December 2005

Keeping former employees away from your customers

Keeping former employees away from your customers 5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars

by Philip J. Siegel
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Consider the following hypothetical situation: You are a commercial roofing contractor who has spent many years establishing relationships with customers. A great deal of your company's success is the result of the efforts of two key employees who have been with your company since its formation. One of these employees is your leading salesman; the other is your chief job estimator.

One morning, these two employees tell you that while attending industry meetings during the previous few months, they were approached and recruited for employment by a competing company. The employees then announce they have accepted employment with your competitor. You thank the employees for their hard work and efforts and wish them luck in their new employment. When the employees leave, they take the collection of customer business cards they accumulated during their years with your company.

Weeks pass, and you begin to notice a drop in business. You hear many of your customers are doing business with the roofing company that now employs your former salesman and job estimator. You suspect your former employees re-established contact with your customers. Can you do anything about it? Well, that depends.

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