A competitor wants to poach our best salesperson. How do I convince them to stay?

I’ve got a super salesperson on board who has been doing great stuff for our business.


However, a larger rival has noticed them and is offering them lot of money if they move over. What can I offer to this salesperson, other than money I don’t have, to persuade them to stay?


Poaching good talent is nothing new, but in the last few years it has rapidly increased due to a shrinking talent market and the ease of locating people via social network sites like LinkedIn.


But just because outside approaches are made, it doesn’t necessarily mean your employee will be tempted to leave for more money.


Basically, people need to be paid fairly for their efforts but money is often well down the list in motivating them to stay.


What is your EVP (employee value proposition) in regards to rewards and benefits that would entice an employee to stay?


Dr Daryll Hull and Vivienne Read interviewed hundreds of employees at all levels in Australian workplaces and found that one of the key factors in retaining employees was the quality of relationships at work.


They also found that “in all excellent workplaces the atmosphere of mutual trust and respect was overwhelming”.


Interestingly, when they examined research from the Australian Quality Agency, they noted that Australia’s workplace focus on relationships differed to the key retention factors in other countries.


Their research also showed some other factors that were particularly important to retention. The first was the quality of the leader/manager. Leaders who behaved as a captain/coach and inspired trust were particularly valued.


Other key factors of the research in retaining employees were:

  • A culture of clear values
  • Having a say
  • Mutual respect and trust

Your first step is finding out what intrinsically motivates each person and then linking his or her motivation to the benefits you could afford.


Here are a few examples of individual motivators:

  • Coaching, training or personal development
  • The status of a higher title
  • Flexible hours or working from home
  • Extra personal days
  • Interesting jobs that offer variety
  • Introduction of a wellness/health program

Once you know their key motivators, you can creatively explore some inexpensive benefits like monthly supermarket vouchers, a gym membership, contributing to household cleaning, bringing a mobile remedial masseuse weekly/monthly into the office, providing a weekly fresh fruit platter or a coffee machine.


And remember, people don’t leave jobs, they leave their manager.


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments