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To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel H. Pink

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Are you in sales?  You probably are but don’t know it. Around 1 in 9 workers in the USA earn a living working in traditional sales, trying to get others to make a purchase. However, the other 8 out of 9 are still arguably in sales, just not obviously.  If you are persuading, convincing, and influencing others to give up something they’ve got in exchange for what you’ve got you are in sales.  Almost half of the time we are try to move others and get them to do things. 

You could divide the workplace transformation into three categories: Entrepreneurship, Elasticity, and Ed-Med.

Entrepreneurship. The very technologies that were supposed to obliterate salespeople have lowered the barriers to entry for small entrepreneurs and turned more of us into sellers.

Elasticity. Whether we work for ourselves or for a large organization, instead of doing only one thing, most of us are finding that our skills on the job must now stretch across boundaries some of these will involves traditional sales and a lot of non-sales selling.

Ed-Med. The fastest-growing industries around the world are educational services and health care these jobs are all about moving people.

Sales is certainly no longer about deception, given the abundance of free information on the internet – honesty, fairness, and transparency are often the only viable path.

The shift from ABC—“Always Be Closing” to the new ABCs—Attunement, Buoyancy, and Clarity.

Attunement is bringing oneself into harmony with individuals, groups, and contexts.

Buoyancy a quality that combines grittiness of spirit and sunniness of outlook. In any effort to move others, we must sustain positivity and actually believe in what we are saying. 

Clarity is making sense of murky situations.

What matters more today is problem finding. One of the most effective ways of moving others is to uncover challenges they may not know they have.  Craft an issue and provide possible solutions.

It is worth for a moment asking yourself two questions when you are actually selling:

1. If the person you’re selling to agrees to buy, will his or her life improve?

2. When your interaction is over, will the world be a better place than when you began?

If the answer to either of these questions is no, you’re doing something wrong.

Of course you will hear “pitch” mentioned in any book about sales, but given now short attention spans and fact people will be looking at their phone in the elevator when stuck with you it is important to optimise your pitch.  Practice your pitches, you may try to make it as short as possible (a one-word pitch), a slightly longer Twitter short and sweet pitch, a question pitch, a rhyming pitch, subject line pitches 0 looking at your emails – how many make you curious to actually want to open it or a once upon a time story pitch. 

Remember the principle serve others by making it personal and purposeful.  Find uncommon commonalities to build rapport. 

In meetings consider having an empty chair, like they did in Amazon this is meant to represent the customer or thinking about the service from the service user’s point of view. 

Aim for 3 to 1 positivity to negativity ratio – this book references Positivity which I have previously summarised:  

When something bad occurs, ask yourself three questions and come up with an intelligent way to answer each one “no”:

1. Is this permanent? Bad response: “Yes. I’ve completely lost my skill for moving others.” Better response: “No. I was flat today because I haven’t been getting enough sleep.”

2. Is this pervasive? Bad response: “Yes. Everyone in this industry is impossible to deal with.” Better response: “No. This particular guy was a jerk.”

3. Is this personal? Bad response: “Yes. The reason he didn’t buy is that I messed up my presentation.” Better response: “No. My presentation could have been better, but the real reason he passed is that he wasn’t ready to buy right now.”

The more you explain bad events as temporary, specific, and external, the more likely you are to persist even in the face of adversity.

Remember about the power of influence, reminding people of the reason for the rule can trigger empathy on their part.  If you make a sign for dog walkers and make it purposeful by mentioning children play in this field there is a higher likelihood they will behave as the sign directed.

An Israeli radiologist stated the way he  dealt with the impersonal nature of his job was to imagine that every scan he looked at was his father’s. This technique can be used for moving others. In every encounter, imagine that the person you’re dealing with is your grandmother. This is the ultimate way to make it personal. By removing the cloak of anonymity and replacing it with this form of personal connection, you’re more likely to genuinely serve, which over the long haul will be to everyone’s benefit.  Better yet, treat everyone as you’d treat your grandmother, but assume that she has eighty thousand Twitter followers.

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