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As an entrepreneur, very little beats the feeling of when you first start winning over customers. Finding and convincing prospects to give you real money in exchange for what you've created (whether a product or service) is an incredibly exhilarating experience. It's also really difficult.

Just ask any professional salesperson whose job it is to find, educate and guide prospects into becoming customers. It's hard enough to persuade a well qualified prospect that your company offers a valuable solution to their perceived problem. But it's even harder to find well qualified prospects in the first place.

To over simplify a bit, there are really only three ways for a sales team to acquire prospects:

  • Marketing department generated leads (advertising, inbound, etc.)

  • Good ol' fashion networking and cold calling

  • Referrals from a trusted source

  • Guess which one tends to convert into customers at the highest rate? You guessed it - referrals. So how does a company get more referrals?

    Enter Raleigh's TribeSpring.

    "How do I make money from my network?"


    That's the question that Jeff Raxlin asked his TribeSpring co-founder Craig Matthews in early 2011. As two individuals with a long history relationship selling success, Jeff understood that despite their extensive professional networks they weren't tapping into them as efficiently as possible. There had to be a better way... and that way was to help professional salespeople build more responsive networks with technology.

    So Craig and Jeff set out to build a smartphone application that makes it incredibly easy for salespeople to stay on top of their professional network and make/receive referrals.

    Wait, isn't that a whole lot like LinkedIn?

    The Power of Reciprocity


    Not really, because that the end of the day LinkedIn is focused on resumes and adding a social layer to business communications. TribeSpring, as Craig Matthews tells me, is all about the "Power of Reciprocity."

    The famed author and salesperson Zig Ziglar once said, "you can have anything you want in life as long as you help enough other people get what they want." And that's the secret sauce behind TribeSpring - incentivizing salespeople to share high-value referrals with people they know and trust so that they can receive high-value referrals from people they know and trust.

    Pretty cool idea, huh?

    Start building a responsive network


    Whether or not salespeople will utilize TribeSpring as intended has yet to be seen. As the app is exiting private beta on February 6th with a launch party at Cypress Manor in Raleigh, the real proof of the effectiveness of the app won't be known until it is in the hands of enough talented sales folks.

    But as someone who has done a lot of professional selling over the years - and has lead outside sales teams - I'm rooting for TribeSpring. Any technology that makes it easier for salespeople to speak with qualified prospects, and reduces the annoyance prospects feel when they speak with salespeople, is a technology I'm into.