Company confidentiality


Who cares? We’re on a train! Bookbinders unravelled…

I do like it when I’m pondering what to blog about, then something rears up and slaps me in the face!

This is what happened last week. I boarded a train to London, the journey was to take 90 minutes so I thought I could work sat at a table. The table opposite were two guys already talking. One older guy was doing most of the talking, the younger of the two listening, posing a few questions along the way.

I wondered if I imagined the voice of the older guy go up a notch as I sat down? I think it might have done. Perhaps he wanted to impress me with his knowledge and status in life. Who knows! The younger guy was far more discreet though, at least the whole carriage didn’t hear what he had to say…

I got the impression the younger one had just joined the company into a sales role and that the trip that day was part of his induction.

It’s not a great idea though is it? To actually do an induction on the train. Particularly if you are in sales! What was he thinking? Have you any idea how much company information can be discussed in 90 minutes when essentially one person is doing a brain dump of everything in his head!

They clearly worked for a key player in the book binding industry, and whilst trying to crack on with my own work what I inadvertently overheard was:

  • Annual sales last year in the Eurozone and UK, plus year on year charge
  • Annual UK sales last year from their two major customers, plus the names of those customers
  • Profit margins and negotiating margins on proposals
  • Internal process for initiating prices on proposals
  • Challenges in different sectors – including international challenges
  • Key competitors and what some competitors do better or more cost efficiently than them
  • Recent projects carried out and comments on the pricing/profitability
  • Key clients and clients they would like to have
  • Add on sales opportunities
  • Clients they would like to have but don’t yet have
  • Key decision makers in those clients they would like to have and what they are like and why they are blocking entry to them
  •  Format of internal sales meetings
  • Different individuals within their own business and what they add (or don’t add)

I could go on!

My question to you today of course is: If you could identify one person in your business who would so carelessly spill your company information, who would it be?

Oh… and if you want to send me your best guess as to which global book binding business last week revealed all, please do so!




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