(10)To Sell is Human by Daniel H. Pink

Thursday, January 30, 2014

To Sell is Human

Pages: 272
Publication Date: December 31, 2012

Selling has been around for as long as the stone wheel.   In his book, To Sell is Human, Daniel H. Pink explores the the idea that we are all in the business of selling, or the business of moving others.   Whether you are a teacher trying to "sell" chemistry to your students or a doctor trying to "sell" a treatment to your patient, we all are trying to move those around us to do what we want them to do.  Sometimes it involves an exchange of money and sometimes it does not.   According to a study done  7,000 workers polled say that 40% of their time is spent "engaged in non-sales selling - persuading, influencing, and convincing others in ways that don't involve anyone making a purchase"  -- Think about what you did at work today, did you try to persuade a customer or colleague?  Did you try to get them to see your point of view?  Did you have to tell your boss what your plans are for the big client and convince him why your plan will work?  Then you were engaged in non-sales selling.

One of the things the author talks about at great length is how sales have evolved over the years from the "ALWAYS BE CLOSING" mentality (Quick, name that movie!) to more of a service-based selling where ABC stands for "Attunement. Buoyancy. Clarity"  Daniel Pink goes on to give the reader some tools to help with this new shift in mindset.   Like an updated of the "elevator pitch".  He also tells the stories of some salesmen, like the last Fuller Brush Salesman in the United States.  (And if you know who or what a Fuller Brush Salesman,  is you are likely older than me!) He even talks about a rather large software company that did $100,000,000 in sales without a single salesman on payroll.   He even gives reasons why many companies are successfully moving away from the typical commission based salaries for salesmen and are seeing sales soar.   Like I said, an entire shift in mentality.

Another thing that I found completely fascinating was a new term I had never heard before reading it in this book.  Ambiverts.  One would always assume that the extroverts make the best salesmen, but you would be wrong.  Yes, extroverts do better in sales than introverts.  But, according to a professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and a study he completed at a software call center, it is those ambiverts who make the best sales people.  Ambiverts are neither extroverted nor crippling introverted.    Daniel Pink even offers an assessment on his website to see if you are an ambivert.  I am. :)

Bottom line, you may not want to admit it, but odds are you do some kind of selling everyday.  It may be a "non-sales" kind of selling, but odds are if you are a parent you have engaged in selling ten times before you  get the kids off to school every morning.   If you want some insight and tools on the art of moving someone to your way of thinking, To Sell is Human  needs to be the next book you read, I promise that you will find it fascinating.  I did.

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