Introducing Selling With Heart, Soul And Humanity: A New Paradigm in Sales – Or is It? 

 December 1, 2023

By  Martin Schmalenbach

Welcome to a Journey of Rediscovery in Sales

Have you ever felt that traditional sales techniques seem a bit… off? That pushy, manipulative tactics just don’t resonate with your values? You’re not alone. That’s why I’m excited to introduce you to something I’ve been passionately working on for a while now. I call it Selling With Heart, Soul, And Humanity™ or SWHSAH™.

But there’s a twist – what if this new paradigm isn’t so new after all? What if it’s a rediscovery of what sales should always have been about? What if it’s actually the realisation of how you’ve wanted to do sales & selling, that you have most, if not all, of the required skills, but you just didn’t know how to put it all together or didn’t have the confidence to move forward with it?

In the years I’ve been working on this I realised that many experienced and successful salespeople wanted a more ‘human’ or empathetic approach and that they actually had many of the needed skills. Once they realised this, their stance switched instantly from “guarded skeptic” to “open-minded learner”.

Working with small businesses and solo entrepreneurs in my own city showed me that this was also the case for an awful lot of folks who didn’t have lots of experience as a successful salesperson.

Everything is there within and around you for this journey towards a more authentic, empathetic, heart-centred approach to sales and selling, doing it with integrity.

So, let’s ‘set sail’ on this journey together.

The Philosophy Behind SWHSAH

SWHSAH™ isn’t just a method; it’s the map that guides us through a new terrain or over a new sea in sales. It’s about shifting from the well-trodden paths of transaction-focused approaches to uncharted routes that value relationships and genuine connections beyond simply having them. This philosophy is our compass, leading us back to the essence of good salesmanship, seen through the lens of today’s fast-paced, highly digital world.

It’s a mindset. It’s about shifting from a transaction-focused approach to one that values relationships and genuine connections. More than that, it builds on and makes use of these relationships to help clients and prospects see and then benefit from the much greater amount of value and potential available to them from working with you.

It’s not enough to just have a relationship – that’s the easy bit frankly. That’s the ‘donut and coffee’ part of selling, as I call it. What’s needed is a way for your clients and prospects to feel some value in having that relationship with you, so that when you call them, they take your calls if they can, and they certainly call you back. And when they agree to meet with you, they don’t cancel on you at the last minute.

It’s about seeing sales not as convincing someone to buy but as an opportunity to create value together. But wait – hasn’t this always been the essence of good salesmanship? Perhaps, SWHSAH™ is more of a return to these timeless principles, seen through the lens of today’s fast-paced, highly digital, ‘VUCA’ world.

‘VUCA’ is an acronym for volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. As fun as these may be, dealing with them in a business sense can be challenging. As in very challenging. On any journey, any voyage, there will be degrees of VUCA – unknown challenges, pitfalls, opportunities… uncertainty about the weather for example… or the market conditions. The complexities of connections and relationships between people, or teams, or things. I think you get the point.

On our journey together you will see how, where and why the various aspects of heart-centred selling, of Selling With Heart, Soul And Humanity™, can help dial down the VUCA levels for you so you can perform better, with less stress and more enjoyment. And in doing so, help your prospects and clients better handle their own VUCA.

Let’s start by comparing and contrasting the new approach with the more traditional, conventional approaches.

Traditional vs. SWHSAH Approach: Contrasting Paths

In traditional sales, the journey often feels straightforward, focused on the end goal: the sale. This focus can lead to a mindset where the means justify the ends, sometimes venturing into manipulative tactics. But SWHSAH™  invites us on a more fulfilling path or course – building trust, understanding needs, and aligning & creating solutions with those needs. It’s not just about making a sale; it’s about forming a partnership where both parties emerge better off, enriching the travel experience for everyone involved.

In a very real sense, the last thing this approach is about is making the sale. For the client to not only be better off but BEST off, they need to be able to make a more informed decision, devoid as much as possible of bias and steerage from potential sellers so that the prospect gets the best outcome for them, rather than an acceptable outcome for them but the best outcome for the seller.

This might sound like it will result in the seller ending up with less than they might otherwise have achieved in terms of the bankable value they get from the sale. But the reverse is true – their reputation and brand go up enormously, the level of trust they engender in the prospect or client is huge, and it results in 2 things: a far greater chance the prospect will come back for more (and also tell others about you, the seller) and a far greater chance they will pay your full-margin asking price or even a premium – and be happy about it!

The Rewards of The SWHSAH™ Journey

Adopting the SWHSAH™ approach can revolutionize not just how you sell, but how you view your entire business journey or voyage. It can lead to:

  1. Deeper Customer Relationships: By focusing on understanding and empathy, you create lasting bonds with your clients – the true treasures of this journey.
  2. Sustainable Business Growth: Authentic relationships are the milestones that mark our progress, leading to repeat business and referrals – the lifeblood of any thriving business.
  3. Personal Fulfilment: Aligning your professional practices with your personal values brings a sense of satisfaction that is the ultimate reward of this journey. Selling with integrity very much falls into this bucket.


Tools For The Traveller: Practical Hints and Tips

  1. Building Rapport Authentically: Start conversations by understanding the person, not just the sale. Ask about their business challenges, listen actively, and show genuine interest. It’s like packing the right gear for the journey – essential for navigating successfully.

Example: In my interactions, I often start by asking, “What’s the biggest challenge you’re facing in your business right now?” And I emphasise the word ‘start’ here. This opens up a dialogue that’s about them, not (yet) about what I’m selling. It starts up what I like to refer to as a 2-way conversation.

  1. Active Listening to Understand Customer Needs: It’s not just about hearing the words; it’s about understanding the context and emotions behind them. It’s like reading a map – it ensures you’re on the right path. Especially when you reflect back to them what you hear, to ensure you’ve got it right.

Example: A client mentioned struggling with inefficient processes. I repeated back not just their words but their frustration, saying, “It sounds like these inefficiencies are really hampering your team’s morale.” This shows I’m listening on a deeper level. That I’m on this journey with them.

Looking Ahead

As we wrap up this introduction to SWHSAH™, take a moment to reflect on your current sales approach. How does it align with your personal and business values?

In our next post, we’ll delve deeper into the cornerstone of SWHSAH™: building trust. How do we foster genuine trust in our sales interactions, and why is it crucial? Stay tuned.

related posts:

Embracing Ethics in Sales: The Core Principles of Heart-Centric Selling


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