book excerpts · Book reviews · Business reads · Marketing & Sales

The skill you love to hate but need to have…

Answer the following questions to find out if you are in need of this skill;

1. Do you earn a living trying to convince others to purchase goods and services?

2. Do you work for yourself or run your own operation, even on the side?

3. Does your work require elastic skills – the ability to cross boundaries and functions, to work outside your specialty and to do a variety of different things throughout the day?

4. Do you work in education or health care?

If you answered YES to any of the questions …

You are definitely in SALES! the skill needed to move others… (pg 42-43)

BOOK REVIEW- TO SELL IS HUMAN|| DANIEL H. PINK|| RIVERHEAD BOOKS|| 2012|| 260 PAGES

Now that almost everyone is an entrepreneur, intrapreneur or has a side business, the importance of selling cannot be over-emphasized or ignored.

The only difference now is the fact that some sales strategies which have been used since time immemorial no longer apply due to the imbalance of information and options in favor of the buyer, moving us from a buyer beware (Caveat Emptor) situation to that of the Seller beware (Caveat Venditor).

Daniel H. Pink doesn’t only focus on traditional sales of products or services but on anything that typically includes “moving” others; whether it be getting people to make changes in their lives, influencing others or other non-sales selling.

Most times, we spend a huge part of our day engaged in influencing, persuading or swaying others to do something we want/prefer through various means – email, all those are acts are what the author refers to as Non-Sales type selling.

The book is divided into three parts;

The Rebirth of a salesman

He introduces the concept of Non-Sales selling – which is almost as large as the active sales force as those engaged in persuading, influencing and convincing others in ways that don’t involve anyone (directly) making a purchase.

Most of us are movers, others are just super movers.

He proposed 3 reasons for the rise in Sales and Non- Sales selling with a lot of research and analytical data. The three reasons are the rise in entrepreneurship and it’s low barrier to entry, the increase and easy access to information and the growth of the education and medical sector (coaches, teachers and more)

He debunks the several myths of people in sales especially the one which says salespeople are ‘natural’.

In his words,

there are no ‘natural’ sales people, in part because we are all naturally salespeople. Each of us are – because we are human – has a selling instinct, which means that anyone can muster the basics of moving others.

Daniel H. Pink

How to be (Part two)

discusses the new characteristics that help you an effective new age seller, free from all the bias associated with selling.

Basic sales training tells you to Always Be Closing – ABC, this he transformed to A.B.C – Attunement: Bouyancy: Clarity – the new focus of the salesperson.

Attunement: it is about considering other people’s perspective in trying to sway them to your side. This can be done through showing empathy, using strategic mimicry and learning the advantages that make ambiverts (a mix of introvert and extrovert) better sales people.

Buoyancy: It is about the resilience of the salesperson; their ability to face rejection many times over and still pick themselves up to persuade or convince the next person. Pink suggests using interrogative self-talk or auto-suggestion as Napoleon Hill calls it in the book – Think and Grow rich (Click to see my review ), increased positivity and ‘flexible’ optimism – i.e the opposite of blind optimism.

Clarity: It is about problem finding rather than just problem solving, asking better questions, and being clear about your USP.

What to do (Part 3) as a transformed Salesperson.

Adopt newer ways to pitch your business or ideas or move others since most top level management hardly uses the elevator these days and has an influx of information to sieve through daily.

Serve by moving from up-selling to up-serving. Rethink sales commissions so that salespeople are willing to serve the customers rather than focus on their commissions.

Tosan’s take: It’s an interesting book, definitely not what I expected for a book on sales. The terrain of selling has changed even though the focus is still on moving people to part with something you want, while in this case you provide value. There’s a bit of focus on understanding human behavior around selling as well. Overall, I’ll say, it teaches you to be more humane about moving others. The surprising truth about moving people; moving others…
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