James R. Steiner
12 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2008
A medical supplies sales representative discusses how to identify potential managers and what he considers to be an organization's responsibility for developing its people. This interview offers students an intimate view of how an outstanding salesman thinks and feels about himself, his job, his company, and what motivates him.
JAMES R. STEINER
James R. Steiner was a 35-year-old sales representative for a large medical supply company. This case is the transcript of an interview in which Steiner talked about his job, his career prospects and aspirations, and his company's management policies.
Employment History and Present Position
After college I was selling business machines and living in Memphis, Tennessee. I wanted a more responsible sales position. I heard from a friend that his company's clinical division was looking for someone to cover Florida, Georgia, and Alabama. They wanted the person to relocate to Tampa. I had just gotten married and had no children at the time; the money sounded right, the potential sounded right, and most of all, the job sounded interesting—selling to hospitals and to clinical labs. I went to work for them and stayed in Tampa for five years. I became the top sales rep in the division.
I took a “promotion” to sales training manager. I went for straight salary. I lost my company car, lost the benefits of an expense account, and had to move to company headquarters in Minneapolis. I was the entire sales training department. I was the first sales training manager in the division, so I had the chance to develop some initial programs and work on some of the packaged selling skill programs, such as Xerox's.
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Keywords: Sales, Force, Management
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