Saying no can be the best response to a training request

Derek Stockley is an experienced trainer, facilitator and consultant. This experience ensures that every potential assignment is carefully assessed before proceeding with the decisions about consultants, design, etc. This case study demonstrates why Derek Stockley sometimes says no to potential clients.

Saying no can be the right thing to do

Potential clients often come to this website via a search engine enquiry. They enter a search term like 'telephone techniques course', click through to an information page and click through to related pages to find out more about the services offered. They compare the information presented to the type of assistance they want to enquire about. If there is a match, they will telephone or (preferably) complete an online enquiry form.

This case study is about an actual training enquiry. Due to client confidentially, the enquiry can only be described in a general, non-identifying way.

The contact person’s enquiry form requested telephone technique training for recently appointed staff. The staff would be receiving telephone calls on sensitive matters.

On checking the organisation’s website, two pages of comprehensive information about the service provided were found.

Before ringing the contact person, Derek Stockley made the following assessment:

  • The type of service provided was known to us because of the variety of relevant personal and work experiences.

  • We had dealt with and worked with the professional staff groupings involved.

  • We had worked with staff involved in emergency response.

The combination of customer service and telephone system knowledge, coupled with knowledge of the staff positions, industry and service type, meant that we had the technical skills required to complete the assignment.

Derek Stockley also realised that this training would have to be very specific and aimed at a high level. To carry out their role successfully, the staff would have to combine medical knowledge, interpersonal skills and process knowledge.

After completing this analysis, Derek Stockley prepared a list of questions and issues to discuss with the contact person. There was a range of matters that would affect the assignment, particularly the request to provide the skills to "recognise anxious callers and reassure accordingly".

Derek Stockley discussed these issues with the potential client.

We could have provided a specifically designed training program.

However, during the conversation, as Derek Stockley clarified the key issues, he realised that training, although probably 'nice', would not provide any real added value to the staff concerned. Given their background, they should have the generic skills. Their needs would relate more to understanding the overall process. He assessed that the organisation could provide this guidance.

So that is what Derek Stockley told the potential client.

It would have been a very rewarding project to be involved with. However, the staff did not require external assistance.

This is one example of the depth of the experience held by our consultants. For other examples, see: training and consulting case studies, or if you would prefer a listing by topic, see: case study by topic listing.

Further information

For information about clients and testimonials, see clients and testimonials.

If you have four or less people to be trained, see: On-Demand Training Explanation or to obtain a quote or register your interest, see: On-Demand Training Registration.

If you are interested in organising an in-house training program for your company or organisation, see: In-house Training Explanation or to make an enquiry, select: In-house Training Enquiry.

If you require consulting assistance, or telephone or write to Derek Stockley at Derek Stockley Contact Details.