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To Sell Is Human
The Surprising Truth About Moving Others
The distinction between sales and other departments in large companies is disappearing, with engineers, product designers, and customer support staff all interacting with customers and contributing to sales. The trend of “we’re all in sales” applies to entrepreneurs as well, as startups often can’t afford a dedicated sales department. Additionally, research shows that people spend roughly 40% of their time at work engaged in non-sales selling, such as persuading and influencing others. This is particularly important in the education and medical industries, which make up the largest job sector in the US economy. Overall, these trends are making most of us some sort of salesperson.
The internet has transformed the dynamic of selling from “buyer beware” to “seller beware,” making honesty and transparency essential for most sellers. The value of a seller’s work now comes from service-oriented interactions with customers, who have access to information online. This trend also applies to non-sales selling in fields like education and medicine. The famous “Always Be Closing” approach to selling is outdated, and a new approach of “Attunement, Buoyancy, Clarity” is needed to effectively move people.
Attunement is the ability to understand others’ perspectives and is crucial in moving people effectively. The most successful salespeople are ambiverts who listen to customers and see things from their perspective. Attunement involves understanding what others are thinking, not just what they are feeling. A low power position can increase attunement because it helps us understand others. Mimicry, such as repeating points or adjusting posture, can also be helpful in building rapport but should not be overdone.
A buoyant salesperson can bounce back from rejection by reframing it as a specific, temporary situation rather than a reflection of their personal ability or worth.
To stay buoyant, it’s also important to seek out positive feedback and support from colleagues and mentors. Surround yourself with people who can provide encouragement and constructive feedback, and who can help you learn from your mistakes.
Finally, take time to celebrate your successes, even the small ones. Recognizing and celebrating your achievements can help you maintain a positive outlook and stay motivated, even when facing rejection.
And providing clarity is an effective way to move people. Salespeople can help their customers by finding the right problem and framing their offered solution in a way that is easy to understand. This can be achieved by asking questions and helping customers sift through the available information. To make the solution more relatable, it can be framed as a comparison or an experience. Limiting customers’ options and providing clear and detailed instructions on how to solve their problems can also increase the likelihood of action.
Short and engaging pitches are crucial in today’s hectic information environment. With attention spans becoming shorter, pitches need to be delivered in a concise and impactful manner. One effective way to do this is by getting the target actively involved in developing the pitch, such as formulating the pitch as a question or using rhyming statements. It’s also important to remember that less is often more when it comes to choices, as limiting options can make the decision-making process easier for customers. Overall, the key is to find creative ways to capture and hold the target’s attention in a world where distractions are plentiful.
Improvisation can be a valuable tool for salespeople in today’s dynamic and complex sales environment. Unlike the scripted approach of the past, improvisation allows for open-mindedness and the cultivation of interaction between salespeople and their customers.
One key lesson from improv is the importance of listening for offers. Salespeople must resist the urge to interrupt their customers and instead fully listen to what they have to say. This approach allows for a more collaborative and constructive conversation.
Another lesson is the need to make your partner look good. In the context of sales, this means finding solutions that benefit both the salesperson and the customer, rather than just pushing one’s own agenda. This win-win approach can lead to more successful and productive relationships.
Finally, the power of “yes, and…” is another valuable lesson from improv. Rather than shutting down a customer’s ideas with a “no” or “yes, but…”, salespeople should incorporate their customers’ viewpoints into the conversation and continue to build on them. This creates an optimistic and constructive atmosphere that can lead to successful outcomes.
In addition to making efforts personal and purposeful, it’s important to also make them meaningful. In today’s world, people are looking for experiences and products that offer more than just functionality – they want to feel that what they are investing in has a greater meaning and purpose.
This is where storytelling comes in. By telling a compelling story that connects with people on an emotional level, you can create a deeper sense of meaning and purpose around your product or service. This not only helps move people towards action, but it also fosters brand loyalty and advocacy.
One great example of this is TOMS Shoes, a company that donates a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair of shoes purchased. By telling the story of its mission and impact, TOMS has created a loyal following of customers who not only appreciate the quality of their shoes but also feel good about supporting a company that is making a positive impact in the world.
In conclusion, to successfully move people in today’s world, it’s important to make efforts personal, purposeful, and meaningful through storytelling that connects with people on an emotional level. By doing so, you can create a sense of purpose and loyalty around your product or service, and ultimately drive action and positive change.
Final Summary –
The new ABCs of selling, Attunement, Buoyancy, and Clarity, are essential for effectively moving people in today’s dynamic and complex sales environment.
Attunement refers to the ability to understand and empathize with others, to see things from their perspective. By attuning to others, you can build rapport, establish trust, and create a sense of connection that makes it easier to move people.
Buoyancy, on the other hand, is the ability to stay afloat in an ocean of rejection and negativity. Salespeople and other movers need to be resilient and able to bounce back from setbacks and failures, maintaining their optimism and confidence in the face of adversity.
Finally, Clarity is the ability to distill complex information into a clear and concise message that people can understand and act on. In today’s information-rich environment, attention is at a premium, so being able to communicate your message clearly and succinctly is critical.
In addition to mastering the ABCs of selling, it’s important to use the tools of the trade effectively. Pitching, improvising, and serving are all essential skills for moving people.
Pitching involves crafting a compelling message that captures people’s attention and motivates them to take action. Improvising is about being flexible and adaptable, able to respond to unexpected situations and changing circumstances. And serving is about putting others’ needs first, focusing on being of service to the person you’re trying to move.
By embracing the new ABCs of selling and mastering these essential skills, you can become a more effective mover of people, whether you’re selling products, negotiating with colleagues, teaching children, or pitching ideas.
About the Author –
Daniel H. Pink is an American author whose previous bestsellers include Drive and A Whole New Mind. He was named one of the top 50 most influential management gurus by Harvard Business Review. His earlier books have sold over one million copies in the United States alone.