Networking on the plane

August 25, 2007

I was on my way to the NSA (National Speakers Association) conference in San Diego on July 7, 2007 from Belgium, via Philadelphia. In the Philadelphia airport there were some minutes left before boarding and I was looking around. It was at that moment that I saw Charlie Tremendous Jones. I’ve never met him before, but heard him speak on CD’s. He was on my “would be nice to meet” list for the NSA conference.

On that moment however it was not the right time to approach him. I thought I would have a second chance on the airplane.
But then I discovered he was travelling first class and I was in economy. Since he was on my “would be nice to meet” list and not on my “have to meet” list, I let the idea of meeting him go. And I started reading the Little Black book of connections by Jeffrey Gitomer (I always read books about my own topic, networking, to learn from other experts) till… I read page 61. “The only difference between where you are right now, and where you’ll be next year at the same time, are the people you meet and the books you read” by Charlie Tremendous Jones.

 Charlie Tremendous Jones - Jan Vermeiren

 When I read or hear  two times  about the same person in two days, I always contact this person. So how could I do this time? In my own courses I always tell people that the real power of a network is in the second degree so I decided to put this into practice. I asked the stewardess if she could show this page to

Charlie in first class and ask him if he could spare a few minutes with me.
He agreed and as a matter of fact, the seat next to him was empty and he invited me to sit next to him, not for a few minutes, but for more than an hour. In that hour I was able to ask him lots of questions and tap into his wealth of knowledge. I also asked him to fill in the next two pages in the Little Black Book and that’s what he did. He wrote down three books he advised me to read and three people he advised me to meet at NSA.

After he gave me the names we talked some more and he gave me some good advice. I really appreciated his help and after our talk gave him a copy of my book “Let’s Connect!” as a thank you gift and returned to my seat. When we got off the plane we shared a cab to the hotel and he told me that he really liked my book. I thought that he was just nice, but the next day at the NSA conference I saw that he put the book in his booth so people could order it. What a nice consequence of us meeting !

An extra nice touch was two days later when I attended the charity diner. I reintroduced myself to Mark Victor Hanssen (from Chicken Soup for the Soul) and in the middle of my sentence, he asked me: “Are you the guy who was on the plane with Charlie Jones? Let me introduce you to my friend Jack.” And so I met Jack Canfield (co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul and one of the people featured in the Secret), another person of my “would be nice to meet” list.

Mark Victor Hansen - Jan Vermeiren 

Jack Canfield - Jan Vermeiren

I still am surprised from time to time myself what networking can do ! 😉


New CD “Let’s Connect at an event”

August 18, 2007

I’m very happy to announce the birth of a new “baby” !

The CD “Let’s Connect at an event” is now out and available as CD or MP3 file.

On the CD you will find 30 immediately applicable network tips to make every event a success.

For your convenience the CD consists of three parts:
1) What to do before a networking event
2) What to do on the networking event itself
3) Waht to do after the networking event

As always I offer you the opportunity to “taste” the product before you buy it.

You can find 8 of the 30 tips for free at the website of Networking Coach:

Listen to this CD when you are on your way to a networking event or on your way back and you will immediately experience the difference !

To your success !


PS: you might be interested to know that one euro of every sold CD (or MP3) goes to one of the charties we support.

Goals at conferences

August 11, 2007

A few weeks ago I flew to the USA to attend the NSA (National Speakers Association) convention in San Diego, speak in Las Vegas and have some vacation.

When attending a convention it is always good to set goals. I always set three kind of goals for myself when attending a convention:
1. Learning goal (content): what are my global learning attention points of this year and which sessions can contribute to achieving them?
2. Networking goal: who do I want to meet? Which specific people or which specific profiles? I make a “must see” list and a “like to see” list.
3. Speaking goal (performance): I always look not only for content, but also how the speaker brings it. Which tools does (s)he use, which interaction with the audience, how does (s)he start and finish?

What were my specific goals at the NSA convention?

1. Content: revenue models and other ways of teaching and getting results. The result are some new e-courses that will be launched later this year. These will be available for participants to training courses and presentations as well as for visitors of the website.
2. Networking: on my “must see” list were some of my networking expert colleagues who I already knew. I also had as a goal to meet 3 other networking experts and ask them to contribute to my newsletter. Both of the goals were attained. You will see the result in the next newsletters (you sign up for them at no cost). I also met some of the people on my “nice to see” list, but that story has to wait till next week.
3. Performance: people tell me that this is a goal that is only applicable when you are a public speaker like me. But that’s not true. Almost everyone of us has to give a presentation once in a while. Everybody can learn some very useful tips by watching speakers.

Think about your goals at events and conferences.

Most people don’t set goals, but the ones who do, get 10 times more out of their investment in money and time !

Have a great networking day !


Start your own network group

August 4, 2007

Sometimes people tell me they don’t find the network groups that are right for them.

A first advice I give them is to define more clearly what they are looking for in a networking group and then tell their network about it. You will be surprised how many organisations exist and how good your network can help you by finding them !

A second advice is to start your own networking group. This can be very simple with very nice results !

One of the people at a networking training course for Delta Lloyd Bank shared his story with the group. He started a group called “De Vlaamse Vrijdags Vrienden”. The concept was very simple:
– Every last Friday of the month they have lunch together
– Everybody pays for his own lunch
– If you come, you have to bring one person who doesn’t belong to the group yet
– You can only participate if you are invited by someone who was invited a previous time

They started the group with 3 people. After 15 months they had a group of 140 participants !

What about you? What are you waiting for to start your own group?
Have a great networking day !


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