What’s your unique human proposition?
- There are innumerable philosophies and methodologies of salesmanship, but sometimes the best advice is the simplest advice: Be yourself.
- Sales coach, author, and speaker Jules White says we all have a unique human proposition (UHP) –– our individuality, our own brand of humor, and our natural ability to have human-to-human conversations.
- She discusses how to identify and leverage your UHP as an authentic, organic way to build trust and deliver value to buyers.
“Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.” –– Margaret Mead
Of the three billion base pairs in the human genome, only 0.1% are unique to each of us. That means everyone on the planet is 99.9% alike. We are much more similar than we are different.
However, that fraction of a percent accounts for every variation among humans on the planet.
Yes, there’s only 0.1% of a DNA difference between you and Beyoncé, Bill Gates, and Brad Pitt.
But that difference is everything.
That’s also why sales and business consultant Jules White is fond of the saying: There are 7.1 billion types of normal on the planet.
“How amazing is that?” she says. “There’s no other Darryl on the planet. There’s no other Jules on the planet.”
Jules calls it a unique human proposition (UHP). At the top of her game after 30-plus years in sales, she sees self-discovery, shared connection, and candid conversation as authentic, organic ways to build trust, deliver value, and ink more deals with clients and prospects.
On an episode of INSIDE Inside Sales, the award-winning speaker, sought-after coach, and the bestselling author of “Live It, Love It, Sell It” talks about how to get down with UHP (yeah, you know me) –– as well as the power of empathy, the importance of active listening, and why going “off-script” can put you on the track to success.
Get curious and connect
The catalyst for Jules’ philosophy began when she realized that her knack for sales came from within.
“I’ve worked in lots of different industries and sectors and I’ve probably had the most sales training anyone ever has,” she says. She tried every format, methodology, process, and script in the game.
At one point, Jules had an epiphany: Over the course of her career, she hit every target she was ever given –– and often exceeded them. However, she wasn’t doing anything sales coaches trained her to do.
“There might’ve been a few bits that were useful,” she says. “But then I’d completely ignore them and just be Jules White.”
What Jules did naturally was what really worked for her: being curious, asking questions, and stepping into the world of the buyer. She thought: I need to create a methodology that allows us to realize what sales is truly about.
“It all comes down to individual humans connecting,” she explains. “That’s the magic of sales.”
Strengthen your core
Jules developed the UHP approach by delving into ways to define our own strengths, and best use them to relate to others.
So, how can we each find our own unique human proposition?
It starts by examining our core convictions, she says.
“That’s why the live it part of “Live It, Love it, Sell It” is all about you,” Jules explains. “What are your values? What are your beliefs? And what are your strengths?”
When you know those for sure, you really begin to “show up” as your best authentic self for customers.
“People want to see those things,” she adds.
The next step is learning your clients and prospects’ UHPs through heart-to-heart conversations: What do they think value looks like? Why do they think they should buy from us?
“Let them lead you there,” Jules advises. “And then when we interject with empathy, we show we’re listening. We show we understand.”
ID your -ism
We all have “-isms,” says Jules. She has Jules-isms. Elon Musk has Elon-isms (or perhaps Musk-isms has a better ring to it). What are yours?
Maybe it’s your charm, your style, or how you speak, how you dance, how you play chess, or all of the above. It’s the sum of what makes you you.
When we have products to sell and quotas to hit, it’s easy to “forget who we are in the mix,” she explains. But our –isms are the “emotional glue that ties everything together in the transactional process,” Jules argues.
Traditional sales processes are often easier to pull off than interpersonal connections.
“We humans quite like structure,” she adds. Bonding with others, though, is less linear. It’s more unpredictable. It requires us to be vulnerable.
When we’re ourselves, -isms and all, we express empathy. We show we’re listening. We convey understanding –– and we build trust.
Beware the do-nots
Our wonderfully diverse selves are all going to do things a bit differently. And the whole uniqueness angle doesn’t play well with rules. There are a few no-no’s to know, though.
As salespeople, we tend to control conversations –– “it’s kind of how we’re taught,” Jules notes.
But the best interactions with buyers should be dialogues, not diatribes.
The two most important ingredients for a good conversation are asking questions and listening.
“We’ve had these skills since we were born,” says Jules. (Think of the most common thing we hear from kindergartners: Why?)
Another scenario to avoid: putting on a show.
When you talk to clients, be yourself –– as in, act naturally. Use your natural tone of voice. Use your own sense of humor and your own words (respectfully, of course). Wear what you feel comfortable in (quite literally; in today’s world, you can probably get away with your pajamas, but we don’t recommend it).
Not long ago, most sales jobs (most “office” jobs, period) were corporate with a vocabulary, a demeanor, and a wardrobe to match.
“We don’t want it to be like that. Buyers definitely do not want that,” Jules says. “And buyers will notice that you’re using language that they’re not used to from salespeople.
If you meet your friend for coffee or down the pub for a pint, do you reach into your jacket and pull out a list of questions to ask them? No –– you instinctively and intuitively know how to have a conversation. Do the same when you’re talking to buyers.
“I kind of want to untrain people who have been trained how to sell,” says Jules.
Give yourself permission to tell stories, to go off on tangents. When the time is right, you can come back to the script. We all have the subconscious skills to identify the right questions at the right time, but that instinctual ease can fly out the window if you’re ticking off a script of questions and talking points.
If you lead with your unique human proposition, the conversation can go in a direction you never anticipated.
“You’ll learn stuff that you never would have learned otherwise,” Jules adds.
Your scripted questions are still there, and at a natural point in your chat, “it might make sense to jump to that fifth question on your list because the conversation has traveled in that direction,” she says.
But when you do ask those scripted questions, it will be in a manner that feels genuine to both you and your client.
Do you have to get all the answers every time?
“No, you don’t,” says Jules, who thinks you only need one of two outcomes: either realizing the buyer isn’t the right fit, or coming to a mutual agreement to move forward in the sales process.
“And because you had a great conversation, they’re gonna say yes.”
Identify your unique human proposition in 2021
Remember, there’s only a 0.1% difference between you and everyone else. So, find ways to stand out and differentiate yourself from your competitors. Your unique human proposition should set you apart and draw your prospects in to engage with you –– because you are that special.