Dan Pink has written another best seller. (The book won’t be released until December 31 but is already in its third printing.)
The U.S. Government reports that one worker in eight is a sales person. Dan Pink disagrees. He thinks we’re all sales people, even though a lot of us are engaged in “non-sales selling.” Instructors, lawyers, doctors, bankers, and you and I spend a lot of time persuading, influencing, and convincing others to do something even though it doesn’t ring the cash register.
If I say selling, what words pop into your mind? Most people come up with negative terms — pushy, smarmy, yuck, difficult, annoying. The reason is that sales people have had an unfair advantage: they had more information than buyers. The internet changed that. Now car buyers come to the dealership knowing exactly what a car cost the dealer. Caveat emptor (let the buyer beware) has become caveat venditor (let the seller beware). When everyone’s got the same information, selling becomes a more sophisticated game.
Dan describes the old school: the last Fuller Brush Man, Joe Girard (an over-the-top car salesman), and the movie Glengarry Glen Ross. In the movie, the insulting young sales manager says all it takes is ABC – Always Be Closing. For Dan, ABC means Attunement, Buoyancy, and Clarity.
Attunement? Mimic the buyer. Like what she likes. Take her perspective. Do like Jeff Bezos, who pulls up an empty chair at meetings for an invisible customer. Buoyancy? How well will you bounce back after adversity? Do you have a positive or negative outlook? Do you catastrophize? Clarity? Find the right problem. Ask good questions. Frame things right.
Dan attends a workshop on improv with Cathy Salit. It so happens that I’ve taken the same workshop. Dan draws a lot of lessons from it. Sad to say, I’ve forgotten everything but saying “Yes, and….”
To Sell Is Human is not as memorable as Drive but it contains many good lessons. It will be fun catching sales people mimicking your behavior or delivering a sales pitch that rhymes.
Selling ain’t what it used to be. