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To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others Paperback – December 3, 2013
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"Full of aha! moments . . . timely, original, throughly engaging, deeply humane."
—strategy + business
“A fresh look at the art and science of sales using a mix of social science, survey research and stories.”
—Dan Schawbel, Forbes.com
"Artfully blend(s) anecdotes, insights, and studies from the social sciences into a frothy blend of utility and entertainment."
"Excellent…radical, surprising, and undeniably true."
—Harvard Business Review Blog
“Pink has penned a modern day How to Win Friends and Influence People... To Sell Is Human is chock full of stories, social science, and surprises…All leaders—at least those who want to ‘move’ people—should own this book.”
—Training and Development magazine
"Vastly entertaining and informative."
—Phil Johnson, Forbes.com
"Pink is one of our smartest thinkers about the interaction of work, psychology and society."
"A roadmap to help the rest of us guide our own pitches."
“Like discovering your favorite professor in a box…packed with information, reasons to care about his message, how and why to execute his suggestions, and it's all accentuated with meaningful examples… this book deserves a good, long look.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"An engaging blend of interviews, research and observations by [this] incisive author"
—The Globe and Mail
About the Author
Daniel H. Pink is the author of four books, including the long-running New York Times bestsellers Drive and A Whole New Mind. His books have been translated into thirty-three languages and have sold more than a million copies in the United States alone. Pink lives with his family in Washington, D.C.
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The book is packed with practical examples on how to "sell." Pink does a great job convincing us that we are all in sales despite our current profession. He begins the book by relaying to us that one out of nine people currently work in sales. However, since all people are at some point trying to move, persuade, or even cajole others, then the other eight are in sales also.
Pink's account of salesman Norman Hall is an example of Pink's gift at storytelling. He followed Hall around and brought to life Hall's numerous experiences of selling as the last Fuller Brush Man. I was disappointed by the section dedicated to education and health services (Ed-Med). As an educator, I was hoping for more of a focus on education. However, I realize that Pink's focus was much broader.
I found Pink's new ABC's quite interesting. Instead of "Always Be Closing," Attunement, Buoyancy, and Clarity are the new ABC's. It is in this section that Pink pays homage to contemporary social scientists. He provides clear access to his sources and even has a section, "Read These Books," for those who need more information.
Pink's style of writing allows the reader to understand research on human behavior in simple terms. His examples and storytelling make the reader believe that he/she should already know what Pink is telling us. Each of his examples seem clear and not sophisticated. However, I credit Pink's writing style for this feeling. He has done the work for us and presents it in user friendly form.
The final part of this work discusses "What To Do," which is to Pitch, Improvise, and Serve. The section on serving others sums up Pink's ideas well and even brings the end of the book full circle ("It begins and ends by remembering that to sell is human.") Pink's use of Greenleaf's Servant Leadership is well placed and if we all followed the "Golden Rule" or as Pink cites the "Golden Girls' Rule" (this is my term, but Pink should consider it) and treat everybody as you would your grandmother, the world would be a better place, not just the world of sales. Wait, we are all in sales.
In short, get the book. It is a quick read and it will make you think.
(Disclosure: I received a copy of the book from the publisher, but the opinions expressed in this review are my own and haven't been edited or approved by anyone.)
In his latest book, To Sell Is Human, he thinks about the shifting nature of the modern reality of sales. Putting forth the notion that 9 out of 10 of us are in sales, he reaches out to shift our perception of what that really means.
We are, and have been, sales people for quite some time, though it is only now that we expand this idea to include teachers, parents, co-workers, friends, and especially ourselves. We sell our products, services and ourselves. We sell ourselves to people all day long: to gather resources, convey ideas in meetings, or convincing others to go to your favorite restaurant.
How then do we become better at it? Mr. Pink has compiled hard data, anecdotes, and random tidbits into an easy to follow breakdown of what moving others really means and does for us. He takes the old notions of what sales is and turns it over to show us the softer, more focused and persuasive side of convincing others. Covering the pitch, improvisation, and sales mindfulness this new book goes through all the aspects of the revised sales paradigm.
There are, what I see as, fundamental elements which will benefit each of us in our day-to-day lives. Having been through many different levels of corporate life, I recognize the application of what Mr. Pink has to offer here. I've also been recently involved in some enlightening discussion on the application of these concepts in the world of education.
Whatever your role, it is likely that you have someone to convince of something. The real question is "how can I do better?" To Sell is Human might just help move us to the answer in ourselves. This book is not the "end-all, be-all" answer to changing how we influence others, but it is certainly a though-provoking insight to how we might adjust to improve.
(Disclosure: I was a participant in the launch team and received a copy of the book from the publisher for review. I did purchase the book upon release and would have despite my participation in the launch. These words are my own and have not been edited or approved by the publisher or Mr. Pink.)