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Case Study: Stress and the Salesperson

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14.2 Stress and the Salesperson

It's all Andrea can think of-the oil, the oil, the oil. That and the president. The president is fighting terrorism. That's good. That threatens Middle East oil. That's bad. The company I work for imports products from China and business is increasing. That's good. But if the oil exports slow from the terrorism thing, then the ships can't get products across the Pacific and I won't have anything to sell and then I have no money and why do I all of sudden have to have my territory taken away and now I have to cover the city? Sales might be better there. That's good. There might not be enough oil. That's bad. It's the president's fault!

Well, I won't take the new territory! Look how many customers I would have. More than triple what I have now. Can I set up my own sales call, like now? Nooooo! Brad Fredricks, the city sales manager, tells the entire salesforce where to go, and when. I'd like to tell him where to . . . well that's it! I hate it, I hate it, IHATE it! I couldn't even sleep the last week. I thought it all over and, and I hate it! I hate it and my stomach hurts. My head hurts too.

I'll quit. No, I'll threaten to quit. Right! No! I'll tell them I can't do it. If they want me to go to a new territory, with their appointments, then I don't know how to do nothin'! Maybe I forgot how to call on customers when it isn't on my schedule. And look at this traffic!

"Hey pal, I only got two nerves left and you're getting on both of them!"

If there isn't any oil, why do we need a president? And why do I have to make more sales calls in the morning than the afternoon. Stupid Brad. I'm not a morning person. More calls, more morning calls . . . got to think of something oil, I mean something else. I am NOT taking this! I'm telling Brad I quit. I don't need more money. This isn't my fault. Ooh, I'm ready to explode here because I won't be able to pay my bills because of the oil, in the city, with the schedule I have to use that I don't want to, and I'll quit or scream or both!

QUESTIONS:

1. What general type of distress does Andrea have here and what type of general reaction has she chosen? Support your answer.

2. What are the two causes of her distress? Support your answer.

3. What two kinds of reactions to work-related distress is Andrea exhibiting? Support your answer.

4. Where is Andrea in the three stages of stress and what stage is coming next?

5. Andrea seems a little frustrated. What four stress responses to this frustration are seen here? Cite supporting examples from Andrea's thoughts.

Solution Preview

Let's take a closer look.

RESPONSE:

1. What general type of distress does Andrea have here and what type of general reaction has she chosen? Support your answer.

Andréa's distress if caused by various factors. Causes of stress - known as stressors - are often placed into two general categories: external stressors and internal stressors. The external stressors are physical conditions such as heat or cold, or stressful psychological environments such as heavy traffic, terrorism impacting sales and changing work schedule; and, thus income. On the other hand, internal stressors are physical ailments such as infection or inflammation or in Andrea's case, other physical ailments. Andrea's reaction is to blame the situation and other people (president, Brad, etc.) and her body's reaction to stress is in physical ailments: "my stomach hurts. My head hurts too' and "I couldn't even sleep the last week" or psychological problems such as worrying about something.

2. What are the two causes of her distress? Support your answer.

In Andrea's case, it appears she is worried about her job security, fearful over not having an income and the need to make a change in her work schedule: ("Well, I won't take the new territory! Look how many customers I would have. More than triple what I have now. Can I set up my own sales call, like now? Nooooo!"). She also seems to have some relational distress with Brad: ("Hey pal, I only got two nerves left and you're getting on both of them!")

In relation to the last point, it is often wise to encourage employees to have a personal stress management program in effect to reduce internal stressors, which also helps to reduce stress related to external ...

Solution Summary

By addressing the case questions, this solution addresses aspects of the case study about stress and the salesperson.

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