What to avoid when you want to increase the results of a sales team

October 25, 2008

On David Nour’s Relationship Economics blog David and Neal Gorenflo have posted an article “Colossal Sales Blunder #1: Separating Hunting from Farming

In this article they say that in most organisations sales people are divided in two teams: the ones responsible for new business (hunters) and the ones responsible for existing accounts (farmers).

In their opinion this is a blunder. Why? “Because the best way to win new clients is through existing ones. And also because team selling increases close rates.”

Although every situation is different I tend to agree with them. I see so many sales people make cold calls with low response and success rates meaning low ROI (Return on Investment). Next to that many sales people get discouraged because of this low success rate.

On the other hand I also don’t see the account managers whose only responsibility it is to keep customers ask for referrals. Although they are in the best position to do this, they don’t because “it is not their responsibility” to get new customers for the organisation.

For most situations I agree with David and Neal that the sales role is better not split. Also from personal experience as a business owner who is responsible for both sales and choosing suppliers I have experienced that I get more referrals when I have a better personal relationship with that customer and that I’m also more inclined to make introductions for suppliers I have a better relationship with. It is about knowing, liking and trusting (see the post “Do people know, like and trust you?” )

For organisations which can’t or don’t want to change the way they set up their sales teams, there might be an alternative: have the hunters and farmers communicate on a regular basis and make their pay dependable on the joint result. Or offer another kind of incentive so they will work together so the farmers ask for referrals and pass them on to the hunters.

If you haven’t read the article of David and Neal, I would encourage you to do it now, because it contains more intesting information and a statistic about team selling.

Have a great networking day !


Jan Vermeiren, founder of Networking Coach and author of the Everlasting Referrals Home Study Course


Online Networking Tip: LinkedIn explained in 3 minutes

October 18, 2008

The guys from Commoncraft have built a reputation in making things clear in a very short time using video.

In this short video (2.38 min) they give a good basic explanation of what the power of LinkedIn is. Of course LinkedIn is much more than that, especially now with the group discussions, but this is a good start if you have never heard of LinkedIn before.

A good networking practice is to share relevant information with your network (and in the meanwhile you keep in touch and maintain your network). So feel free to share this with the people from your network that haven’t heard of LinkedIn yet.

Have a great networking week !


Founder of Networking Coach and author of the network book Let’s Connect

Networking Event of the Month: Brian Tracy in Antwerp

October 13, 2008

The networking event of the month November is Brian Tracy’s High Performing Leadership Seminar on Nov 19 in Metropolis (Antwerp, Belgium).

This is an excerpt from the program:

In a one day session, Brian Tracy will talk about High Performance Leadership, where he reveals a series of proven strategies that you can use immediately to get better results in every area of your business.

During this interactive presentation, you will learn how to think strategically, manage time more efficiently, select the right people, communicate effectively and build peak performing teams. Brian’s session will be highly informative and interactive, loaded with both funny and motivational content.

This session of High Performance Leadership is even more special; since it’s the first time Brian Tracy is presenting live in the Benelux. Don’t miss this opportunity: Seats are limited to 740 leaders, business owners, managers and high potentials.

In this seminar, you learn how to manage, motivate, think, plan and act like the best business owners and executives in the top companies worldwide.

More info: http://briantracybelgium.com/live.aspx

I personally already learned a lot from Brian’s material and still can learn a lot from it, so I do not only recommend this event, but I will be there myself (this time not as a speaker, but as a member of the audience).

Why is this a good networking event? Because only people who will learn about leadership will be there. This means high achievers and people who are willing and able to make a difference through helping each other.

Thanks to Byron Soulopoulos, CEO of Brian Tracy Benelux, readers of this blog receive a discount: they only pay 445 euro instead of 495 euro for the business tickets. Follow this link to get this discount.

See you there?


Founder of Networking Coach, author of the network book Let’s Connect and networking speaker

Networking Tip: Your reference group is the single most important factor in career success

October 11, 2008

Last week I read the following text in an article:

“David McLelland of Harvard did a 25-year research study of the factors that contribute most to success. He found that, holding constant for age, education, occupation, and opportunities, the single most important factor in career success is your “reference group.” Your reference group is made up of the people with whom you habitually associate and identify. These are the people you live, work, and interact with outside of work. You identify with these people and consider yourself one of them. They consider you one of them, as well.”

The question that follows is: “What can we do with this knowledge?”

Let’s explore some ways:

 1) In networking in a professional environment: who are the people you frequently meet? Are they people who help you reach your goals? Are they givers or sharers? Or only takers? (And how about yourself? Are you a giver/sharer or taker?)

2) In the referral process: are the people in your reference group connected to the prospects you want to meet? And who belongs to their reference group?

3) Many people are not happy in life. If that’s you: look at your reference group. How do they influence you? Chances are that there are people in your reference group that have negative energy and influence you consciously or subconsciously.

4) Many people don’t reach their goals or don’t take decisions in their life. Again: look at the reference group. Is it supporting you? No really, do they REALLY support you. As Anthony Robbins said: “Your peers (or reference group) pulls you down sometimes, not because they don’t love you, but just because they DO love you. They don’t want you to get hurt.” Sometimes our reference group sabotages us and most of the times not deliberately (see also a previous post).


Just give a thought about these 4 topics. As you see in my opinion you can have several reference groups in different parts of your life.

Also give a thought to this: what kind of reference group member are you? The supporting and inspiring kind? Or the down-pulling and negative kind?

Have a great networking week!


Founder of Networking Coach and networking speaker

PS: if you have more ideas about how to use them, feel free to send me an e-mail or post it as a comment.

Networking Coach Jan Vermeiren interviews networking expert Robyn Henderson

October 3, 2008

In the series “Interviews with networking experts from all over the world” the next networking colleague that is featured is Robyn Henderson from Australia.

Especially listen to the part about what she does to remember people and to follow up so she will be remembered.

Listen to this interesting interview with Robyn Henderson (9.30 min)

Have a great networking day !


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