A: Certainly, in our early days we did experience some staff turnover. People left for a variety of reasons, perhaps partially due to sales growth expectations and limited resources, but realistically, staff turnover can occur at any growth stage. Over the years, I've sought to maintain an open-door policy with staff, customers, and partners, which helps serve to anticipate and resolve change or conflict.
Q: But success can also usher in new challenges. As you continued to gain market share, did competitors begin to recruit your salespeople?
A: Yes, because we had a well-trained, and effective sales team, some members were recruited by our competitors and left. I remember an occasion in our early years when one of our top salesmen submitted his resignation on a Friday. During a 3-hour meeting on Sunday, he told me that he was leaving to join a humanitarian organization, but on Monday morning I discovered that he was already employed by one of our competitors.
Q: How did you react?
A: I was so angry at the time that I vowed to myself to find a way to acquire the competitor that hired him, and then fire him!
Q: Did that ever happen?
A: Yes. And no. I did acquire the competitor a few years later, but chose to retain him as a trusted member of our new sales team.
Q: How did that work out?
A: Actually, several years later he left again to join another competitor, however, today, many of our other original sales, marketing, and support team members are still with the company serving in management roles.