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Business case I – Initial situation

The key account team of a client should receive a development measure specifically tailored to this group to strengthen their ability to negotiate complex deals.

The participants had all been in their roles for a long time and negotiated the “big” deals. From the manager’s point of view, the group’s results were not as good as they could have been in his opinion, as negotiations were repeatedly broken off and the experienced salespersons did not reach a conclusion.

The manager thought the employees could all negotiate in principle, but they have little sense of when to “close the bag”. After two conversations with potential participants on how they proceeded in two concrete situations, the advisors had considerable doubts about whether the manager correctly assessed the employees’ competencies.

We have agreed on the following programme:


Virtual Kick-off

We presented the programme during a 2-hour online meeting, including the schedule and requirements per programme section. Afterwards we devided the 15 people in subgroups of each three participants. These groups stayed together as peer groups throughout the programme, and they should support each other in their learning. Each peer group received a case study to work on as a first step – together.


E-Learning I

Each participant completed an e-learning block that provided the theoretical background to the Harvard concept.


Case Study

The peer groups work together on a case study and present their results in a one-hour coaching session. The coach gave feedback, explained the theory in the background to the participants, and suggested how the participants could achieve a better result by following the Harvard principles. The coach recommended the participants to try these experiences live in their everyday negotiations until the next coaching session. 


E-Learning II

In another e-learning block, the participants develop a systematic approach for classic negotiation situations in their everyday life based on theory inputs and exercises.


Half-day Online-Workshop

In a half-day workshop, the peer groups presented suggestions for a systematic procedure in everyday negotiation situations. These were discussed and condensed into a standard practice for the participants to test for “suitability” in typical negotiations in the following four weeks.



During a one-hour coaching session, the peer groups reflected on their experiences with the “new” approach and discussed practical examples.



The participants moved within a simulation. They prepared for a negotiation as a peer group and conducted it in three phases. In the end, the group that reached the conclusion and achieved the best result won. The programme ended with a formal closing.