How Persuasion Reduces Your Employee Turnover Rate


Sales professionals pride themselves on being persuasive and excelling at tactics needed to close deals. When sales reps move into management roles, they won’t frequently use some of the skills that made them successful in new business hunting or discovery. But they will need to rely on their powers of persuasion, especially when it comes to reducing the employee turnover rate.

Persuasion and Your Employee Turnover Rate

Despite the economic storm clouds on the horizon, employees continue to look for better job opportunities. This trend is especially noticeable in the sales profession. Sales managers we surveyed reported they are dealing with annual turnover rates of around 44%. That kind of turnover translates in managers spending tremendous time and effort seeking new employees. If only there was a way to reduce your employee turnover rate. Turns out, there is.

Sales reps we spoke with said the top three reasons for leaving their company were:

  • Lack of opportunities for advancement 28%
  • Lack of realistic opportunities to make money 27%
  • Company didn’t seem to care about them 27%

If you’re experiencing an employee exodus, you’ll need to get ahead of the situation by addressing these problems. A quick analysis will show you how many of your team members have had the same job title or pay rate for an extended period of time. You may not be able to offer a substantial salary increase, but you can do something about employees who feel stalled out in their careers. Younger team members, especially those in the Gen Z and Gen Y groups, value learning and development opportunities.

It will require time and effort on your part to design projects and jobs that offer increasing responsibilities. You’ll also need to rely on your persuasive skills to help employees see the benefit in taking what might be perceived as a lateral move.

How to Persuade Employees to Accept Your Proposal

G. Richard Shell, a professor of legal studies and business ethics at Wharton, explains that leaders often go about the process of persuasion all wrong. “That’s because of a mistaken belief that it’s all about the evidence.” Managers and leaders tend to turn to data when they want to make their case. If you’re hoping to convince a sales rep to transition into a business development role, you might point out that most managers have worked in that area on their way up. Or you might tell them that 50% of business development specialists get another promotion within a year.

This approach may not succeed because it’s too generic. Your team member cares about their future, not everyone else’s. To obtain optimal results, review your employee’s psychometric assessments to learn what motivates them. You’ll find that some employees thrive in roles where they can serve or support others, a trait that suggests they’d do well as managers. Other employees have a high need for authority while still others find their happy place in roles that allow for maximum creativity.

Keep these details in mind as you develop a career path for your employees. You should also consider the appropriate job fit for each individual. A good job fit tool or platform will take the person’s tendencies such as positivity, confidence, adaptability, and initiative into account in identifying the best role for them in the organization.

After you put together a concept or two for potential career development, you need to persuade your employee to accept the idea. Too many sales professionals develop an all-​or-​nothing mindset when they pitch a prospect and hope to convince them to accept the deal. While your goal is to reduce the employee turnover rate, their goal is to optimize their career path. Remind yourself to listen to their response and prepare to make adjustments to your offer.

Personalize Your Proposal

When you’re working with your team member, Shell recommends taking a personal approach. He suggests complimenting your employees regularly before you get to the point of offering them new responsibilities or a project. “When you make others look good, they want to support you. By far the most powerful motivation in the social aspects of work is the need to feel respected and appreciated.” This strategy also fills a basic team member need to hear that someone at the company cares about them, and it’s likely to reduce the employee turnover rate. When you make your proposal, explain how the project or new position will benefit your employee and the organization.

Prepare to Negotiate to Reduce Your Employee Turnover Rate

Finally, be prepared to negotiate. When you closed deals in the past with clients, they likely didn’t accept your first proposal. Similarly, your employee might resist your suggestions and have a few ideas of their own. Listen to their requests and make a good attempt to develop a career path that works for you and them.  Using your persuasive skills in this way will help you reduce the employee turnover rate.

Photo by Nicola Barts on Pexels.

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Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.