Home > Creativity and Innovation, Critical Thinking, Opportunity, Relationships, Rigor > “To Sell is Human” by #danielpink

“To Sell is Human” by #danielpink

Knowing how much I liked Daniel Pink’s other books, “A Whole New Mind” and “Drive”, I had to pick up his most recent one. The subtitle is “The Surprising Truth About Moving Others”. One out of every 8 American workers have a job that is considered sales. Even though that is low, what Pink discovers is that most of the rest of us need to be sales people during our job.

Pink has taken the slogan “Always be Closing” (ABC) to be Attunement, Buoyancy and Clarity. Attunement is about getting to know your customer. Sales people have been mimicking their customers for ages. The three steps he mentions is Watch, Wait and Wane. Watching involves observing, waiting involves being patience and waning means back off a little – don’t push it. Study show that you can increase your power by reducing it. He mentions that an extrovert is not the best salesman. Many people assume the extroverts will get all the sales, but they don’t. Neither do introverts. In order to be good at sales you have to be an ambivert – meaning a little extroverted and a little introverted. Use your head as much as your heart. Pink also describes a discussion map where you create a map of who is sitting where in a meeting. Then you put an X next to each person who speaks. You also draw arrows if the speaker directs everything directly at one person. Managers or sales people can really get a feel for who people defer to in a meeting. Mimic Strategically! Another task you can have others try is Mirror, Mirror. Have each pair stare at each other for 30 seconds, then turn and face the other way and change something about your appearance. Turn back around and see if you can tell what has changed.

Buoyancy is described by Pink as being able to ride the waves. In sales, you will get a lot of rejection. The buoyancy keeps you going when everything is negative. To do this, there are three steps interrogative self-talk (making sure you are ready for success), positivity ratio (having at least 3 positive things to every 1 negative thing) and lastly explanatory style (how you explain the worst scenario can help or hurt you).

Clarity is the “capacity to help others see their situations in a fresh and more revealing ways and to identify problems they didn’t realize they had.” Framing is a huge part of this. Restricting choices when purchasing something can help a buyer see those choices more clearer. In today’s society in order to frame ideas or concepts easier, you must be a curator. There are three steps for curating.   First, seek information, gather the most interesting items. Second, sense what you have gathered by taking notes on the website or by maintaining your own blog.Lastly, share the information you learned, through your blog, Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

To find out someones motivation, there are two questions, “On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 meaning ‘not the least bit ready’ and 10 meaning ‘totally ready,’ how ready are you to ….” After they answer “Why didn’t you pick a lower number?” When they answer this question they start to explain their own motivation and reasoning for doing part of the task.

Clarity depends on comparison so try a jolt of the unfamiliar “it takes the jolt of the unfamiliar to remind you just how blind you are to your regular surroundings.” Learn to ask ask better questions as you are searching for clarity. Start with producing a list of questions, don’t edit, just write them down. Then take your list and try to make all the questions open-ended questions. Then prioritize your questions. For more info, www.rightquestion.org.  Some books he suggests reading are Influence: Science and Practice, Made to Stick, Switch, Mindless Eating, and Nudge. Another tip is to ask Why over and over again.

There are six different pitches to try out:

  1. The one word pitch- what is the search engine to use?  Google
  2. The question pitch – Are you better off now than you were  4 years ago? – Ronald Reagan
  3. the rhyming pitch – If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit. – Johnny Cochran
  4. the subject line pitch – tap into the principles of utility, curiosity, and specificity.
  5. the twitter pitch – 140 characters or less.
  6. The pixar pitch: once upon a time _______, every year _______, one day _______, because of that ________. until finally ________. Example about the book: Once upon a time only some people were in sales. Every day, the sold stuff, we did stuff and everyone was happy. One day everything changed. All of us ended up in sales – and sales changed from a world of caveat emptor to caveat venditor. Because of that, we had to learn the new ABCs- attunement, buoyancy, and clarity. Because of that, we had to learn some new skills – to pitch, to improvise, and to serve. Until finally we realized that selling isn’t some grim accommodation to a brutal marketplace culture. It’s part of who we are – and therefore something we can do better by being more human.

While creating the pitch make sure you think about what you want them to know, feel and do.

In order to improvise, you must hear the offers. You can practice this by playing a couple games. The first one is “Amazing Silence” . The first person must reveal something important and the second person must make eye contact the entire time and then respond 15 seconds later. Secondly in improv you must learn the “Yes and.” technique where no mater what someone says you say “yes and…” In improv, you must learn to make your partner look good. It is no longer the win-lose scenario. Nowadays we must find the win-win scenario.  Some books on Improvisation are: Impro: Improvisation and the Theatre, Improvisation for the Theater, Creating Conversations: Improvisation in Everyday Discourse , Improv Wisdom, and The Second City Almanac of Improvisation.

The idea of switching from win-lose to win-win is the same idea of not upselling but upserving. To better serve customers, make your message personal and purposeful.

This was an amazing book that really made me look at the world differently.

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