Connections & Graduates & Jobs...and Sales

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Tue, May 28, 2013

sales and tuftsThe semester is over.  Grades are in... without complaints this semester.  Commencement was more than a week ago.  Summer is lurking around somewhere, but not here on the beach unless you like 52 degrees, which clearly beats the 12" of snow in VT on Sunday. 

And my graduated students?

Hopefully, they're out having fun.  Climbing in Nepal.  Still partying in NYC.  Contemplating life by hiking the Tetons, or just decompressing at home at Mom's.  When I graduated from BC, a zillion years ago, I had a ticket to go to the University of Chicago (which I used a decade later), and I still remember the look of disappointment, shock and anger on the face of my father when I told him that July that I was leaving for the Peace Corps in a month.  Since the Peace Corps and the connections it afforded have been one of the more important pivot points in my life, I end each semester with...

Jack's 3 Rules for My Students...

sales connections1.  Treasure your connections.  The connections of friends, of fellow students at Tufts, of high school buddies and business associates.  By the end of a semester with me, they know that the best jobs come from connections; the best sales and investment deals come from connections, and the best examples of sales optimization  come from connections.  I ask them to preserve those connections, treasure all of the experiences along with all the good and the bad relationships and continue to connect...consistently.

Still today, I'm on an email link with 4 to 50 (depending on the topic) of my Arlington High School friends, 3 to 4 times a week!  Sometimes jokes, more often politics or just points of few.

I meet with my Tufts students frequently during the semester and more and more often with my ex-students for 7:00 or 7:30 breakfasts at the University Club of Boston about sales and marketing jobs.  An important part of my job as a professor, investor and business guy is to make sure that I do everything possible to connect them, and as a result, I can count more than 100 who work for our customers and partners.  Very good for my students and excellent for the companies since they're experiencing pre-qualified recruits.

Sales & Learning2.  Learning is a life-long experience.   15 years ago when I was asked if I would do one lecture at MIT's 2.961 for Professor Chun, I was ecstatic.  Me?  How could that have happened especially given that Jung-Hoon could have asked at least 1,000 other people (and those were the ones just in Cambridge) to come to his Mechanical Engineering seniors and graduate class and talk about business planning.  Over the years, that one class has now grown to include several during the semester in marketing, in sales optimization and in business planning resulting in numerous business plans being submitted to MIT's $100K business plan contest and a 2012 2nd place winner.  

Back to the connections thing above.  Since the class is heavily subscribed and now demands the involvement of two professors, the excitement of teaching for me has doubled in that I get to re-connect each year with Professor Hank Marcus, a very close high school buddy, who is just retiring this semester.

Teaching at Tufts and MIT push me to spend most of each summer studying.  Every day on the beach begins with a knapsack full of books, my iPad and lots of yellow lined paper.  I'm not sure that it's teaching that pushes me to study or it's the rapidly changing worlds of Sales and Marketing and my resulting paranoia of not staying on the leading edge for our clients.  Whichever it is, what I am continuosly reminded about in the practice of strategy and of sales and marketing optimization is that the managers of the very best and most successful companies...

  • consistently explore and study,
  • consistently learn and...
  • consistently embrace change.

Break Some Rules2 resized 6003.  Break some rules.  My students at Tufts and at MIT are without a doubt the very best!  They've excelled in high school at two great universities, and, in addition to just being very bright and working incredibly hard, they paid attention to (most of) the rules.  I leave my Tufts students on the final day of the semester with this simple final rule, which is to...


  • Color outside the lines every once in a while. 
  • Break some long as it isn't the entire Hancock Tower. 
  • Hear your own voice through the crowd. 
  • Speak up when you know it's the right thing to do. 
  • And, most importantly...have some fun.

More in the next blog about a simple proven formula that I use with my students and the hundreds of managers who approach me every year about finding the best jobs.

Hope you had a great long weekend. Now let's get out there and sell some stuff! Jack Derby 


Head Coach
Linked In and Sales

The 2013 Sales Management Boot Camp-Click Here

Sales Management Boot Camp   Copy resized 600 

For Your Consistent Learning...

 If you want to take these concepts and drive
 them down to tactics and details, attend our
 2013 Sales Management Boot Camp!
 It's an opportunity to meet others just like you from a
 wide variety of industries in an exciting, engaging, and
 exhausting work environment. 

 Late Sunday afternoon, October 6th through Tuesday afternoon, October 8th at the MIT Endicott House.

-Six years, 350+ highly satisfied graduates!

-Everyone attends is focused on answering two simple questions:

1.  How can I improve my own effectiveness as a manager?
2.  How can I enable my salespeople to produce more effectively?

We have the answers in strategies, tactics, tools and technology

Just email Jack at to set up a 10 minute call to discuss

Tags: sales coaching, Sales Optimization, sales management effectiveness, sales management coach, sales effectiveness, sales enablement, sales management training, sales boot camp, sales jobs