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To Sell is Human

From the bestselling author of Drive and A Whole New Mind…

Comes a new book that explores the power of selling in our lives.

In his fantastic book, To Sell is Human, Daniel Pink highlights that “1 in 9 people work in sales.  So do the other 8.”  His point is that we all have an aspect of selling or influencing to our roles now – so selling skills are not reserved for those 1 in 9 who have sales in their job titles.

The challenge here is that most of us do not really consider our roles to involve selling. But Daniel Pink successfully argues that simply isn’t the case.  His research found that 8 out of every 9 people do some sort of sales in their jobs.  Regardless of what they do.

Pink describes how sales and non-sales selling are ultimately about service.  That to sell our ideas, our resources or our time to another we have to “move” others – not out of the way, but emotionally – causing someone to feel “moved.”  That’s most likely to happen when you do two things: make it personal, and make it purposeful.

Pink sets out “a broad rethinking of sales as we know it.” He examines what sales mean now and in the future. He also gives us a new definition of the sales classic: ABC.  Instead of the mantra “Always Be Closing,” Pink suggests “Attunement, Buoyancy and Clarity.”

Attunement is “the ability to blend one’s actions and outlook into harmony with other people.”

Buoyancy is “the quality that combines grittiness of spirit and sunniness of outlook.” To be buoyant means to apply three components before, during and after any effort to move others.

Clarity is “the capacity to make sense of murky situations.” To create clarity, you first need to find the right problems to solve, then drill down to the core of the problem and compare it to other problems so that people have a frame of reference. Finally, you need to find an “off-ramp,” which Pink defines as providing a clear directive for people to act – or the traditional “call to action.”

Here are our top three 3 takeaways from the book:

Almost half of your time at work is spent in non-sales selling, which is really just trying to move others.  Acknowledging this and considering how you develop your influencing skills can be hugely beneficial.

Honesty and service are taking over sales, because the internet has closed the information gap.  This means that just providing information is no longer the focus in sales, because people can look up that information online.  Service and trust built through honesty are more important now than ever before.

Use “Yes, and…” when talking to customers to make sure they stay positive and engaged.  This comes from the realisation that people stop listening when they disagree and they start planning their response when they hear someone disagrees with them.  If your ‘customer’ or person you are influencing gets the impression you disagree, for example when you say “no,” or “yes, but…” then you could lose them.  Stay more positive and your customer will do the same.

If the thought of developing your sales skills seems a little daunting, fear not.  We have two fabulous resources to get you started.  The Trusted Advisor Model and The Challenger Sale download.

And as always, follow the image below to buy a copy of this fabulous book!