Case study 3:
The real reason sales are down.
Few subjects are as difficult to handle sensitively as sexual harassment in the workplace.
A multinational consumer goods firm had issues with its female sales representatives being sexually harassed by their retail clients on sales calls.
This created a perceived conflict between personal dignity and maintaining the account.
Sales managers attended a series of one-on-one meetings with Not A Drama actors, playing sales reps. The managers were only aware that sales were down for certain stores.
Through questioning techniques and observing the rep's body language, they had to uncover the real cause of the problem.
They then had to discuss the problem in a sensitive fashion, and communicate the company's strong support for staff in this situation.
A subsequent role play involved the manager and rep discussing the issues with the client. The client was made aware that while they were a valuable account, this behaviour would not be tolerated regardless of the client's commercial value.
As a result, the sales managers were much less likely to jump to superficial conclusions when analysing performance issues, and felt that they were equipped to develop a deeper understanding of their staff.