Should salespeople be more like marketers? According to an article in the Harvard Business Review recently, the best salespeople are those who really believe in their brand, work hard to create an emotional connection with their consumers, and attract customers rather than chase them.

So, is the hard sell dead? And are the best salespeople actually brand evangelists, as HBR would have us believe?


According to the Harvard Business Review, great salespeople do what brands do. What does that mean? It means they:

  • Focus on internal culture first. Get your people passionate about your product.
  • Avoid selling products; create emotional connections instead.
  • Ignore trends. Take your lead from your customers
  • Don’t chase customers; attract them by being good at what you do.
  • Create extraordinary experiences that embody your brand.
  • Behave ethically and create real value for your customers, even when there’s unlikely to be a sale.
  • Commit to the brand values and impart those brand values.

“There’s a theory (salespeople) should under-promise and over-deliver. I think that’s rubbish: You should promise and deliver what you can do. It’s an issue of trust. Tell the truth, be in control, service the audience.” — Sarah


  • Make sure everyone in your team understands the product, the value proposition and the strategy. That needs to happen before you’ll see success.
  • A great example of creating an emotional connection to the product is Apple. They sell a lifestyle, not just a product.

“Follow the lead of your customers, not the lead of your industry.” — Nic


  • If you focus on creating value, providing good information, demonstrating your expertise and your authority, your customer will make the decision about working with you before they even have to.
  • If you and your sales team don’t believe in your brand, there’s no way the customer is ever going to. Brands need to invest in their people; they should be ambassadors for your brand.

“I think it’s almost impossible to go out selling until you understand your brand values and make sure you’re living and breathing those.” — James


Here are the links you might need

  • Here’s the Harvard Business Review article that sparked the conversation.
  • Brand Newsroom producer Dan Hatch recently wrote an article about using content marketing to build brand loyalty. You can read it here.
  • Sarah mentioned a book called Good to Great. Here it is.


Have you heard the one about…

Recently James, Sarah and Nic took a close look at email marketing best practice.



And here’s a discussion with ADMA’s Jodie Sangster looking at the content marketing trends for Australia for 2017.


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