Building Human Relationships for Business Sales Success

Sales Professionals understand that building human relationships is key to business sales success, something lost on most sales people who come and go. The Visitors.

You see, the Sale begins with You.

VC ~ The Sale Begins with You










There are simple, and complex, human components essential to building authentic, lasting human relationships are also relevant in business sales relationships:

  • You and the Opportunity to Meet Someone New
  • A Conversation
  • The Process of Discovery and Warming-Up
  • Rapport
  • Value
  • Desire
  • Mutual Respect and Acceptance
  • Persuasion
  • Commitment



Being a Sales Strategist

It’s amazing how many sales and business development professionals, managers and executives, still think sales is a numbers game. And, it’s still a popular belief Today.

I understand. I understand that If you believe sales is a numbers game, you’re wrong.

While there are slight variations, according to this archaic theory ~ all you need to do (to be successful in sales) is call, call, call. Go to every lead, quasi-qualified or unqualified. Pitch! Pitch! Pitch to Someday! Demo! Demo! Demo to Anybody! You must be committed to the numbers. Fill your pipeline with a zillion suspects who’ll turn into X number of prospects, sales opportunities, and ultimately customers or clients.

The song remains the same, the message passed on from one sales generation to the next. We’ve been conditioned to accept that going after every prospect is essential to our success.

What if it isn’t? What if the numbers game isn’t a success factor anymore?

What if trying to work all those prospects infects our thinking, causes our sales performance, individual and team, to become ineffectual? What if we could generate more sales with fewer prospects?

Most sales and business development people would consider these questions heresy against the sales gods and gurus.

Thinking and Acting as a Sales Strategist

Thinking and Acting as a Sales Strategist

In the long run, Top Sellers, the Best of the Best Closers, pursue fewer prospects. Top Sellers spend more time thinking and acting as a Sales Strategist about:

  • The goals and objectives of their target market, customers/clients.
  • Linking marketing to sales process.
  • Connecting and networking for mutual benefit.
  • Pre-Qualify/Qualify potential customers/clients.
  • Being more Consultative and Solution-centric.
  • Guiding prospects through the sales cycle.
  • Increasing Market Value.

By slowing down, focusing on quality not quantity, we can develop the rapport, relationship, and credibility we need to get the business. We can go deeper, learn more, and support the client/customer with the right solutions.

Nurturing any kind of relationship requires an investment of time. Are you spending enough time with clients/customers throughout the sales process? Are you committed to a Sales Closing Process? Conditioning? Gaining commitments every step of the way? Pre-closing? Or, are you pitching and running? Are you just a visitor?

Being Sales Strategists, our clients/customers trust our recommendations. We become their Strategic Advisors creating even more opportunities to succeed. 

Our goal is to help prospects understand the business value of the solution. More importantly, how changing the status quo can impact organizational culture, sustaining business growth and profitability.

Be Bold. What would you do differently this month if you rejected the numbers game?Do you think it would make a difference in your sales performance?

That’s the challenge. Reject the #1 Sales Myth! Think fewer, not more. Compel yourself (and your sales team) to shift sales behavior with a fresh mind-set and sales strategies.

Being a Sales Strategist means sales isn’t a numbers game anymore, it’s an effectiveness game. Be yourself. Make the right connections. Make human connections.

Connecting and Networking for Mutual Benefit.

Connecting and Networking for Mutual Benefit.

Always Be Engaging.

Marc Ortiz de Candia | Vitalia Consulting | The Enlightened Leadership Leader


Solution-Recognition for Enlightened Leaders

Abre los ojos, los oidos, la mente, y el corazon.

Abre los ojos, los oidos, la mente, y el corazon.

Vitalia Consulting (VC) is not a conventional management consulting firm, and we don’t intend to become one. Our client-consultant role is to inspire forward-thinking solutions and actions. “Solution-Recognition” is an important tool in the process of searching for (and finding) the best innovative ideas.

“We need more ideas” is a phrase we hear almost every day.  Innovation isn’t constrained by the absence of ideas, but the inability to notice the good-to-great ideas right in front of you. It’s not an idea problem; it’s a Solution-Recognition dilemma.

