We’re All in Sales: Advancing Integrative Health

By Glenn Sabin

Selling is the single most important skill to achieve effective personal and business goals. This has been true for millennia.
You don’t have to be part of a formal sales team to be ‘in sales’. We are all in sales. Yes, including you.  You just may not have realized it yet.

Selling begins when a child asks her mother for a candy bar, and the mom says no. With each future ask, the child deploys new negotiation tactics: that is pure sales. Fourteen cavities later…

And it hasn’t stopped since.

Put simply, those in the integrative health and functional medicine field are selling.

And not just those in a business development role or part of actual sales teams.

From the CEO to front office receptionist, successful companies sell and influence, from top to bottom. Everyone sells.

Let me make clear that there is zero difference between selling and influencing. Or for that matter, lobbying or fundraising.

Clinicians, administrators, educators, investigators, publishers, service providers, product manufacturers or,—ahem—business consultants and strategists. Everyone sells.

Business leaders may not actively oversee a sales department, but they are selling their company’s brand ethos, and its unique products or services. They inspire with their leadership and engagement skills to maximize productivity and creativity. Everyone sells.

Researchers and scientists are perpetually seeking support to keep their labs funded and the lights on. They present to benefactors, angels, NIH offices and centers, to continue their ongoing investigative work.

Then, these same investigators pitch (via submission) their papers in the hope of gaining attention from the most prestigious, high impact medical journals, and esteemed congresses to present their abstracts and ideas. An unending loop of selling.

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I used to formally sell advertising and custom publishing for an entertainment-based media company I owned and operated (jazz and rock ‘n’ roll, in case you are curious).

As the company grew and eventually had a sales team, my responsibility as CEO was to lead the enterprise of 40-ish employees across multiple departments and functions. But I never stopped engaging clients and prospects, finding new ways to provide value. I never stopped selling.

I had to sell to get you on my mailing list. I did this with quality content, delivered consistently, to earn and hold your attention. I may have offered a free gift, or asked you to sign up multiple times in multiple ways. The thing is, you did. Thank you. I made the sale of gaining your time and attention—my reward from the ‘sale’.

Myriad ‘Formal’ Ways to Sell

In the traditional sense of selling, as part of an established sales unit, there are five core approaches to making sales. They include:

  • Solutions Selling
  • Consultative Selling
  • The Buddy Approach
  • The Guru Approach
  • Customer Personality Selling

You can read how each approach works here.

This article is decidedly not about the formal sales processes of your enterprise or organization. You certainly need a smart sales funnel, CRM (customer relationship management) software, supportive collateral, and site, platform, and tight strategy for whatever you may be selling; but this is not that piece.

Your Organizational Ethos Drives Success (and Sales)

Given that we all sell, endeavor to raise your game in meaningful and productive ways.

Make sure to include your entire team in the process of selling, regardless of position. Get participation and investment from your team by openly sharing your mission and vision… and where things are headed.

Also, keep in mind the best sales people for your brand (personal or company) are those that know and respect your work, and patronize your business.  These are your brand ambassadors. Let others sing your praises so you don’t have to

What Sells?

Authentic brand positioning sells. Storytelling sells. Quality sells. Copywriting sells. Evidence sells. Customer service sells. Educating sells.

Sales are a byproduct of being consistently helpful and doing good work that people can easily access and share with others. 


  • Recognizing that everyone sells (and influences): evaluate what kind of sales ‘representative’ and ‘influencer’ you are.
  • Authenticity, passion, and being helpful are the keys to your most successful ‘sell’.
  • Get your team on board by sharing your outlook, and be open to their ideas.
  • Never underestimate the power of letting others sing your praises (via testimonials), to make the sale all the easier.

About FON

FON is a leading integrative health and medicine business development and strategy consulting firm. FON specializes in custom solutions for growing patient volume, developing programs, and increasing product sales. Our practical business models are driven by innovative marketing, clear messaging, and customer engagement via branded storytelling.

Contact us today to schedule a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your business development or personal brand needs.

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Image of Glenn Sabin
Author: Glenn Sabin
FON’s founder, Glenn Sabin, is a nationally recognized thought leader with a reputation for successfully positioning integrative health organizations for sustainable growth. Combining media, marketing and business development expertise with an extensive professional and personal integrative health and medicine narrative, Glenn is deeply passionate about advancing the field as the new standard of care—accessible to all.
Read Glenn’s story.


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