Book Review: To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth about Persuading, Convincing and Influencing Others
December 16, 2022
To Sell Is Human, by Daniel H. Pink, is a book that explores the art and science of selling. Pink argues that we are all salespeople in one way or another, whether we are trying to convince someone to buy a product or persuade them to see things our way. Pink argues that honesty and transparency are crucial for sales success in the internet age. With the abundance of information available online, sellers can no longer rely on their expertise to gain the upper hand. Instead, they must focus on providing high-quality service to customers, helping them navigate the information and make informed decisions. This shift has also changed the traditional ABC of selling, which used to be “Always Be Closing.” Instead, a new ABC is needed: “Attunement, Buoyancy, Clarity.”
Attunement refers to our ability to see things from other people’s perspectives and act accordingly. This is key to persuading others effectively. Buoyancy, or the ability to maintain a positive outlook despite rejection, is also important, as is clarity, or the ability to communicate ideas effectively. By focusing on these three key elements, salespeople and other professionals can positively move others and achieve success in their careers.
Through research and anecdotes, the book offers six actionable insights for becoming a more effective salesperson:
Embrace the concept of non-sales selling, which involves helping people make a decision by providing them with information and expertise, rather than pushing products on them.
Understand the power of storytelling in selling, and use stories to connect with your audience and make your ideas more persuasive.
Be proactive and take the initiative to identify opportunities to sell, rather than waiting for customers to come to you.
Stay positive and maintain optimism, even in the face of rejection. This is an important quality for salespeople and other professionals who need to persuade and influence others, as it allows them to keep trying and not be discouraged by setbacks.
Understand the psychology of buying and the factors that drive people to make decisions, and use this knowledge to tailor your sales approach.
Embrace a growth mindset and continuously seek opportunities to learn and improve your selling skills.