Improve Sales by Boosting Collaboration

Keith Ferrazzi offers tips for getting your team to work together more quickly and effectively.

Welcome back to part 2 of our 2 part interview series with Keith Ferrazzi–speaker, thought-leader and author of New York Times bestseller Never Eat Alone. (Here’s part 1: Networking Secrets for Sales Calls.)

Today Keith’s letting us tap into some of his insights on how to make people more productive when they’re working together, and developing solutions together to the problems that we have, especially in the sales process.

TS: Collaboration become a buzzword for a lot of people in the organizational, developmental, consulting base. But your take on collaboration goes beyond the group dynamic model to something different: a peer-to-peer collaborative process. How can this help sales teams to perform better?

KF: What we learned between the writing of Never Eat Alone and the research that accumulated before we came out with Who’s Got Your Back: You are likely to fail building a broad-enriched, authentic network–[and] you are likely to fail walking into a room and knowing how to connect with someone–if you as an individual don’t have a few people who really have your back. [You need] a few people that you can let your guard down around who will tell you the truth and you’ll do the same for them, who kick you in the butt and hold you accountable.

We all know how difficult it can be in a tough market, selling where you get constant rejection and challenges. [In that circumstance, there's] nothing better than a team of individuals [including clients, sales team members, sales managers, etc.] who have my back and I have theirs. Now that’s loyalty.

TS: What are your recommendations on how new groups, who have to form quickly and perform effectively, can they accelerate that process?

KF: If you’re not a leader of the team, then you as an individual can begin to solicit mutually supportive relationships within the team, so that you’re in service of each other. The same principles that I applied around letting your guard down, letting people know who you really are in the sales process, applies to the teams. Being willing to constantly be of service to each other is equally as important to the team.

I always say there are two things [to do] if you want to accelerate a relationship: Find a way to help [and] find a way to care. If you can do those two things, even across what might have been traditionally political silos, you’re beginning to work [as a] team. This is as opposed to the old political Frederick Taylor organization design and structure, which didn’t have working together. Now the question is, how do we accelerate the relational strength that allows it to happen effectively.

TS: Are there other places where people can connect with this information and the ideas that you’ve got, because I know people are going to listen to this and they’re going to say, I need more of this in what I’m trying to do.

KF: If you want a taste of this, read one of my books, Who’s Got Your Back, which you can find online at

Click to download the full interview audio.

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