SPIN Sells CFO on Turnover Tactics

What skills would a good consultant need to sell turnover? Here are the key four, says Ahlrichs, who is owner of ExpertSpeaks, and a consultant and business developer for Gregory & Appel.

Think Strategically

Always be looking forward over the horizon to where organization is going, says Ahlrich. Anticipate ways to create value for clients. How can you be sure that you have the right people with the right skills at the right place at the right time?

If you can get there first, your organization will thrive and you’ll get credit, Ahlrich says.

Manage Information

Get good at summary statements, says Ahlrich. And deliver the summary first. Avoid long harangues. Train yourself to deliver focused, usable information.

Advance the Relationship

It’s a very personal world. You vhave to be able to work the relationship angle, to do what you say you will when you say you will, and to over- deliver on results. That increases trust and commitment.

Orchestrate Resources

You have to be able to form a good team and manage it well to be a good project manager, says ahlrich.

Quick Turnover Discussion Strategy

Sometimes we try to solve the turnover problem too quickly, says Ahlrich. HR gets invited to discuss turnover issues with the C-Suite and the instant the problem is outlined, they jump in and start offering a solution. That’s too soon, says Ahlrich.

The amount of pain that originally got you to the table is not enough to get you the budget and support you need to solve the problem.

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Ahlrich suggests that managers use the SPIN system to present ideas to management:


First comes the Situation. What’s going on? We’re losing too many people on the second shift.

Then comes the Problem. It’s costing us money in training and recruiting.

This is where you’re tempted to jump in and discuss solutions, says Ahlrich, but this is where you should step back and look at Implications of not fixing the problem right way.

You might, for example, say:

If we don’t fix this, we’re going to continue to have a problem with the EEOC. And pretty soon, good performers won’t apply to our company because they’ve heard about the serious turnover problem. And we’re seeing more new workers’ compensation claims because the new people don’t know what they’re doing.

And we’re going to lose customers because they won’t like dealing with untrained new reps.

And so on.

This does two things. One, you’re showing your mettle as a strategic thinker. And, two, you’re developed enough pain that C-Suite says we Need you to fix this.

Now you’ll get the budget and support you need. As a bonus, you have presented your operations as a critical business component to achieving bottom-line profitability in the organization.

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