An inspiring piece from James Routledge (of Sanctus), telling his story of how he raised £20,000 in seed capital off the back of a blog post on mental health.

Whilst this is an account of James' journey to fund-raising, it reminded me of the the importance of human-to-human relationships in business, even in the face of digital intermediaries.

Stakeholders (whether they're a prospect, an existing client, or just someone you're looking to influence) are too often packaged into buying personas, and nurtured through a funnel, which often takes the shape of: 

This is all good and well if you're selling a product, but if you're selling a service, or you're selling your knowledge, you have to treat your stakeholder as a person, not simply as a buying persona. This is where relationships come in, and where human-to-human interaction is critical. In such scenarios, people don't typically arrive at buying decisions from funnels alone, there is almost invariably a human-to-human relationship that was paramount in engineering the situation. 

In James' case - from one human to another, he successfully delivered an authentic story through an inspiring experience; moving the needle for him to go all guns blazing on his start-up, Sanctus. 

The real power lies in doing this at scale, with unfaltering regularity. If you can get your colleagues regularly engaging with their key stakeholders, you're onto a winner.