The Alphabet Article Series – The ABCs of Solving Sales Problems – The 3 “H’s”

If you value TED Talks or reading anything you can find on personal and professional development, I hope you’ve encountered Shawn Achor and his The Happiness Advantage. The basic premise is that happiness fuels success, success does not necessarily deliver happiness. To quote Mr. Achor, When we are positive, our brains become more engaged, creative, motivated, energetic, resilient, and productive.”

If you haven’t encountered this concept, I strongly recommend you consider at least watching the TED Talk and reading the book. It’s definitely worth the calorie spend.

So this leads us to our 3 “H’s”: Happiness, Humanness, Honor

Ok, Mike. Now you’ve crossed over the line. I need more sales and better sales processes, not a bunch of warm and fuzzy, feel-good ideas about happiness, humanity and honor!! 

As always, I’d just ask you hear me out…

Happiness. In addition to Mr. Achor, there are all kinds of studies done about happiness in the workplace. Lack of happiness is one of the leading causes of employee attrition. It is also a leading cause in lack of production, missed work days, poor effort, employee tensions, and a host of other things that can plague a company.

Still skeptical?

Check out what Forbes has to say here:

Or what Fast Company reports here:

Bottom line? It MATTERS. And with a great many of the other “letters in sales” we’ve discussed these past few weeks, I’d like to emphasize that uncovering happiness from each of the members on your team requires sincere effort that must come with authenticity. You not only have to try to find ways to uncover it, you must CARE to keep trying until you find it, for the group, and for the individual members of your team

And if that workload wasn’t enough, I am going to add that you better measure your client’s happiness as well. Yes, in the quantifiable sense, ROI ultimately matters. But also, in a more intangible way. Are your clients happy with their interactions with your team? Do they feel as if they are being treated in a consistent, responsive way? Are there more intangible components, like extra white-glove steps you can add to their experience to not only ensure your solution is better than your competitors, but also to give your team a chance to have regular interactions with your clients?

Humanness. When I began my marketing career in the fall of 1990 as a college student, the world of marketing was a much different place. The digital age had yet to take root and most sales were started with a phone conversation and consummated face to face. Because of that foundation, and I’ll confess, and partly because of how I am wired as a person, I believe firmly that people buy from people. Relationships in sales are key. And for the opportunity for any kind of relationship to blossom, there has to be a grounded understanding that there is a person on both ends of the transaction.

It is critical as well to recognize the human element in your team. We’ve talked about happiness already, but that’s only one of many components you should be considering as you build your sales culture. Your team are first and foremost human beings. They will have good days and bad, personal likes and dislikes, and your group may work well together but might not always get along. The more real things are at the grass-roots level and the more you have accounted for the fact that your people are people first and committed to the cause second, the more likely you will establish and grow a meaningful sales culture.

Honor. Now here’s a word just fraught with archaic overtones and can be seen as perfunctory if overused or overplayed with your team. Worse yet, if it is ever undermined with inconsistency, you will likely never be able to truly reestablish it without drastic company change. However, if carefully and deliberately positioned within your culture, it can be a lasting asset for your company and each of your teams. The most important feature of properly implementing this concept is consistency. Up the company ladder, down the company ladder, across departments and most importantly when dealing with servicing your clients.

The simplest way to think about this concept is in application. And it starts with YOU. Easy questions like, “Do you do what you say you will do?” “Do you put personnel and client best interest ahead of the company bottom line?” “Does your team see you behaving in the same way each day, regardless of the kind of day you are having?” “Do you interact with your team with consistent authenticity and do what’s right every time?”

As simple as these questions may sound, your response to them will make all the difference. What’s more, honor among your teams, honor in your product or service offering, honor in your value proposition, your sales collateral and the company itself – it becomes inherent to the extent that people notice and respect you for it – your clients and your team

Like with so many of the other letters we’ve covered, it’s either an authentic part of who you are as an organization or it’s not. And those who get to know you, your teams, and your organization, will feel the difference when you truly have it and you can bet they will most certainly notice when you don’t (and they’ll likely never say a word…they just won’t be doing business with you…).

Put people first, use the 3 “H’s” as they can benefit you best, and know that I am here to help or just chat, should you ever want to discuss what’s best for your team.

To raising all ships!

P.S. Be sure to join us next week when we talk about the 3 I’s – Insight, Initiative, Imagination