Ideas are free. So, why not take advantage of such a great value? Whatever happened to “Brain-Storming” where no idea was pre-judged as a bad idea, no matter how absurd the idea initially appeared to be? While Brain-storming has morphed into Ideation, White-boarding, Iterative Process, Blue Sky Thinking, etc., it’s rarely used the way it was originally intended. “Thinking Outside the Box” has been so overused and abused, it’s become a gag in bad commercials.

Once upon a time (1984-1987) while working with Vici Associates International (based in Milan, Italy) we used the creative-strategic process “ProThink” to stimulate innovative and pragmatic solutions for our client-companies. Guess What? The concept still works! Unfortunately, most companies (then and now) fail to consistently capitalize on Solution-Recognition, and make it an integral part of organizational culture. In my experience, it requires not only a mind-shift but also (and more importantly) a behavioral, cultural transformation.

In the digital speed of social media: Golden Opportunities are lost amidst the chatter. Great moments of brilliance never return to our work/lives.

People tend to think of creativity as flashes of light from the heavens, anointing the next demi-god of genius. In business world reality, new insights and ideas come from hard work. While analytic data can identify real opportunities, these insights must then be transformed into practical, viable ideas. Cogito Ergo Zoom (I Think. Therefore, I go fast.) is the wrong-headed mentality for Solution-Recognition to work.

Solution-Recognition requires:

  • An Open Mind
  • Genuine Listening Skills
  • Passionate Intelligence (Intelligence that can actually be Applied)
  • The Ability to Dream with “Eyes Wide Open”
  • Being Empathic
  • Emotional Intelligence (High EQ)

Research has found that those managers/leaders exposed to a small amount of uncertainty said they value creativity, but actually tended to favor practical word pairings over creative word pairings. If such a negative bias against creativity exists in times of uncertainty, it might explain why so many notable innovations (in business history) were initially rejected. Is this happening in your business?

The implications are particularly relevant now, as few leaders/managers would claim that they’re not working in an uncertain industry. The same uncertainty that propels the need for companies to innovate may also be compelling leaders/managers to reject discoveries that could help them gain a competitive edge.

The innovative ideas that would keep your company alive (and sustain growth) are being killed in the embryonic stage of development, or even at conception.

One possible solution to this “idea killing” is to change the structural system ideas must move through for acceptance and execution. Instead of using the traditional hierarchy to find and approve ideas, this process could be spread across the whole organization. Given a higher priority than immediate revenue, the idea market can create an organizational culture where new ideas are recognized and approved throughout the entire company, a democratization of recognition. What do You Think?

Solution-Recognition becomes an organizational “way of life” based on the assumption that everyone is capable of producing great ideas.

Example: We have a new client (based here in California) who recruited a highly-skilled, experienced Sales Team without building the right organizational infrastructure to support that Sales Team, without professionally mature Sales Management to properly lead and coach that Sales Team, without developing the software tools for that Sales Team to close more deals and succeed, resulting in an under-performing, disillusioned, demotivated Sales Team in complete disarray.

In essence, without Solution-Recognition, “putting the cart before the horse.” Your Management/Leadership habits become either an albatross or a catalyst for growth. The problem lies in Management/Leadership failure to (adapt and change) genuinely listen to the concerns, problems, situations the Sales Team is facing in the field. Genuinely listening to the Sales Team would engender coaching opportunities, and collaborative solutions for the true underlying problems.



Enlightened Management/Leadership embraces Solution-Recognition. Remember, You are defined by what You do.



Example: Enlightened Leaders get out of the office more often. These “empathic outings” are purposeful field trips, a way to effectively connect with employees, customers, vendors, alliance partners, and others key to the success of your business. This also makes an enormous difference in gaining commitment to shifts in business and organizational behavior, and solving related issues. The purpose of these meetings is not just for gathering information, but more crucially to discover, uncover crucial patterns of what’s working and not working in your business, misalignments in your business and organizational vision/strategies.

