To Sell is Human | Daniel H. Pink

Summary of: To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others
By: Daniel H. Pink

Short and Engaging Pitches

Elisha Otis proved the efficiency of his automatic safety brake in a short pitch that led to the proliferation of his new invention. In today’s fast-paced information environment, pitches must be even shorter and more engaging. According to research, the most successful pitches are those where the target becomes actively involved in developing the pitch. To achieve this, consider formulating your pitch as a question or using rhyming pitches. Questions force people to come up with their own reasons for agreeing with you, while rhyming pitches are perceived as more accurate than non-rhyming ones subconsciously. As a salesperson, it is essential to encourage your customers to contribute their ideas because it creates engagement. In conclusion, it is important to make pitches short, engaging, and interactive, to win over the target audience.


In this age of information, the way we approach selling and persuasion has drastically evolved. Enter the world of ‘To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others’ by Daniel H. Pink, where Pink redefines how we sell and transform it into the modern era. Our summary provides an insight into the new ABC of moving people—Attunement, Buoyancy, and Clarity—challenging conventional stereotypes and exploring more effective strategies for pitches. Discover the crucial role of service-orientation in today’s context and find out how making it personal and purposeful can enhance your ability to influence and inspire.

The New ABC of Selling

The internet has transformed the selling dynamic from caveat emptor to caveat venditor, making honesty and transparency vital for most sellers. This same trend applies to non-sales selling as well. The value of the work must come from the service provided, curating and explaining the information. The famous ABC of selling, “Always Be Closing,” is outdated, a new ABC of moving people is needed: “Attunement, Buoyancy, Clarity.”

Attunement in Sales

Attunement, the ability to understand others’ perspectives, is a vital skill in moving others. It’s more important than empathy when trying to make a sale. Successful salespeople are ambiverts, able to listen to customers, attune themselves to their perspective and make the sale. Mimicry is also a surprising physical component of attunement that helps salespeople close a deal. They mimic the accent, postures, and behaviors of others. Research has shown that aligning with others’ perspective increases sales. Moreover, studies show that feeling powerful decreases attunement, which is why always assume a low power position to understand others.

Mastering Buoyancy in Sales

Salespeople face rejection every day, but buoyancy can help them stay afloat. This means asking yourself questions, staying positive during sales activity and interpreting rejection in a less personal way. Interrogative self-talk helps you prepare and deal with problems. Positivity broadens perspectives, allowing you to see customers’ problems better and propose alternatives if necessary. Research shows that salespeople who see rejection as temporary, specific and external are likely to sell more than those who take it personally. When explaining rejection to yourself, it’s crucial to ensure your interpretations are not permanent or pervasive. Salespeople who fail to master buoyancy find themselves struggling to sell, but those who embrace it become successful.

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