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Possible office closing

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Question: I work in a five-person branch office, and the lease on our office space expires at the end of December. As a result, a person from the home office will be coming to my office to determine whether our lease should be renewed (in other words, whether we're worth the money) or whether our responsibilities should be absorbed into the home office. If any of you have been through a similar situation, I'd love to hear your suggestions regarding what I should say when the decision maker speaks to me.  -- Lisa


Depending on where your Home Office is located, you might want to "simply mention" how your customers like having their accounts serviced by local personnel. This worked for me when I had an office in Louisville, Ky and my Regional Office was in Southfield, MI.

The local office stayed open for 12 years, until the division was sold off. Customers usually "really call the shots" when it comes to local or branch offices.

This isn't something I've dealt with before, but you don't say how far away home office is. I would want to know what issues are being taken into account in making the decision -- is it strictly a money-saving move to close the office? Has the branch office been underperforming? I would ask what would be required for them to decide to keep the branch office open and then ask how much time you can have to achieve those goals. Sounds like there is sufficient time to allow you to demonstrate that keeping the branch open adds value (or not!).

I am the person who posted this problem. I want to clarify a few things since people have questions. The branch office I work in supports employees in the field in 24 states. We do not have direct contact with customers. Our office is in Colorado, and the home office is in Massachusetts (and we're unwilling to relocate). I really don't know what issues are being taken into account, and that's the main cause for my concern. My impression is that they will base their decision on whether our field staff are better served from a more "central" location like we have here in Colorado or whether they could be served just as well from the east coast. This is not a case of underperforming on the part of our office. Thanks for your help!

Talk to your field staff and ask them what they feel the impact will be if they no longer have your more local support. Have them indicate some of your more positive points. Then use this information to help the home office clearly understand what your differentiating factors are. Are you providing your field staff something other locations are not? (If not, you should be looking for ways to do this to make you the example to the herd). Also, don't be afraid to ask the home office what kinds of things they are wanting to evaluate "so that you can have all the information pulled together for them" when they arrive.
Good luck!!

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