Case #3 - State Government - No Budget For Hiring Outside Trainers


Low Cost Option Example For Making Available an Angry Customers Training Seminar To Government Staff


In September of 2012 we received a contact from an HR/Trainer from a relatively small U.S. state. The particular area of the country has been hard hit economically over the last three years and in the midst of economic times where government had slashed much of their discretionary spending. No budget to hire us to come visit and deliver training, or train trainers.


As with many of our potential customers, this call motivated by a "love" (customer's words, not ours), of the Defusing Hostile Customers Workbook For The Public Sector.

As we interacted, it was clear they couldn't afford to hire me, or for that matter, any outside trainers, but it also became clear that the contact was a very experienced trainer who felt she could build a course around the content and exercises included in the workbook. That is one of the strengths of the publication because it was written to reflect the courses I actually deliver.

After some discussion, and the customer going back and forth with her manager to see if she could get authorization to purchase/licence the workbook for both in-class use and to use as a basis for her in-house course, she finally was notified that a purchase was OK'd but with a ceiling on the amount.

We discussed several options including a discount on the physical book, and licencing an electronic and downloadable version that they could reproduce in-house AND brand and customize so it was consistent with the State's visual identify and branding policies.

Because of the ceiling on expenditures and the number of copies they wanted (100 immediately and up to 500 total in the next year), we decided it would be more economical to license the downloadable version since we could offer a better price to the customer.


In October, 2012, they purchased 100 copies of the downloadable version in order to print out and offer to their staff attending the in-house designed seminar. They expect to purchase additional volume in the future. We worked with them to determine a huge volume discount that would allow them to get angry customer defusing skills into the hands of their staff within the restrictions on expenditures.

Update 2014:

The client decided to purchase a copy of the Defusing Hostile Customer Seminar Leader's Guide to use as a basis for including exercises and learning activities.

As a result we decided to offer her free telephone consulting to help her through the design and delivery process. The leader's guide proved to be sufficient for her purposes, and she didn't require any additional assistance.

As of early 2014, she has delivered her seminar to hundreds of government employees, and plans another 250 attendees during the next year.

PS. Oddly enough, it's often MUCH easier to purchase physical things than it is to get approval to hire an out of jurisdiction consultant or trainer. At least in government.


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Bacal & Associates is a small training, consulting and publishing company specializing in government. Founded in 1992, we have been serving government training and consulting needs for 22 years. We focus on customer service, communication, performance management, and other management challenges within hte public sector.

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