Example: We use Solution-Recognition in our most productive client-projects:

  1. Business Turnaround Projects
  2. Business Growth Projects
  3. New Business Ventures ~ Entrepreneurial Start-Up Projects

The Message: Reject Solution-Recognition at your peril, and suffer the grapes of wrath. Vitalia Consulting (VC) is not a conventional management consulting firm, and we don’t intend to become one. Our client-consultant role is to inspire forward-thinking solutions and actions. Solution-Recognition is an essential tool for every successful business.

Partner with Us. Let’s start with a conversation. 

  • Marc Ortiz de Candia
  • Executive Partner ~ Provocateur
  • Vitalia Consulting | The Enlightened Leadership Leader

The Compassionate Pursuit of Happiness (Prosperity)

Warning! This blog may not be suitable for all readers, especially for those who made resolutions against happiness and prosperity in 2013, and for those who do not believe in the Constitution of the United States of America.


Enlightened Leaders can make others happy. Understand, this is not meant to say leaders are responsible and accountable for other people’s happiness, but Enlightened Leaders with high Emotional Intelligence (EQ) are responsible and accountable for creating environments where people can experience happiness. Consider this: The compassionate pursuit of happiness is not about what you want to be, it’s about who you want to be in this world:

  • as a compassionate human being
  • a compassionate organization
  • a compassionate business entity

Time is passing not everlasting. Notice? You blinked a few times and February 2013 is upon you, and will soon be gone. The Golden Globe Awards are behind us and now the Academy Awards are a couple weeks away. Time is passing not everlasting.

Have you had a chance to see the impressive small film, Happy? I highly recommend how this film explores the intrinsic contributors to our happiness as compassionate human beings. According to filmmaker, Michael Pritchard, “Compassion leads to happiness. Search the world for secrets to life’s greatest emotion, happiness.”

Economic growth has doubled in the last 50 years, but we’re not any happier, even though we have much more materialistic stuff. Right? Is everything we were taught about happiness and prosperity wrong-headed? After all, the study of happiness is nothing new. The point is that we haven’t seemed to learn very much from all the happiness research, and Corporate America (and society in general) hasn’t exactly embraced happiness or its relationship to compassionate leadership.

After all, most of us began the new year making promises to improve our lives, resolutions and un-resolutions based on what we did and didn’t do the year before. So, without looking too far ahead, look back at 2012 and assess what happened, what got you there, and most importantly, what made you happy, and why?

I believe that if you can tap into what makes someone else happy, you’ve expanded your enlightened leadership competencies. Plus, the fulfillment of making others happy reinforces your own happiness. For we cannot have relationships with others without reciprocity, mutual acceptance, respect, and value. Mutual benefit must exist to sustain relationships. Without mutual benefit, relationships die.

There are many things we do not fully understand on this planet, not on this plane. Yet, we must try to understand. Trying to understand is simply an exercise in becoming a better human being, a better leader.

Dr. Richard Davidson, University of Wisconsin, “Quantify happiness and you can quantify anything.” We’ve spent forever studying depression. Isn’t it high time we take a closer look at the value of happiness in leadership. The goal of psychology has been to help people rid themselves of their problems. Positive psychology studies and guides people towards happiness. Did you know that “Happiness” has become the most popular elective course at Harvard?

Marci Shimoff, author of Happy for No Reason says, “Our values are a key component of happiness.” Shouldn’t our values shape the kind of leader we are capable of becoming? Happiness is which something so often easily discarded as a “soft skill” is actually hard to develop, unless the essence of Enlightened Leadership is within you, and your organizational culture supports it.

Forbes released the January 15, 2013 report on the “World’s Happiest Countries.” Guess what? The USA wasn’t among the Top Ten again this year! What’s wrong with us?

Researchers have long known that we have pre-disposed genetic set points that play a role in determining how happy we can be. Moments of great joy or great sorrow return us to our happiness set points. Here’s the thing ~ While 50% of our happiness is genetically pre-programmed, only 10% is based on circumstances, 40% is based on intentional behavior! In other words, it’s what you choose to do, who you choose to be that has a significant impact on your lasting happiness, and in turn, the happiness of others around you.

