Skye Book Review: To Sell Is Human by Dan Pink

By Ruby Vesely on April 2018

Turns out, we’re all selling something. Studies show that “one out of every nine American workers works in sales.” But in Dan Pink’s “To Sell Is Human,” he argues that we are all salesmen-just in a broader sense. Perhaps you are pitching ideas to colleagues or clients, or convincing your kids to eat their vegetables. Or maybe you just finished an online social media profile selling yourself or your organization. Either way, according to Pink, you are engaged in “non-sales selling.”

Pink defines non-sales selling as “selling that doesn’t involve anyone making a purchase, and we’re all doing it, all the time.” In this book, Pink imparts words of wisdom on effective strategies to selling or “moving people”. He stresses to make it personal and purposeful as well as creating conditions where you leave your client better off in the end. The point is not problem solving as many of us may think, but problem finding. Uncovering challenges your client did not know they had is an incredibly effective way of moving someone. If you can elicit their goals you can then be flexible enough to frame the work that you do in that context.

One of the techniques he discusses is understanding the other person’s perspective so that you can create attunement. “The ability to move people now depends on power’s inverse: understanding another person’s perspective, getting inside his head, and seeing the world through his eyes” This involves “syncing mannerisms and vocal patterns” among other things to become a better communicator and more persuasive seller. This book artfully creates a roadmap to help us guide our own sales techniques as we “move people” in our community.
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