To Sell is Human | Daniel H. Pink

Summary of: To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Persuading, Convincing, and Influencing Others
By: Daniel H. Pink


In ‘To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Persuading, Convincing, and Influencing Others’, bestselling author Daniel H. Pink redefines selling in the modern age and challenges the conventional wisdom of the sales profession. Guiding readers through unconventional ABCs, the book emphasizes the importance of attuning oneself to others, employing strategic mimicry, and embracing positivity to become better influencers. Taking into account the shift in information asymmetry and the pitfalls of traditional sales techniques, learn how to effectively communicate in a world dominated by salesmanship and explore new pitching styles to engage and persuade your audience.

Selling is the New Reality

Daniel Pink, bestselling author and renowned speaker, discovered his activities over a two-week period made him a “salesman,” leading him to explore the idea that we are all sellers in today’s world. In his book, To Sell Is Human, Pink argues that we engage in “nonsales selling” regularly, from persuading our peers to accept our ideas to selling our skills and views. Pink examines what sales now mean and their relevance in the future, providing tips and tricks that can make us all better sellers.

To Be A Salesman

In his book, author Daniel Pink uses a folksy and unpretentious style to communicate his propositions, urging salespeople to prioritize honesty, directness, and transparency to foster stronger customer relationships. While he can become a little tiresome and unrealistic at times, Pink’s charm and credibility make him readable and memorable. He emphasizes that every person is a salesperson and highlights the importance of continually enhancing one’s sales skills through lifelong social interaction. Ultimately, Pink reminds readers that the only thing they have in the world is what they can sell, and they should embrace their role as salespeople to succeed in the business world.

The Evolution of Sales Thinking

The classic ABCs of sales, “Always Be Closing,” no longer work in today’s market. In “Glengarry Glen Ross,” Alec Baldwin’s speech exemplifies this old-school thinking, which relied on information asymmetry. However, with buyers having more options and information, salespeople need a new approach. In his book, Daniel Pink shows that the new ABCs are Attunement, Buoyancy, and Clarity. Salespeople need to understand their clients’ perspectives, maintain positivity, and simplify their messages to make a connection in today’s market.

Persuasion through Empathy

In his book, Daniel Pink delves into the art of persuasive selling, emphasizing the importance of empathy in connecting with others. He suggests adopting the perspective of the person you’re pitching to, rather than imposing your own. Pink also recommends “strategic mimicry” to reflect the other person’s posture and mannerisms subtly. He emphasizes the power of positive emotions like joy, appreciation, and inspiration and how they can reflect in your character and manner. Pink classifies pitching as ‘non-sales selling’ where you convince others to give up something they’ve got in exchange for what you have. He believes that an “optimistic explanatory style” is critical in productive sales and insists on recognizing your client’s problems before offering solutions. Pink suggests offering fewer choices for clarity, which often leads to a greater likelihood of a successful sale. Overall, Pink’s ideas on adapting your mindset and embracing empathy can not only make you a better salesperson but also lead to contentment and mindfulness.

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