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Ian Helps

It’s H2H – Sales is Human to Human

Ian Helps / 03 March 2014

Have you ever seen the link between sales and end of life care? You probably haven't, and neither had I until I ran a workshop on sales enablement with my local hospice. It turns out that the connection is that both are about H2H or human-to-human interactions in which the mindsets of people are what matters.

As part of the pre-briefing in setting up the workshop, I was told that there would be attendees from both the hospice's fund-raising and clinical teams. The clinical teams, being nurses, have been concerned that they don't know about sales and were even embarrassed to get involved with potential donors at fundraising events on the grounds that "nurses are not trained salespeople".

Consalia's approach to sales is uniquely focussed on our four Selling Mindsets TM, which our research shows separate the "10%" of sales professionals who are singled-out by their clients as being the best. These four mindsets are:

Authenticity – are you open, genuine, trustworthy?

Client centricity – do you really care about what the client wants or do you focus on your own company's solutions and hope they fit the client's needs?

Proactive creativity – do you develop unique and creative solutions that meet the client's needs in their search for increased competitiveness

Tactful audacity – "the art of knowing how to go too far", using emotional intelligence to know and push the limits

We often get asked does this apply equally in B2C and B2B? Our research says that it equally applies to both. At the hospice workshop I got to find out that the Selling Mindsets go way beyond this.

As the hospice nurses reflected on the Selling Mindsets, one of them exclaimed, "these are what I have to do with my patients":

Authenticity I have to be open and honest with my patients at all times

Client centricityI have to have my patients' needs at the top of my priorities at all times

Proactive creativityI need to come up different balances of medication, help solve new problems for my patient like "who's going to look after my cat when I can't any more"

Tactful audacitysometimes I have to cajole and persuade people with difficult medical problems to move away from treatments that worked in the past and move them to new ones; I need to move them out of their comfort zone

So the nurses immediately developed a new relationship to their fundraising roles. Whilst still seeing fundraising as something that felt uncomfortable, they could see that they had the foundations for what it takes to be good at it. The Selling Mindsets are therefore fundamentally about H2H – human-to-human interactions when one person needs to help another move to a more advantageous place than the latter is in today. At a time when we are told about the convergence of B2B and B2C experiences, enabled by the flattening power of the internet and social networking, it seems that the Selling Mindsets are as relevant as ever.

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