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So, You Want to Network with Me?

New networking possibility?  Or a one-way street?I get a lot of calls from people who want to “network” or “pick my brain” or “partner with ESR.”  (Translation: They’d like me to spend 30 to 60 minutes on the phone with them and provide feedback on their resume, or introduce them to people in my network, or give them sales leads, or coach them on what sales training companies might hire them and how to approach those companies, or provide advice on how to start a sales training company, or read their business plans, or give them my opinion on their new product or service…  The list goes on.)

People who know me will tell you that I’m typically benevolent in situations like this.  If the person seeking my help isn’t demanding or pushy, I tend to follow the “pay it forward” philosophy.  I even do pro-bono work on occasion. This approach has paid big dividends for me over the years.  So, I take a lot of the calls and help where I can.

But it’s not about these people that I am writing.

Instead, I want to acknowledge the fine folks that really know what networking and business relationships are all about.

I got a call the other day from a former VP of sales who wants to have a discussion about some job opportunities for him.  My name was given to him by the CEO of a sales training company.  At first I thought that this was another one-sided networking scenario.  (We’re scheduled to speak this afternoon.) But I was wrong. This morning he sent me this:

I was at a … SIG presentation yesterday morning…  At the end of the presentation, the organizer poled the audience for suggestions on future topics.  One was to bring in representatives of different sales training systems (Miller Heiman, Wilson, etc.) so the audience could compare and contrast. Of course, that got me thinking of a better idea – having you come in and make that (unbiased) presentation.   If that’s something you’d be interested in doing, let me know and I’ll make the connection.

A breath of fresh air.  This guy “gets it.”

The same goes for those who come to a networking or business opportunity with some value up front for the other person.  Greg Alexander, CEO of Sales Benchmark Index is like that.  So is Dan Seidman. Jeff Lehman, too.  And Donal Daly, Tom Martin, Kevin Madden, John Andrus, Brian Lambert, Randall Murphy, Olin Thompson, Steve Andersen, Brad Childress, Claire McBride, Susan LaPlante-Dube, LaVon Koerner, Jill Konrath, John Caddell, Gerhard Gschwandtner, Tony Parinello, Howard Stevens, Greg Brown, Jan Visser.  There are many, many more. They know who they are.

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