Dear Aunty B,
I have an inkling that one of my sales managers is about to resign. (Another employee gave me the heads up.) I will be devastated and extremely angry if he does, as I have taught him everything he knows.
What I want to know is, is there any point trying to keep him? Should I offer him more money?
In the past I have just walked people out the door (nicely) because I feel so angry. My attitude is if they want to leave, then let them.
How well I know that feeling. That sense of uncertainty as they ask for a meeting, the betrayal and grief at the announcement that they are resigning. The concern about the impact on the business. The feeling of helplessness, your pride that’s hurt, your sense of wonderment that they could leave such a great company… so yes, I can completely sympathise.
But G, you can’t act like a toddler who has had his lolly bag snatched away. And I suspect you know this and want to change.
I read recently that 44% of people would stay in their current job if the boss made an attempt to keep them. Now of course that means that 56% would not – but hey, your chances are pretty good.
First thing to do is ask yourself why is he leaving and what pushes his buttons? I suspect there is no use offering him Friday morning off to work in his kid’s school canteen as many sales people are financially motivated and money is probably key.
Once you have worked that out, act cool and collected. Don’t wait for him to move. Call him in and wow him with your vision for the business. Tell him he is key to the success. Offer him more money and then play the uncertainty card – it’s the one card that entrepreneurs have not been able to play for 15 years!
Isn’t he fortunate to have such a secure position and be so well respected? How secure are other firms? Soooo many people are going to be laid off in the next year with this downturn. Isn’t he lucky to see his future so clearly? Then throw in a special personal something that will appeal to him. Maybe a new iPhone. Or tickets to his favourite game.
Even if he does resign, you will know you have done everything in your power to keep him.
G, this is not the time to lose your good salespeople. So swallow that pride and go and sell yourself and your company!