Program Outline + Sample Role Play

  1. situation outline

  2. character profiles

  3. situation and task

  4. stages of the conversation and phrases to use

  5. sample dialogue

  6. assessment instructions

  7. Situation Outline

IT specialist GlobalSoft has been growing rapidly over the past five years, and is constantly increasing its customer base. Now GlobalSoft also wants to move into international markets and has formed a team that specializes in dealing with international business accounts. One of the team members is speaking to a prospective client, a Belgium-based logistics provider that is working closely with DHL.

  1. Character Profiles

a) Mike Fairland

You are a 35-year-old marketing specialist with a BA in Business Communication. You have been working for GlobalSoft for three years. You joined the international market team one year ago. Your strengths are negotiating with difficult clients and generating new key accounts.

b) Fabrice Badeau

You are 55 and the Executive Vice President and General Manager International of LogiTech, a large logistics company. You are married and have two adult children. You have a Master of Business Adminsitration from Harvard and a BA in Accounting. You pay great attention to detail and you are always looking for ways of reducing operating costs and increasing efficiency. [WHY IS HIS DEGREE FROM HARVARD AND NO MENTION OF WHERE MIKE’S IS FROM? IS THE ALMA MATER NOT SOMETHING THAT YOU SHOULD LET THE INTERLOCUTORS CREATE, IF GERMANE, IN CONVERSATION?]

  1. Situation and Task

a) MIKE:

You met Fabrice Badeau three months ago at the International Logistics Convention when you gave a presentation on software licencing management. After the workshop, Mr Badeau approached you to ask for more details about GlobalSoft’s services. You exchanged business cards and the back office team sent him a product porfolio. You then followed up by contacting Mr Badeau on the phone, arranging a face-to-face meeting with him. Your goal in this dialogue is to sell a three-year contract that includes all software licencing services.


You met Mike Fairland three months ago at the International Logistics Convention when he gave a talk on how to reduce costs for software licences. As you are always interested in reducing costs for your company, you wanted to get more information on the services GlobalSoft could offer. After exchanging business cards with Mike, his team sent you a product portolio and you compared their prices and conditions with your current solution. Then he contacted you via phone and you arranged to meet in person to discuss details of a possible business relationship. You are interested in their services but you want to get a discount on their rates. Your goal in this dialogue is be adamant during the price negotiations.

  1. Stages of the conversation and Phrases to use

a) Small talk and warm-up

  • How are you?
  • Good to have you here.
  • How is your family?
  • How was your journey?
  • How’s business?
  • Shall we get down to brass tacks?

b) Product description

  • What are the advantages of your product?
  • How do the features of your product translate into advantages for you/your company/your clients?
  • What is special about your products and services?
  • What are the advantages to you if you choose us over other providers? [I AM CONFUSED; WHO IS THE ‘PROVIDER’ IN THIS CONVERSATION, THE LOGISTICS PROVIDER OR THE SERVICE PROVIDER?]
  • What is the potential for our business relationship?

c) Price negotiation

  • Your investment will be X Euros/Dollars.
  • Your possible ROI (return on investment) over this period will be.
  • The following could be additional benefits if you work with us.

d) Closing

  • Many thanks for investing your time and giving me the opportunity to work with you.
  • Hope we’ll establish a strong and profitable business relationship.
  • How about lunch?

  2. Assessment Instructions – to follow.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, question-response: Why don’t we consider changing vendors?[YSaerTTEW443543]

Interesting. I assume you intend for this to be used as the basis for a face-to-face dialogue, and not self study?

You could definitely do these types of lessons over the Internet, as long as you use audio and/or video conferencing.



Yes David you are right - these role play activities can be done online as well as face-to-face. Also, it is possible use the Internet to prepare dialogues and then play them out face-to-face or vice versa. The basic idea is to create situations in which the participants have to interact with each other for a specific purpose rather than just speak English, hence the title ‘negotiating’.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, question-response: Why can’t we finish this report tomorrow?[YSaerTTEW443543]