Wilson Learning


Awards & Mentions
  • Brandon Hall Award
  • Best Use of Video for Learning
  • Consulting
  • Scriptwriting
  • Story Architecture
  • Video Production

Updating video content for modern media palates.

After meeting the VP of Research and Development for Wilson Learning, Sage Media was asked to update the video scenarios of their wildly popular “Negotiate to Yes” training program. Our evaluation of Wilson Learning’s needs identified more than this initial request. Their training concepts were excellent, and they wanted to keep the scenarios similar to what was tried-and-tested in the past.

Here is some of the impact of that training:

  • Salespeople selling hazardous waste disposal services saw a revenue increase of 53% over the year following the program – a return of more than $2.7 million on a $36,000 investment (a 75:1 ROI).
  • 114 salespeople from a software application provider attributed $345,150 in additional sales to the program – a 24% increase.
  • 19 participants from a healthcare research provider attributed a total of $1.1 million in additional sales as a result of implementing Negotiating to Yes – a 13% increase (ROI of approximately 29:1).
  • A global fine art auction house increased revenue by 18% through the skills they learned in Negotiating to Yes.
  • A global express shipper increased revenue $14 million through new negotiation skills and consultative selling skills.
Before Sage Media

The talking-head portions of the training were largely unlit and staged on location, at a functioning office, rather than a film studio. The frame was littered with unnecessary objects and the presenter seemed to be hiding behind the table – all elements that distracted from the powerful points he was making.

Ury_Before Dr. William Ury
After Sage Media

We cleaned up the frame and positioned Dr. Ury closer to camera. Research shows that viewers remember close faces better, subconsciously perceiving them as intimate and friendly. The gray backdrop was symbolic of the muddled nature of negotiation (no position being truly black or white). Subtle camera movement and multiple angles emphasized poignant aspects of the training: changing perspective and size when certain lines were spoken.

A Consultative Approach

“The facilitator is absolutely thrilled and thinks [the videos] are outstanding! Really well received by participants. They have made such a difference to the quality of the program we are delivering.”

Nancy Frevert
Director, Solution Development
Story Structure

We drafted a script to fit a more contemporary learning environment (and viewer sensibility): overhauling the character design, changing the story world and locations entirely, and shifting the action to behaviors that were analogous to the learning points – rather than a pedantic modeling of behavior.

Character Design

Updating the previous video content required more than simply shooting with more modern cameras at greater resolution: the target demographic had grown alongside the shifting media aesthetics. Audiences were more comfortable with complicated characters that weren’t exactly right, but weren’t exactly wrong either. This idea also happened to be a core concept in their negotiation training.

Full-Scale Video Production

As we moved into the video production phase, our client didn’t have to manage any aspect of logistics, and could enjoy peace-of-mind as we extracted performances from our actors that conveyed the subtle elements of their complex, nuanced training.