Discussion market

it was the first day of Shield Financial’s Des Moines office three-day sales training meeting. The company’s twenty-five salespeople talked excitedly during breakfast about the upcoming events: a few rounds of golf, some whitewater rafting, and an awards dinner at which the annual incentive contest winners would be announced. They even looked forward to the three 5-hour intensive training sessions (one each day) that had been billed as unique and transforming. Also attending the meeting were two recently appointed assistant managers and Doug Bloom, all quietly listening to the reps’ banter.

At 7:45 A.M., the salespeople got up from their tables and walked down the resort’s hallway to its meeting rooms. The reps took their seats, and at 8 A.M. sharp, their instructor, Tom Baker, walked in and began the session. Five hours later the salespeople emerged and reconvened in the cafe for lunch. They were soon joined by the two assistant managers who had attended leadership training conducted by the same company.

The moment they sat down, the reps’ ranting began: “This was the worst training I’ve ever attended.” “It was tedious.” “I could’ve learned more in my sleep.” The assistant managers were surprised because their session was excellent. The reps, however, were so perturbed that they didn’t want to sit through the two remaining sessions. “Ten more hours would be pure torture,” one salesperson insisted.

Bloom suggested to the reps that they focus on enjoying that afternoon’s activity, rafting, then excused CHAPTER 8 SALES TRAINING himself to handle the situation. He said he would have a resolution by the time he rejoined them for dinner. Bloom didn’t want this meeting to turn out to be a bust; he also didn’t want to squander the company’s investment in the sales meeting and training sessions. As he sat in the lobby awaiting the two instructors from the training company, he tried to devise a solution.


1. What steps should Bloom take to resolve the situation? (Canceling the remaining sessions is not an


2. How can Bloom avoid this situation in the future?

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