Decades of research proves that happiness increases nearly every business and educational result: increasing sales by 37%, productivity by 31%, and accuracy on tasks by 19% as well as a myriad of health and quality of life improvements. Among those companies that don’t take leadership development seriously, vital and emerging leaders, these same companies ignore the role happiness plays in leadership effectiveness.

What can your company do to raise the happiness level of an employee? Happy human beings function better, are more productive, and live longer. Is the dissatisfaction in your company caused by depression stressors, or combined with low levels of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) within your leadership team, or the absence of happiness within the organizational culture?

Think about it. What did you do when the umbilical cord was cut? Cry, Baby Cry.

Knowing happiness can be quantified and measured, why has Corporate America been so slow to capitalize on its value to business? What about your company? (Conference room donuts, bagels, muffins, cookies, brownies, hot cocoa, and coffee don’t count!)


Nearly every company gives lip service to the philosophy “people are our greatest asset.” Results from the Conference Board’s most recent survey (tracking job satisfaction) shows that employees are “the unhappiest” in the 24 year history of the survey! Around the same time, CNNMoney reported that 87% of Americans are unhappy with their job. Mercer’s “What’s Working” survey found that one in three US employees are serious about leaving their current jobs. The numbers are higher among younger employees under 30 who tend to trend toward far more restless movement.

In her new book, The Myths of Happiness Sonja Lyubomirsky, psychology professor, argues that holding on to fallacious ideas about happiness, thinking we’d be happier if we had the right relationship, social status, material possessions, or…[fill in the blank] works against us. The issue is that these kind of thoughts keep us mired in our past, and don’t reflect how one cultivates happiness in real life.

Appreciating our relationships compels us to extract the maximum possible satisfaction and helps us to be grateful for it, relish it, savor it, and not take it for granted. Cultivating appreciation also helps us feel better about ourselves, more connected to others, more motivated to nurture relationships, and less likely to compare our situation to others and become envious. When given the choice between competition and collaboration, compassionate human beings will choose collaboration. 

We all know someone who has stellar success in their professional life but completely miserable in their personal life, every relationship an apparition. What’s your story?

Based on the metrics alone, you can easily make the case that the single greatest competitive advantage, in the modern economy, is a happy and engaged workforce.

In the New Age of Enlightenment, Enlightened Leaders must lead the way out of the darkness of depression and recession into the light of happiness. We, through intention, can change our brains, and in turn, the world around us. Enlightened Leaders perceive happiness as a skill. Compassion is in our DNA, caring about people, places, and things outside of ourselves.

People joke about “natural highs.” Truth is, science has proven that the compassionate pursuit of happiness gives you “natural highs” as good or better than any drug.

Acknowledge that happiness is an advantage at work that can be leveraged to get things done. Seek happiness in the present instead of waiting for future success. Exercise your brain for higher levels of happiness by creating habits shown to increase job satisfaction:

  1. Write a brief e-mail every morning thanking or praising a team member.
  2. Write down three things you are grateful for each day.
  3. Spend a couple minutes recalling something positive you’ve experienced over the last 24 hours.
  4. Exercise every day.
  5. Practice “Mindful Meditation” for a few minutes. Focus on your breathing in/out.
  6. Be forgiving. Practice forgiveness ~ every day of your life.  

Of course, if you can’t see the value, none of this will matter to you, and you should have read the disclaimer. Happiness comes from the capacity to feel deeply, to enjoy simply, to think and act freely, to risk life, to be needed not ignored.

Happiness: Set your compassionate self free, and the world is yours.

Marc Ortiz de Candia, Executive Partner, Vitalia Consulting


Music Playlist to Get Your Happiness Groove On:

