Buff Spalding - Manager's Workshop

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Part I: Decision History – Buff Spalding
Situation: Buff Spalding seems to have all the personal skills necessary to be successful but is not. Everyone appears to like Buff, and he is quite helpful to his coworkers, but it is not clear how Buff maintains his life style given his low earnings. How would you begin your conversation with Buff? You decided to: Ask to accompany Buff on several sales calls. Results: You accompanied Buff on several sales calls. You find Buff has very good sales skills but is violating company policy by selling real estate to his clients. What would you do next? You decided to: Ask around the company discreetly to find out more about Buff's reputation as a salesman and how he is able to maintain his lifestyle when his earnings are so low. Results: You tried to find out more about how Buff is able to maintain his lifestyle despite his low earnings. You receive proof that Buff is violating company policy by selling real estate to his Omega clients. What would you do next? You decided to: Consult with your superior about how to handle the situation.

Results: You consulted your boss about how to deal with Buff's low performance and violation of company policy. She informs you that you must correct this situation but without creating more difficulties for the company than necessary. What would you do next? You decided to: Call Buff in and ask him if the rumors you have heard are true. Results: You asked Buff if the rumors about his outside deals are true. Because you have clear evidence, he cannot deny your charge. You also learn that he does not highly value the income his Omega job provides. How would you deal with the violation of policy? You decided to: Tell Buff that he has a choice. He can either resign or end his real estate dealings. If he doesn't resign, you expect him to deliver a plan within 48 hours for ending his real estate involvements. Results: You told Buff that he either needs to resign or give you a plan for ending his real estate dealings. Buff gives you a plan that requires six months to execute and offers to resign if the plan does not work. How would you respond? You decided to: Call Buff and attempt to find out why he wants six months to make his plans about resigning. Results: You explored why Buff wants to stay on the job for six months. He says he may want to sell real estate full time, but he really likes the people at Omega. According to Buff, it will take him six months to execute his plan. What would you do next? You decided to: Try to negotiate a deal with Buff in which you would keep him on in a limited capacity. Results: Because Buff was being rewarded for not performing his job effectively, it appeared there was little you could do to motivate him to increase his performance. Your decision to negotiate a deal with Buff to reduce the negative impact on the company was successful. Part II: Decision Analysis and Application

Buff Spalding is a Sales Representative for Omega and has been employed with the organization for eight years. The key responsibility of Sales Representatives is to make business calls to physicians and pharmaceutical wholesalers in an effort to sell Omega’s products. Buff possesses a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing which fits very well with the job that he holds. Buff’s employment background prior to Omega includes sales roles within the automobile, clothing and real estate industries. He is a professional golfer as well. Buff works on a team of twelve Sales Representatives. His job performance with the company has been solid until the last two years. Job Performance

Performance at Omega is measured in several ways including sales volume, percent of physicians contacted, and days of wholesale supply. In terms of sales volume, in the last two years Buff has been ranked last or second to last when compared to the other Sales Representatives on his team. While the standard percentage of physicians contacted is ninety...
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