The TribeSpring Story

TribeSpring was founded by two partners who met through networking and built their relationship at the Downtown Clubs of Raleigh. Craig Mathews and Jeff Raxlin became friends, built an Executive Connections networking event series at the clubs, and leveraged their networks for the benefits of those around them – and each other. They had been selling via relationships and referrals for years and understood the power of networks.

In March of 2011, Jeff asked Craig to think about “how to make money from my network.” Craig, a business and marketing strategist, thought about it over the weekend and came back with a full business model, financial plan, and functional specs for a new service, then called Sales Connectors.

After several months of playing with the business, gaining interest, and even putting a team together for Triangle Startup Weekend, Craig and Jeff realized that the business required too much work for people to benefit from (the revenue model was then charging for making referrals). They decided to change the premise from “making money from our networks” to “helping others build more responsive networks,” and the concept of TribeSpring as a suite of software tools was born.

Within an hour of that conversation, Craig had mapped out 75% of the product plan that is now TribeSpring, and within the next several weeks they had refined the business model to essentially what it is today.

Then they recruited Nate Brown to help with product ideas as an advisor, as Nate is known for his networking expertise.

They talked with hundreds of salespeople and business owners about their biggest struggles with networking and sales, and built a system to relieve the pain and bring more power and life to their networks through a mobile platform that could be used in face-to-face networking situations.

The TribeSpring Mission

Our mission is to improve peoples’ lives by giving them the tools and knowledge to build responsive and trusted networks.

It’s about imagining a world where peoples’ relationships are stronger because of the tools we provide. For salespeople, that means they get more referrals. For other professionals, it means meeting people, keeping in touch with them, and benefitting each other.

The Power of Referrals

Salespeople and small business owners are our core market. Representing 7 million of our total 225-million-person potential market, outside salespeople depend on their networks for their livelihoods. Unfortunately, according to IDC Sales Advisory, 50% of salespeople don’t make their quotas.

Referrals provide the best opportunity for those who sell face-to-face. Hands down, referrals are the most preferred way of selling by professionals. Why? Because they close business 2-3 times faster and twice as often as sales leads, which are still just cold calls. Referrals are so effective because when someone refers a person, the referrer’s trust is transferred, and the receiver can move past the trust-building stage, which often cuts several steps in the sales process.

TribeSpring is The Referral Solution. There are no other mobile tools that do what we do. Our patent-pending platform provides the fastest, most comprehensive way to increase referrals on the planet.

The Secret Sauce: The Law of Reciprocity

As we built the TribeSpring product plan, we began to realize the power of what we were building: a system that generated more referrals for salespeople, and that helps other professionals build stronger networks that lead to more professional opportunities, jobs, and being able to help others in relevant ways without much work.

The key to all of this is what Zig Ziglar says, “you can have anything you want in life as long as you help enough other people get what they want.” That is the Law of Reciprocity: the more you help others, the more they will help you. It’s kind of like the concept of Karma: more good stuff out, more good stuff in.

Our platform is the first mobile tool to build upon the Law of Reciprocity, and it also will prompt people who are too far out of balance with others. For example, if Julie has given Jim three referrals but Jim hasn’t done anything in return, the TribeSpring system may prompt Jim to reciprocate, and identify some good potential referrals that would help Julie.

TribeSpring: The Meaning Behind the Name

Seth Godin had written a book called Tribes that talked about building networks (tribes) of people and standing up as a leader if nobody else did. Craig and Jeff liked that concept, and decided that a good pairing word would be “spring,” which has multiple meanings, including: coiled energy, new growth, and well of life-bringing water.

All of these fit with the concept of building a powerful and fulfilling network, so the name stuck. TribeSpring. Bringing energy and life to your network.

Craig grew up in Austin, Texas, and has an affinity for the Southwest, so when it came time for the visual part of the logo, he brought out one of his favorite Southwest icons: Kokopelli. Kokopelli is a Native American demi-god responsible for abundance, fertility, Spring, music, and mischief. Perfect for our needs, and tied back to the concept of tribes as well.