  • Can’t Buy Me Love ~ The Beatles (Hard Day’s Night movie soundtrack)
  • Respect Yourself ~ The Staple Singers
  • Sweet Dreams ~ The Eurythmics
  • Higher Ground ~ Stevie Wonder
  • Sweet Dreams ~ Senor Coconut
  • Happiness Runs ~ Donovan (Yes! That Donovan!)
  • Ode to Joy ~ Beethoven (from Symphony No. 9 in D Minor)
  • Tomorrow Never Knows ~ The Beatles (Revolver)
  • Oh Happy Day ~ The Edwin Hawkins Singers
  • Bossa Per Due ~ Antonio Carlos Jobim
  • 100% Pure Love ~ Crystal Waters
  • Happy Talk ~ South Pacific (South Pacific movie soundtrack)
  • If Six Was Nine ~ Jimi Hendrix
  • Stand By Me ~ John Lennon (version)
  • Four Seasons ~ Vivaldi
  • Because ~ The Beatles (Abbey Road)
  • Instant Karma ~ John Lennon
  • Imagine ~ John Lennon
  • Happiness ~ Johnathan Jeremiah
  • Here Comes The Sun ~ The Beatles (Abbey Road)
  • I Can See Clearly Now ~ Johnny Nash
  • Inner Light ~ The Beatles (b-side of Lady Madonna)
  • A Beautiful Morning ~ The Rascals
  • Rain ~ The Beatles (b-side of Paperback Writer)
  • Living in a Material World ~ George Harrison
  • The Trip ~ Donovan (Yes! That Donovan again!)
  • Across The Universe ~ The Beatles (Abbey Road)
  • Love ~ Air
  • Yellow Submarine ~ The Beatles
  • Feelin’ Good ~ Joe Sample and Randy Crawford
  • Groovin’ ~ The Rascals
  • I’ll Take You There ~ The Staple Singers
  • Happy Birthday ~ The Beatles (“aka” The White Album”)
  • You Can’t Buy My Love ~ Robert Plant (Band of Joy)






Tangerine Tango: Let’s Dance!

Learn the steps of the dance, the art of conversation and build powerful, lasting business relationships that work for you.

Every lasting relationship begins with a conversation, even business relationships, even partnering for mutual benefit. Yet, sometimes we forget the easy way to connect with the new people we meet, on something we have in common, other than business, a simple generous gift of conversation.

The nice thing is that conversation can be about anything, almost anywhere. Natural humor stimulated by life and living in this world, an affinity we share, it may be something complimentary or complementary.

Build powerful, lasting business relationships, especially Advocate Relationships, without breathlessly pontificating about what you do and how you do it, without talking about business, without selling anything at all. No matter what business you are in, the relationship business is key to your business growth.

To illustrate: Did you know that the newest Pantone Color released in 2012 is called “Tangerine Tango.” For our purposes, Tangerine Tango is simply “starting that initial conversation.” The fun part is that you can initiate conversations anywhere, anytime (not exclusively at business events). The potential for human interaction is all around us. You know you’ve got to face the music sometime, somewhere.

Best described as “warm, uplifting, and energizing” Tangerine Tango is the perfect color for increasing business relationships.

Think, act, be Tangerine Tango! Learn the basic steps, the art of engaging in simple conversation is just like a dance. Learn the dance. Practice each step with your newest partner. You will remember where to step with every beat of the music. One caveat, unfortunately if you are not genuinely committed to Tangerine Tango (reflecting the behavioral ways you cultivate relationships) it will be transparent to everyone around you.

You can use Tangerine Tango in networking, in expanding your business relationships, your sphere of influence, again without selling anything. (We can call it, “The No Pitch.”) Learn the dance. Establish rapport, trust, and value creation with people.

Give the gift of value in your conversations to create “Advocate Relationships.” Advocates are people who will make a case to recommend you to others, without you ever asking. Advocate relationships are the most important relationships. These are people who will give you unsolicted referrals because they like and trust you.

Try Tangerine Tango just once. Try it, and decide later. Is it right for you? It’s a simple choice. Work it. You’ll feel Tangerine Tango working for you without you even having to be here, there, and everywhere. Build powerful, lasting relationships that work for you, and you’ll want to do the dance over and over again. There are two other basic steps essential to expanding your business, branding and building your image. We will explore these dance movements another time.

Can you really think outside-the-box? Here it is: Tangerine Tango!

Every lasting relationship begins with a conversation. After all, when’s the last time you really danced in your business life? Remember what they say, “It takes two to Tangerine Tango.” Let’s Dance!

The beginning is always today. Let’s continue the conversation.

Marc Ortiz de Candia, Executive Partner, Vitalia Consulting