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Top-Shelf Tip No. 230:

"Stop selling. Start helping."

Zig Ziglar

Four Ways To Humanize B2B Sales

With so much talk about leads, revenue and funnel stages, it's sometimes hard to remember the human side of sales. In B2B sales, it's easy to think you're selling to a faceless entity embodied by a brand. But, of course, that's not the case. You're selling to people within a business, and these individuals are more complex and unpredictable than the companies they represent.

Alex Rynne, a writer who manages social strategy for LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, says there are ways to bring a human touch to B2B sales. For starters, she suggests embracing B2P (business-to-person) sales and marketing. Instead of a B2B or B2C approach, a B2P strategy recognizes each person involved in the sales interaction.

Keep reading this issue of Promotional Consultant Today for Rynne's four tips for humanizing B2B sales.

1. Understand and act upon emotional motivators. To be successful as a seller today, it is imperative to connect at a deeper level. One of the most primal and powerful of emotions is fear. This is delicate territory—scare tactics are no fun and can easily generate ill will, notes Rynne-

but there are responsible ways to create a sense of urgency. Determine what your prospect stands to lose if things continue the way they're going. Then as the conversation progresses, show how your brand will solve those problems. This calms their fear.

2. Make things easy and frictionless. People are busy, and the thought of taking on new cumbersome tasks can lead to dread and anxiety. As such, Rynne says it is beneficial to portray a smooth, non-intensive buying process and implementation. Consider ways you can empower buyers to take things into their own hands (when applicable), while using reps in a complementary role to create a one-two punch.

3. Pinpoint your purpose. People want to do business with companies that stand for something beyond just making money. Even if you can't tie what you sell directly to the greater public, Rynne says there are still likely to be opportunities to amplify your brand's purpose and principles. Shared values are vitally important for building relationships with customers.

4. Be social and build trust. The average person spends more than two hours per day using social media, and that figure keeps rising. These networks are magnetic because they bring a sense of genuine social interaction to the cold anonymity of the web, and sellers can tap into this inclination, Rynne says. We don't do it by blasting sales messages at strangers but by cultivating a natural and authentic social media presence, and building real relationships that ultimately pave way for sales conversations. Be active, be helpful, be real.

It's often easy to lose sight that you're always selling to a person—never a business. By remembering the guidance above, you can keep people first and maintain a B2P perspective that drives growth.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Alex Rynne manages social strategy for LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, bringing the brand voice to life across social and the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions blog through content designed to inspire marketers to succeed.