Premier Auction House Increases Revenue by 18% Through Advanced Negotiation Skills

Business Issue

In the world of the fine art auction, relationships are critical to success. This means it is essential that necessary negotiations are conducted respectfully within the context of the business interests of both the auction house and its customers. This particular organization’s top specialists were challenged to respond to a wide range of negotiation scenarios, requiring them to be both strong negotiators and highly adaptable to accommodate a variety of situations. It was also a top priority to maintain strong customer relationships, as the reputation of the auction house relied heavily on the experience of their customer and vendor base.


To maximize their relationship and the success of their negotiations, Wilson Learning worked with this global auction house to provide a principled negotiation program that focused on the interests of both their customers and their own organization. This initiative was supported by senior managers and incorporated a follow-up and reinforcement approach to ensure a deeper understanding and application of the new principled negotiation approach and skills.


Feedback from a structured impact survey with these specialists reported positive results in their behavior, performance, and business outcomes. Some achievements include:

  • 100% of participants said they are able to negotiate more positive outcomes due to the skills they learned.
  • 92% of participants said they maintained positive relationships, improved the quality of their negotiations, and were able to say “no” to unreasonable demands due to the skills they learned.
  • 91% of participants found it was easy to apply the skills learned in the program back on the job.
  • When asked to focus on a single negotiation with a vendor, participants attributed, on average, more than 18% of the revenue associated with those negotiations to the skills learned from the Wilson Learning solution.


The fine art auction house experienced valuable business results from their specialists participating in Wilson Learning’s Negotiating to Yes program, including improved customer/vendor relationships, better negotiations, and increased revenue. Early results were tracked across 12 individual sales. Of the revenue generated in this period of time, 18% was attributed to the skills participants learned in Wilson Learning’s program. The Global Head of Learning and Development expected these results to grow as they moved into a busier season with a greater number of negotiations taking place.

. . . More than 18% of the revenue associated with those negotiations was attributed to the skills learned from the Wilson Learning solution.

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