I am growing tired and weary of all the old paradigms about the differences between B2C and B2B sales.

I’ve been frustrated about this for a while. And Dan (Waldschmidt) and I will soon discuss this topic on a future episode of SalesChaosTV. But until the other day, I didn’t have a way to voice what I’ve been feeling.

I was participating in a LinkedIn group chat about organizational sales forces and whether or not they should be integral players and participants in the corporate social media program (I argued yes).

[some sales guy on the chat had the gall to say, "Well, that's not my department." He doesn't get it.]

I was finally able to voice what I wanted to say here when some lady engaged in the dialog made the point that there is no longer B2B or B2C, there is just P2P.

Yes! People. To. People.


Sales is about people. It is about human beings.

It isn’t about some imaginary wall between selling to customers and selling to other businesses.

And yeah, yeah, I damn well know there is a difference between selling laundry detergent to a homemaker, and selling complex long sell cycle engineered conveyor systems to a manufacturing concern.

But damitt, both the end buyers are people.

Am I wrong?

I am sick and tired of people who won’t adopt, or won’t even bother to explore and examine certain sales and marketing applications just because some damn consultant six years ago said that it only applies to a B2C approach, or vice versa.

Human beings are a pain in the royal ass. They have egos. They have big problems. They have kids that stink in school or have health problems. Humans have mortgages, bills, massive debts, and a spouse who is no longer interested in them intimately.

Said another way, closing the deal with you is way frickin’ low on their priority list…

It is my contention that we needlessly complicate the sales process by adding layers of complexity and jargon that only make for good books and impressive speeches by sales and marketing gurus.

In my experience, and I’ve sold both homemakers and manufacturers, each sales opportunity is different, unique, weird, sometimes mystifying, and complex enough in their own way. Why?

Humans. People. All with emotions and problems.

And until we strip away all the self-burdened complexities and learn how to deal with, how to communicate with, how to relate to, and how to empathize with real people…

…sales will continue to be a frustrating, segmented, miserable vocation.

Shift away from following generations-old corporate models, expectations, and paradigms, learn how to interact with real people, and you will free yourself to build real human relationships.

And then selling is no longer selling. It is serving.


drawing by hugh macleod