To Sell Is Human Book Summary – A Quick 5 Minute Read
Daniel Pink’s ‘To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others’ offers a new perspective on the world of sales.
The book has sales strategies and techniques that seem counterintuitive at first but begin to make sense when Pink provides scientific literature to back his claim.
His book isn’t just for salespeople; anyone can gain new insights from this book and use them in everyday life.
In this article, I am going to give an in-depth summary of Daniel Pink’s ‘To Sell is Human’.
Table Of Contents
About The Author
Daniel H. Pink is an American author. He spent his early years in Columbus, Ohio. So far, he has written six books, including The New York Times bestsellers Drive and A Whole New Mind. His work is available in 33 languages which speak volumes of the author’s reach. He presently resides in Washinton, D.C.
One Sentence Summary
Selling is everybody’s job these days, and you can do well if you know the ABCs of sales – Attunement, Buoyancy and Clarity. Using modern pitches, learning techniques and from theatre can be beneficial.
‘To Sell Is Human’ Book Summary
Daniel Pink’s ‘To Sell is Human’ begins by expanding the common understanding of the word “selling.” Selling isn’t limited to salespeople. Everyone is involved in sales in some way or the other. Persuading and influencing others has become a part of our lives.
Managers influence their employees to do something new.
Parents persuade their children to help out at home.
We are always trying to convince others. We are “selling” to other people that our vision for doing something is the right one.
With this crucial understanding in mind, the book, To Sell is Human, has become a useful read for anyone.
1. Selling has changed
Another critical factor that makes the book relevant is that we live in an age of information parity.
A long time ago, the sales world had customers who knew almost nothing about the product. Salespeople would leverage this fact in their favor. No one can try to con a customer at this age because he/she will find out the truth and choose another alternative product.
Therefore, the sales process and how salespeople pitch their product has changed.
2. The seller should believe in the product
Selling ability enhances if the seller truly believes that the product will improve the customer’s life.
Some products may be more interesting than others, but that doesn’t matter if improvement energizes the seller. A practical understanding of the issues that a product can solve lets the seller believe in the product, and this belief shows in his/her pitch.
3. Don’t take rejection personally
Another tip for sellers is not to take rejection personally. There may be many reasons for refusal. Sometimes these reasons are not related to the seller’s ability in any way. This view on rejection doesn’t leave the seller dejected and helps him/her get better outcomes in the future.
4. Attunement, Buoyancy, and Clarity
Daniel Pink provides a new understanding of the sales acronym ABC (Always Be Closing). ABC in Pink’s book stands for Attunement, Buoyancy, and Clarity.
Attunement means perspective-taking. It relates to how well a person can understand and empathize with the people he/she is trying to persuade.
Buoyancy is the ability to bounce back from the rejection faced when selling.
Clarity refers to the ability to filter information, make sense of it and also create patterns from it that allow the seller to make better pitches.
To Sell is Human – Selling Techniques
With these critical pieces of information in mind, Pink explains selling techniques that make persuasion and influence easier.
1. Interrogative Self-talk
One way to prepare for a pitch meeting is to use interrogative self-talk. Usually, salespeople build themselves up by saying, “I can do this”. But, Pink suggests that asking questions such as “Can I do this?” is a better way to prepare oneself. By asking questions like this one, the salesperson can find their reasons for pitching the product. Read more about probing sales questions.
Questions allow salespeople to think about how best to sell the product and rehearse the pitch in their minds. This gives them more confidence and becomes more effective than affirmative statements.
2. Motivational Interviewing
To Sell is Human by Pink, details how a technique that he calls motivational interviewing helps in persuasion, that goes beyond the world of traditional sales.
He gives an example in which he tries to persuade his daughter to clean her room. By asking the right questions, his daughter learns about the reasons for cleaning her room. This interaction also makes her understand that cleaning the space is essential.
This technique is much better than the carrot-and-stick method that is usually used by most parents.
3. Be attuned to the customer’s motives
The goal of every salesperson is to find and clarify another person’s desire to act.
Before jumping into selling the product, the salesperson needs to be attuned to the customer’s motives. Then the salesperson can provide comparisons that would explain what the customer stands to gain from the product. The salesperson compares the customer’s everyday experience to their possible experience. This sparks the customer’s interest in the product.
Without attunement and clarity, the customer may feel that the salesperson has nothing essential to offer them.
4. Alternatives to Elevator Pitch
Daniel Pink explains several other pitches that are as effective as the elevator pitch.
The one-word rise can be instrumental in this age where everyone is busy and has a short attention span.
The rhyming pitch uses taglines that rhyme in their pitch to appeal to their customers. Rhyming words increase one’s “processing fluency,” which leads to customers remembering your pitch even after a long time has passed.
The question pitch elicits the customer’s reasons for believing in something and strengthens this belief.
Summing Up The Book To Sell Is Human
1. A salesperson must genuinely believe in the product and in its ability to improve the customer’s life.
2. Sellers must not let rejection affect them personally.
3. Every salesperson must use attunement or perspective taking, buoyancy meaning the ability to bounce back from rejection, and clarity in the pitches (ABC). Read our guide on how to overcome sales objections.
4. A better way to prepare oneself before pitching the product is to question oneself.
5. A salesperson must provide comparisons that clearly explain what the customer gains from buying the product.
Who Should Read This Book?
To Sell is Human is a book for everyone because we all are into sales these days. We may be trying to persuade investors for business funds or ask kids to study for their exams as parents; it is all about persuasion. So, learning how to sell is for everyone, no matter which sphere you are from.
Why Do I Recommend This Book?
The book is quite a handy and practical one as the author describes the following:
a) 6 successors to the elevator pitch
b) rules to understand the other person’s point of view
c) frames to be clear and persuasive
Buy the book here.
Make The Most Of To Sell Is Human Book Summary!
To conclude, Daniel Pink’s ‘To Sell is Human’ is a must-read for all salespeople. Another positive of this book is that even people who are not involved in the sales area can read this book to hone their persuasion skills. Throughout the book, Daniel Pink explains his ideas and techniques for effective selling and persuasion with several anecdotes. His arguments apply to everyone and can be used by anyone to have an effective sales interaction.
Daniel H. Pink is an American author. He spent his early years in Columbus, Ohio. So far, he has written six books, including The New York Times bestsellers Drive and A Whole New Mind.
To Sell is Human is a book for everyone because we all are into sales these days. We may be trying to persuade investors for business funds or ask kids to study for their exams as parents; it is all about persuasion.
Daniel Pink explains his ideas and techniques for effective selling and persuasion with several anecdotes. His arguments apply to everyone and can be used by anyone to have an effective sales interaction.