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Dear Sir/Madam,

Without a doubt, you have a superb product and service offering. Your knowledge and experience is impressive. On a level playing field, you would be a formidable competitor. Thank you for your help in tilting the field in my favor.

Thanks for being “busy”. All your hard work and effort keeps you unfocused and distracted. Thanks for continuing to do the same as all the other competitors, whilst believing you are ‘different”. Thanks for hiring my cast-offs. Thanks for putting up with mediocre sales performance, for not knowing how to hold your people accountable, or not knowing what to hold them accountable for. Thanks for encouraging the atmosphere of sales desperation, “quoting and hoping”, and saying YES to even the low margin business.

Thanks for allowing your people to externalize the blame with “it’s the market, the competition, the prospect, the website, the pricing, and the weather”, instead of accepting responsibility “it’s me” and actually doing something different.

And above all, thanks for continuing to believe that it’s expensive to invest in the development of staff that might leave while accepting the cost of not developing them, and having them stay.

Yours, etc.

Unfortunately, my competitor kept this knowledge to themselves. It was delivered eventually, by a friend. In an envelope marked Tough Love.

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