning bells should be ringing in your head when talking to the other party. But you also need an appreciation of the commercial and financial imperatives driving them and the decisions they make.

This commercial awareness training programme is designed to give you the necessary understanding of commercial behaviour, from basic principles to the business environment, the legal environment, the financial environment, and the negotiation environment.

The issues are similar whichever ‘side’ you’re on, although the programme can be tailored to different perspectives – commercial, sales, procurement, operational.

Learning objectives

This highly engaging and participative workshop will help participants:

  • Understand how they can best contribute to the success of the organisation
  • Recognise the principal commercial and stakeholder issues
  • Spot a red-flag issue when it arises
  • Know when to escalate an issue – and to whom
  • Read a contract
  • Make sense of a set of accounts
  • Develop their negotiation skills

By the end of the programme, participants will have a better understanding of the key elements of properly commercial behaviour – and, even more importantly, increased confidence in putting their skills and knowledge into practice.

Who should attend?

Anyone looking to develop their business acumen, whatever side of the equation they’re coming from.


A very practical, interactive two-day session for a maximum group size of 12. The style is upbeat and motivational. Short sessions from the trainer cover the key concepts, theories, and best practice. Case studies of real-world scenarios are used to help participants understand the practical application of commercial principles. Participants are encouraged to share their insights, experiences, and challenges. Numerous exercises (individual and group) are used throughout the programme to reinforce learning and foster teamwork among participants.

Special features

This two-day commercial awareness training programme can be delivered face-to-face or virtually – the choice is yours. If virtual, you can choose whether to retain the two-day format or have four half-day sessions instead. Either way, virtual or on-site, participants are assured of the same high-quality learning experience. You can also choose to have the programme tailored to the requirements of a particular team or operating environment.

Expert trainer

Graham specialises in providing high-quality consultancy, coaching and training in commercial issues, client relationships and stakeholder management, and personal productivity. Over the last twenty-five years he has personally trained or coached over 30,000 business professionals. He is a member of the International Institute of Coaching and a qualified NLP Master Trainer. His work has taken him all over the world and involved him in working closely with hundreds of different organisations from all business sectors, his client list including such organisations as BT, Vodafone, AT&T, Orange, Pfizer, GSK, Boots, Unilever, American Express, Thomas Cook, Apple, Sony, Motorola, Cisco, MFI, Barclays Bank, LIFFE, Abbey National, Prison Service, Home Office, Law Society, BBC, Daimler-Chrysler, Citroen, Weetabix, Nikon, Shell and many, many others.

Graham has written over twenty books, published in several different countries, including Working Smarter, Companies don’t succeed – people do!, and Customer Relationship Management.

Known internationally as both a trainer/coach and a popular motivational speaker, he believes that effective learning has to be interactive and challenging. All his learning events are built around practical exercises, role play and case studies. His training style focuses not on just explaining new ideas or developing new skills, but also on motivating people to use them and to develop themselves as individuals. This approach gets results, as the following comments from programme participants show:

‘Brilliant course, really interesting and very focused to my job role and day to day work.’

‘Took away some very good ideas that I can use every day… good examples too.’

‘Very confident in the subject, and amusing too. Made the course very interesting. A very clear model to use going forward.’

‘Extremely well presented and structured’

1 The elements of commercial behaviour and business acumen

  • The key elements of success in a business
  • Factors which make the difference between business success and failure in contracts and project management
  • Examples of good and bad commercial behaviour (and contractual mistakes)
  • Commercial awareness best practice checklist and summary

2 The commercial environment

  • Understanding your company: business strategy, objectives / organisation
  • Identifying and managing the network of internal and external relationships
  • Briefing and communication skills
  • Establishing and using authority and influence
  • Pricing: the need to secure (or award) business at a reasonable margin

3 The legal environment

  • What is a contract?
  • The key elements of contract law
  • Rights and remedies when contracts go wrong
  • Key pitfalls to be aware of, eg, intellectual property, limits of liability, penalties and damages
  • Legal awareness best practice checklist and summary

4 The financial environment

  • Understanding the key financial documents: the balance sheet, the profit and loss account and the cash flow statement
  • Profits versus cash flow
  • Methods of costing and the benefits and pitfalls of each
  • Discounted cash flow and Net Present Value as a way of evaluating projects and pricing

5 Effective negotiation

  • Win-win and win-perceived win forms of negotiation
  • Push and pull styles of persuasion; the five modes
  • Behavioural skills in negotiation
  • How to plan and structure your negotiation
  • The most commonly made negotiation errors
  • Negotiation best practice checklist and summary

6 Action plan and learning summary

Any questions? Please just give us a call on 01582 463463 – we’re here to help!