You receive a recommendation and compliment publicly on LinkedIn about a core quality of yours, that you provide good pragmatic advice and insights. So what do you do?

It involves advice and insights you share professionally with others to help them be more successful. Do you modestly say "thank you" or do you shout it from the rooftops?

Modesty is a wonderful trait. But in the case of Sales & Marketing, it's also easily your biggest pitfall.

Last week I received a wonderful recommendation on LinkedIn from Alvin Dekker. A Sales Manager, who was very happy with all he gets out of the courses of the Sales Leadership Academy. He named a few core qualities of our courses at the Sales Leadership Academy, but also made this personal by attributing those core qualities to me.

And ... this morning something similar happened again, in the post "Never send a proposal before you have verbal agreement from all concerned" by Job ten Bosch about an advice he had once had from me years ago. An advice that had not hurt him and now in his post he advised others as well. Like me, Job also helps many entrepreneurs to become more successful.

Wonderful of course

I received compliments about the courses within a "time frame" of a few days. But those compliments were also read by me as a compliment, which was also about my core qualities and therefore not only as the core qualities of our courses. And then ... some ambivalence arose with me, at the question .... 'to re-post or not to re-post'. Especially when I read Job' s response again to my comment.

What is the wisdom now?

Now the compliments made are fairly personally directed. My Dutch character says, 'don't re-post' one comment is enough under the guise of 'modesty adorns man'. But why really? And is this smart when your core qualities are closely related to those of the company?

When the compliment is only about your company, products and services, we shout it from the rooftops with ease and entire web pages on the website are created for it. But, what if it's a personal compliment at the same time? Then the Dutch Calvinist upbringing says to be modest....

Indeed, modesty is a wonderful trait, because you know yourself that there are things you are not so good at.

At the same time, in the 10 years I lived in the U.S., I learned that it's okay to be proud of the things you do well and to shout them from the rooftops. So apparently it is also a cultural thing.

Let's look at the recommendation I received from Alvin Dekker....

The fact is, here he is talking about the Sales Leadership Academy programs.

He has since learned that your value proposition should be like a 'Purple Cow' by Seth Godin (We used to just call this a USP ). Now our courses have several 'Purple Cows' (see the training brochure and website), so we as a Sales Leadership Academy, as a company could focus on this alone. At the same time, the trainees also learn something else:
  1. The customer first "buys" you as a salesperson/advisor. When someone does not believe in your competencies, a customer does not believe your advice either. That's why it's so strange that organizations don't invest much more of their salespeople's competencies.
  2. Then the customer "buys" the organization, because when the customer does not believe in the organization, everything stops anyway.
  3. And only then, the customer only buys the product or service, where it helps greatly when you offer distinctive value and thus a Purple Cow credibility.
  4. Moreover, our trainees learn that even if you can find the Purple Cows of your organization or products and services, every salesperson/consultant does have a "Purple Cow," viz. Yourself! Especially when you as an individual are an important part of the service your organization offers to customers.

Last but not least

Teach course participants with us, that you don't really know when customers are happy with you, your organization and product or service are, until they start recommending you to others. And by recommend, I really mean proactively mention and recommend to others. So this goes a little further than answering the NPS question with a 9 or 10. In fact, that if you really want to help others be successful, using the core qualities of yourself and those of your organization, you need to shout a good recommendation and compliment from the rooftops. Because that way you can more easily find, engage and develop clients, which is at the heart of our course programs. And let's face it, that's your job and mission as a sales professional, but also as an entrepreneur.


Get a personalized compliment about a core quality which is part of your service. Push aside that modesty.
If you are "invisible" to your potential customers, you won't get their attention either.
And that is a mortal sin, because you do deserve that attention! In this way you can let more clients know or reaffirm the added value of yourself, your organization and your services. And... it is actually polite to those from whom you received the compliment. There is more gratitude in sharing the received compliment than just saying 'thank you Alvin Dekker and Job ten Bosch'.

Do you disagree with me? Or would you like to add something?

Then add a comment on LinkedIn, only then can we help others weigh in for themselves when making their own decisions.

Bonus: Listen to Jos Burgers ' Podcast along with Daniele de Jonge titled "DIFFERENCE SIERTS HUMANITY, BUT SELLS FOR NO MONEY."