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To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Persuading, Convincing, and Influencing Others Paperback – 21 June 2018
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We're all in Sales now
Parents sell their kids on going to bed. Spouses sell their partners on mowing the lawn. We sell our bosses on giving us more money and more time off. And in astonishing numbers we go online to sell ourselves on Facebook, Twitter and online dating profiles.
Relying on science, analysis and his trademark clarity of thought, Daniel Pink shows that sales isn't what it used to be. Then he provides a set of tools, tips, and exercises for succeeding on each new terrain: six new ways to pitch your idea, three ways to understand another's perspective, five frames that can make your message clearer, and much more.
Less a book about the conniving tricks of this slippery trade, and more of a human guide to how sales might work and be successful in the 21st century ― * Observer *
A fresh look at the art and science of sales using a mix of social science, survey research and stories ― * Forbes *
Pink is rapidly acquiring international guru status . . . He is an engaging writer, who challenges and provokes ― * Financial Times *
A gifted writer who turns even the heaviest scientific study into something digestible - and often amusing - without losing his intellectual punch ― * New York Post *
Pink's ideas deserve a wide hearing. Corporate boards, in fact, could do well by kicking out their pay consultants for an hour and reading Pink's conclusions instead ― * Forbes *
Less a book about the conniving tricks of this slippery trade, and more of a human guide to how sales might work and be successful in the 21st century -- Ben East ― * The Observer *
Pink is clear and thoughtful - he sells his arguments beautifully ― * Evening Standard *
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Top reviews from other countries
And now I'm wondering what I have to un-learn from Drive.
Pink has studied communication extensively and he has lots of interesting things to say on how to write catchy e-mail titles (p. 167), tweets (p. 170) and why using visuals is so important (p. 180). But he also gives us the results of a number of studies on such fascinating topics as...
...Labelling (p. 138): In a Prisoner’s Dilemma type of game, 33% of the participants cooperated when they were told it was called ‘The Wall-Street Game’ but the number doubled when others were told they would be playing ‘The Community Game’. The same effect was found when some students were labelled ‘tidy’ as opposed to a controlled group (Moral: Label you students positively and they will live up to the label!)
...Facilitation (p. 142): In another study, students who had been singled out for their pro-sociality by their peers, were asked to contribute to a food drive for charity. The same was done with others classified as ‘selfish’. The results: 8% of the former but 25% of the latter donated food! Why? The ‘selfish’ students had been given clearer instructions about what to donate and when! (Moral: motivation aside, direct behavioural instructions [‘Do this!’] can go a long way towards ensuring compliance).
...Persuasion Techniques: Here is one: instead of asking students whether they have studied for a test which might trigger ‘Psychological Reactance’ we could ask them ‘How ready are you for the test? Say on a scale from 1 to 10?’ When they answer, we can then follow up with the fantastic ‘Why not a lower number?!?’ This forces them to focus on the positive (what they have done) and shows them what they still need to work on! Excellent!! (p. 213)
What makes the book so readable is that Pink also gives readers many real life examples. Here is my favourite one: On page 213 of the book there is a picture which hangs on the wall of an Italian restaurant. The picture is that of the owner and it reads: ‘If you had anything less than a great experience at ‘il Canale’, please call my cell: 703-624-2111’!! Now think: how many DOSs would be prepared to do such a thing? :-)
Many of us think that “sales” means this “gift of the gab”, extrovert that talks all the time and we think that isn’t us, therefore we cannot sell. Daniel takes you through that actually sales isn’t like that and in fact we all can sell. In fact, we can all sell, all of the time.
The book is well researched and also provides advice and guidance for anybody taking their first steps into sales.
I work as a speechwriter, and that's where Daniel Pink began, working for Al Gore. All this stuff is relevant to speechwriting - and as speechwriting embraces blog posts, Twitter and other outputs these days, the techniques he passes on about improv theatre, rhyme and one word pitches are fun and worth putting into practice every day.
I'd read about Joe Girard, the famous car salesman, and Dan Pink puts his theories into context. The world has moved on a long way since the mantras like 'Always be closing'. The internet gives us most of what we need to know about products and services. The sales people have to work with that grain.
He tells a nice story about one of the last door-to-door salesmen and gives us some good buzzwords for sharpening our technique for the C21st - his ABC is 'Attunement, buoyancy and clarity'.
His Pixar story structure technique is also just the kind of thing you want as a takeaway from a business book. I was really glad I picked up this book, I'll be working with it for at least the next six months.
Skim through and pick out the relevant paragraphs. For me it was all in the last 40 pages.
This applies to all, a mum who's trying to get kids to do house chores, an employee who's struggling with the boss, or a owner of a company whose staffs won't stick.
Perhaps Pink could have sold the book better! It isn't about selling- it's about getting your way, every time, by being appreciated by people, which is rather nice and good to realise there's a nice battle no one fights in.