So we approached it in two steps.
The first step was conditioning Marty. He needed to organize around functions, not people. The function of the CSR was to be there from 9:00 to 5:00. Marty also decided that he really needed the delivery guy to work in the afternoons, from noon to 5:00. Those two steps would serve the business best. Okay, are the current workers ones he would hire to do the job?
They don’t appear to be able to work the hours that the business needs them.
The business needs the CSR to work from 9:00 to 5:00. Regardless of how brilliant a CSR is, if he is not there when the customer expects him to be, he is a zero. Same with the delivery guy.
Okay, once we agreed to these basics, the next step is how to tell them.
That’s where the script came into play.
We started by writing down what Marty was to say to CSR Don. That was the hard one. Of course, we ended up with a whole lot of verbiage so we worked it over several times and came down to a very simple statement.
“Don, beginning the first of the month, I need you to work from 9:00 to 5:00. Any questions?”
Yup. That was the whole thing.
What if he has questions? I call these the “yeah buts.” For instance, “Yeah, but I gotta be somewhere at 3:00.”
“Don, the job requires you to be here from 9:00 to 5:00. Are you telling me you can’t do the job?”
And it is as simple as that. Marty had to be willing to let Don go if he couldn’t do the job. He agreed that he was ready for that, especially since he had an application from an experienced CSR from a shop that had recently closed.
Marty can’t ponder this for days because it would do nothing but worry him. I coached him until he had the script down cold. He then called Don into the office and said, “Don, beginning the first of the month, I need you to work from 9:00 to 5:00. Any questions?”
Don said, “No. Okay.”
And it was done.
I wasn’t there the next morning to help him with the delivery guy, but Marty said it went just as smoothly.
Organize around functions, not people. Write a script that isn’t more than a few words and prepare. Know your bottom line. And then don’t agonize over it, get it done now.
Marty did and magically had the time to deal with his main business issue, attracting new customers. Had he not done it, he would still be draining cash and living the life of martyr Marty. Sometimes this consulting work is fairly easy. Of course, other times it’s not.