H2H, or What My First Biz Mentor Taught Me

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I just saw a tweet from a colleague that I hold in high regard, and he referenced Bryan Kramer’s #H2H tweet – “There is no more B2B or B2C: It’s Human to Human, #H2H.” This was apparently back in 2014, – I somehow missed this “new” trend.

My reaction? Um, duh.

Yeah, sometimes I’m like a 7th grader. OK, I’m a LOT like a 7th grader a great deal of the time, but aren’t we all?

Kramer’s point is that the B2B and B2C designations led to ridiculous marketing speak and silly marketing jargon. I agree that the lexicon of marketing content is a little ridiculous (sometimes a lot ridiculous) but I disagree that it’s because of the segmentation of B2C vs B2C. That’s probably a good thing. Because businesses do make buying decisions differently than consumers.

Kramer’s right about one thing – both groups are made up of people. That reminded me of what my first business mentor, Edward Solomon, taught me. “It’s people buying people from people.” I worked for Ed at a technology consulting company and the firm placed consultants on large software development projects at Fortune 100 companies in the San Francisco Bay Area.

His advice has stuck with me.

It meant that I really listened to my customers, sought to understand what they needed on the project, but more than that, what their goals were, what they cared about, their families  and personal lives. And in return, I was honest, authentic and transparent. Ed taught me that those things mattered and that customers know when it’s missing.

To this day, it’s how I move through the world, both business and personal. So H2H is true, but it’s all about being a real person and treating your client’s like they are real people Because they are.


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