Appeal to Your Sales Team Heads and Hearts


In this 4:38 video, David Hennessy stresses the importance of understanding the “why” behind strategies, emphasizing a dual approach: the head for rational thinking and the heart for emotional connection. Leaders must appeal to both aspects, recognizing diverse wiring in individuals. Balancing logic and emotion, or enlisting help, is key. 

David Hennessy, the VP of Sales at Kite Pharma, is an experienced healthcare leader with over 20 years of experience in the biotech and pharma industries. He deeply understands the importance of balancing rational thinking with emotional connection to drive success. David is passionate about offering hope to patients and believes that every product, regardless of industry, can have an emotional argument.

” I think anytime you don’t rely on both the head and the heart, you’re leaving yourself open to a competitor.” – David Hennessy

David Hennessy emphasizes the importance of understanding the “why” behind any strategy. He believes that every “why” should have two components: the head (rational thinking) and the heart (emotional connection). As a leader, it is crucial to appeal to your audience’s logical and emotional sides. David suggests that people are wired differently, with some being more data-driven and others being more emotionally driven. The leader must balance these two aspects or find someone to help them. He also highlights the power of patient success stories and emotional arguments in selling any product.

Summary Video Article:

Appeal to Your Sales Team Heads and Hearts


In leadership, it is crucial to understand the power of both the heart and the head. Every decision, every strategy, and every argument should be grounded in a combination of rational thinking and emotional connection. In this thought-provoking discussion, we delve into the significance of balancing the heart and head in leadership, the reasons behind the disconnect that sometimes occurs, and the implications for success.

The Heart and Head: A Powerful Combination

“Every why should have two components. One is the head, which is your rational thinking about it. Is it a numbers game? Show me the strength of the market—like that. The other one is the heart.” – David Hennessy

As leaders, we must recognize that our decisions should be rooted in rationality and emotion. The head represents the logical aspect, where we analyze data, assess market strength, and consider the numbers. On the other hand, the heart embodies the emotional connection, the passion, and the purpose behind our actions.

“In my industry, we offer hope to many patients. If you can’t get excited about that, and that’s not your why, then you’re in the wrong business.” – David Hennessy

In the healthcare industry, the emotional argument is evident. Offering hope to patients, improving lives, and keeping people alive are powerful motivators. However, the importance of balancing the heart and head extends beyond healthcare. In every product or service, there is an emotional argument to be made. Whether it’s making life easier, providing more time with family, or enhancing efficiency, appealing to both the rational and emotional aspects is crucial.

The Disconnect: Why Leaders Focus on Only the Heart or Head

“I think people are wired a certain way. For example, when I look at my family, they’re just, I got a data-driven kid, and I have a non-data-driven kid. And there’s, I think people are wired that way, or at least they gravitate one or the other.” – David Hennessy

The disconnect between focusing solely on the heart or head can be attributed to individual wiring. Some individuals naturally lean towards the analytical, data-driven approach, while others are more inclined towards the emotional, intuitive side. As leaders, we are responsible for appealing to the broadest audience possible, recognizing that our team members may have different preferences.

“I don’t think people intentionally say, we’re gonna make it a rational argument and stick away from the emotion. I just think they’re wired that way.” – David Hennessy

It is important to note that leaders do not intentionally neglect one aspect over the other. Instead, their natural inclination towards either the heart or head may lead to an imbalance. Leaders must first understand their wiring and leadership style to bridge this gap. By acknowledging our strengths and weaknesses, we can seek to balance ourselves or collaborate with others who complement our approach.

The Power of Purpose and Emotional Connection

“Patients are very persuasive in terms of how it’s impacted them. Patient success stories, physician success stories.” – Steven Rosen

In any industry, purpose and emotional connection play a significant role in driving success. Patient success stories, for example, have a profound impact on healthcare professionals. These stories remind them of the positive impact they can make and fuel their motivation to continue their work. Similarly, in other sectors, emotional arguments can be made to highlight a product’s or service’s benefits, ultimately influencing customer behavior.

“Having that self-awareness… we tend to default to those, but having that self-awareness. So thank you for that.” – Colleen Stanley

Self-awareness is a crucial element in leadership. By understanding our default tendencies, whether they lean towards the heart or head, we can consciously strive for balance. This self-awareness allows us to recognize the importance of both aspects and seek out individuals who can complement our strengths and weaknesses.


“I think anytime you don’t rely on both the head and the heart, you’re leaving yourself open to a competitor.” – David Hennessy

Failing to incorporate the heart and head in leadership can leave organizations vulnerable to competitors who effectively tap into the emotional aspect. Customers are not solely driven by rationality; they are influenced by their emotions and connection with a brand or product. By neglecting the emotional argument, leaders risk losing opportunities and failing to resonate with their target audience.

Appeal to Your Sales Team Heads and Hearts

The power of the heart and head in leadership cannot be underestimated. Every decision, strategy, and argument should be grounded in rational thinking and emotional connection. By recognizing our wiring and seeking balance, we can appeal to a broader audience and drive success. Purpose and emotional connection are powerful motivators, and leaders must leverage these aspects to inspire their teams and influence customers.

As we move forward, it is crucial for leaders to continually assess their approach and ensure they are incorporating both the heart and head in their decision-making processes. By doing so, they can create a culture that values rationality and emotion, ultimately driving innovation, engagement, and success.



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Steven Rosen 2022

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Steven A. Rosen

Steven helps companies transform sales managers into great sales leaders. His focused coaching helps clients achieve greater personal and professional success. Steven is the author of 52 Sales Management Tips - The Sales Manager’s Success Guide.

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