The sales process for a peace builder in the open market is wrapped up with impressions, ideas, concepts, and intuition that the peacebuilder has in their head about every sales film, sales call, and selling situation they’ve ever been involved with.

But, in order to be successful in the open market, where noise and multiple messages reign, the peacebuilder must become comfortable with establishing their value in the market early—which is the first step in starting the sales process. The struggle for the savvy peace builder is how to find clients who will pay (marketing) and then how to “close” them ethically (sales). The only way for the peace builder to sell ethically is to build a fulcrum (from Seth Godin and his 2006 book Free Prize Inside) and to become a champion for peace. Through such a process, the peacebuilder becomes the “free prize” inside the value they add to the client.

All sales are relational in nature, but, in order to “sell” and “close” on the promise of peacebuilding for clients in conflict, the peace builder must become a champion of peace. This requires a changing in the thinking of the peace builder around the sales process.

The second step after marketing then becomes, not the “ask,” but the process of building a fulcrum to demonstrate value and become a champion, and then leveraging that value and championing to grow the revenues of relationship, trust, and money.

The practical steps in building a sales fulcrum involve:

  • Determining if the customer you’re selling to as a peace builder thinks the work of building peace is worth doing.
  • Determining if the customer you’re selling to as a peace builder thinks that you are the person to build that peace.
  • Determining if the customer you’re selling to as a peace builder believes that the outcomes of work of building peace are actually an added benefit to them, their organization, or their lives.
[Strategy] Selling for the Peace Builder I

Illustration from Seth Godin’s book Free Prize Inside pg. 69, available on Amazon.com. All Rights Reserved to Seth.

By definition, all of these practical steps are hard for the peace builder to answer, because they are based in assumptions, ideas, and a worldview that is unproveable, unknowable, and unquantifiable, until after the work of building peace is already in progress—or already completed.

This is why building the fulcrum should be front and center of any peace builder’s sales process. Too many peace builders get caught up in the easy part (creating the product (i.e. early, mid, or late stage intervention) that the client in conflict can use); or get focused on talking about the unpleasant part (entering structures (i.e. families, companies, schools) from the outside w/no leverage or trust to build a fulcrum); while avoiding the hard part entirely (building a fulcrum in spite of rejection, hopelessness, or the inability of clients to close).

All of peace building, from negotiation to mediation and every intervention at every stage in between, is built on needing other people to act.

When you need other people, you must leverage them.

What they think matters.

What they think about you matters.

What they think about peace and peace building matters.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
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