Seminar for Contractors, Engineers, and Project Management Professionals

The KARRASS Effective Negotiating®
Seminar for Contractors, Engineers, and Project Management

Over 1,000,000 engineers, managers, consultants, salespeople, corporate officers, and other professionals have attended KARRASS Effective Negotiating® seminars. Our company has set the standard for negotiating training for over 45 years.

“Everyone negotiating contracts should take this course. Excellent class. Best I’ve had in my 14 plus years here!”
-Supervising Engineer
“The information presented gave me a new perspective for my negotiations. Great course!”
-Design Engineer

You Are Negotiating

It’s with a government agency over a big change order, or maybe you are trying to resolve a design or technical issue with a consultant. Maybe you’re trying to finalize a claim, or prevent a dispute from escalating.

You’re in the middle of a project, your customer wants to change the specifications. Your customer views it as a simple change that should not affect the price. You know this change will result in additional costs.

You feel anxious. You don’t want to knuckle under. You also don’t want to appear to be playing hardball and antagonize the other person.

How would a good negotiator handle it? There are some people who always seem to get what they want and still end up friendly with the other person after the agreement is reached. How do they do it?

We’ll Show You How

This is a fast-paced, hard-hitting, non-confrontational, and enjoyable two-day seminar. We’ll teach and demonstrate practical skills, strategies, and tactics that you can use immediately.

This seminar provides engineers, project managers, contract managers, architects, and construction and design professionals with practical techniques and psychological insights needed to help make better Both-Win® agreements.

More than just a single seminar, KARRASS provides extensive follow-up.
Each attendee receives a comprehensive package of materials to reinforce the concepts discussed during the seminar, including a seminar workbook, two of Dr. Karrass’s hardcover books, online access to over three hours of streaming audio designed to refresh your memory of the seminar, and the KARRASS Compass–the negotiation coaching and navigational tool.

Not Your Typical Seminar

“I can’t wait to try this out. It would have taken me ten years of trial and error to learn what I’ve picked up in the last two days.”

We’ll show you how to avoid common assumptions that only reduce your negotiating power. Assumptions like:

  • The customer has many options. Other vendors can do the same project for a lot less. But, in fact, the customer may have no other bids anywhere close to your price, or the other vendors may be tied up with other projects.
  • The customer has a limited budget. Maybe for this fiscal year, but they have plenty in next fiscal year’s budget, which starts in just a couple of months.
  • They have enough capabilities to do it themselves. But only if they bump other projects that have higher priority.
  • It’s in their favor if we can’t reach agreement and end in a deadlock. But they have other critical projects and deadline pressures.

During the seminar, we’ll show you how to identify and handle tactics that often put you on the defensive. Comments like:

  • Are you kidding? Your competition is offering to complete this project in half the time!
  • Where did you get this price? We’ve got four other bids and they’re all so much less!
  • We don’t have the kind of budget you’re talking about here.
  • You need 60 people to do this phase, last time we only used 32.

Handling the Tough Negotiating Issues

The Schedule: How to negotiate an effective, get-well plan when unforeseen problems and delays threaten to cause the project to miss important milestones.

Changes: How to anticipate the type and magnitude of changes that might occur and to protect yourself from being pressured into doing them for free.

Cost Breakdowns/Value Propositions: How to protect against providing cost information while establishing the value in cost savings or revenue generation for your customer.

Maintaining a Good Working Relationship: How to calm an irate customer who may involve senior management or go around you, or may cancel the project or a portion of the job.

Managing the Project: Ensuring you control the project and get active participation from your customer’s key resources to prevent unexpected delays that may be difficult to overcome later.

Beware of the Funny Money Trap

Don’t lose sight of the real dollar value involved when negotiating over:

  • Daily or hourly fees for consulting, appraisers, agents, or specialty sub-contractors.
  • Mobilization costs.
  • Price per cubic yard of concrete, excavation, or price per ton of asphalt.
  • Unscheduled customer meetings.
  • Delays caused by the customer, or a third party.
  • Payment at the end of project vs. payments based on percentage of work completed.
  • Work hours of direct labor.
  • Equipment rate per hour.
  • Data processing rate per hour.

You’re in Good Company

Companies such as GM, General Electric, Boeing, Bechtel, Dillingham Construction, Fluor, Halliburton, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and Turner Construction have all used KARRASS Effective Negotiating® seminars to help sharpen their negotiating skills. See our client list »

We examine innocent, yet untimely statements you may make that can put you at a disadvantage and jeopardize negotiations.

  • We’ve got plenty of resources available right now.
  • Don’t worry, we can incorporate that change later. I’ll take care of it at no additional charge.
  • We’ve had a tough spring. If we land this contract it will bring us back to plan.
  • There are still a few design issues we have to figure out.

We demonstrate the art of creative compromise and the best way to make concessions.

  • How do you build a credible opening position?
  • What is the best way to trade minor concessions for major concessions?
  • Why splitting the difference is never a good idea.
  • How to say no in a way that minimizes resentment from your customer.
  • How small concessions add up. Using the "quid-pro-quo" technique to build a stronger agreement and easy concessions from the customer that may have much greater value to your company.

Building Your Negotiating Power

How to lend legitimacy to every position taken.

How to develop probing questions to uncover your customer’s real position.

Techniques for getting budget information while protecting your team from giving away detailed cost breakdowns.

When and how to use a team negotiating approach.

Establishing milestones to keep the project on schedule, and to surface and solve problems at an early stage to avoid stressful confrontations.

How to gain greater insight into the hidden pressures your customer has placed on their own project managers, purchasing managers, consultants, and other staff.

Understanding how cultural differences affect the way people negotiate.

Discover How to Make Creative Both-Win® Agreements

Redefining the scope of the customer’s requirements may allow you to lower your customer’s total cost. The project is now easier for your team to complete and is more profitable.

A willingness to share risk and resources can save money for both parties.

Adjusting project phases and implementation to save money while optimizing resources.

Adjust customer and company resources in order to identify inefficiencies through testing, documenting, inspecting, and quality control, thus streamlining the project’s flow of work.

Using a better mix of labor to ensure completion on schedule.

Using your customer’s work facilities or administrative resources to lower your overhead.

What are Construction, Engineering, and Project Management Professionals saying about the KARRASS Effective Negotiating® Seminar?

“The course was very valuable and I am recommending that the course be held again next year so more of our staff can be trained.”
-Construction Group Chief
“I generally despise training courses with games or role-playing. However, the ones used for this course were all very effective, interesting, and fun.”
-Contracts Manager
“I liked how the presenters tied the fundamental principals of negotiation to our specific construction-related challenges.”
-Project Manager
“I have recommended to our Division Director that we should have all of our consultant contract managers attend this seminar. For that matter, any of our people who work directly with consultants or contractors should have this training.”
-Bridge Design Engineer
“For the most part, I’m not a big believer in training. We have too much work to do. But, every once in a while, one comes along that you can really use and this was one of them. I’ve got to say this course was the best I’ve ever been involved with. You guys do a fantastic job and I have used the tools many times since the course, both at work and in my private life. The information presented gave me a new perspective for my negotiations. Great course!”
-Project Manager
“This seminar teaches, in a hands-on, relevant, and inspiring manner, many concepts that I believe will help us all to be more effective negotiators.”
-Design Engineer
“This course has helped me concentrate on the opposing side’s tactics and strategies, instead of losing composure to emotions. I have and will continue to recommend this course to others.”
-Construction Engineer
“The course was very valuable. I will be able to advise those people that negotiate contract costs what to ask for and look for.”
-Field Engineer