Dear Aunty B,
My top salesman who has just resigned to go to a competitor. Yes, I am gutted. But they are liars and have got him by painting a false picture of their company.
I looked at their figures in March as we were considering buying their business. The figures represent a complete contradiction to the story they tell the market – and no doubt have told my salesman.
Should I tell him the real situation? And how do I do that, because I signed a confidentiality agreement?
My salesman deserves to know the truth. He is a trusting type of bloke, not terribly smart commercially, and has a young family, to say nothing about him leaving us in the lurch at Christmas.
All you readers go and hug your great sales and marketing people right now! This is a time we need to keep our nearest and dearest happy and close, as you Jason have reminded us.
Now calm down and think about this rationally. First, are you sure their figures haven’t changed? I know the economy is giving many industries and companies a walloping. But some companies have done well in the past six months! Maybe things have turned around and the company is OK.
Second point: You can’t breach your confidentiality agreement. But you can fight hard to keep him by sowing the seeds of uncertainty. You can point out that he doesn’t really know the true state of the company’s finances whereas he knows his future with you is certain!
Offer him a new role, new technology, and if you can, a bonus. Do everything but get down on your knees – that is too pathetic.
But if he insists on going, start to interview immediately. There are some good people available that were not about before. You never know. You might land someone better – and commercially savvy.
Your Aunty B.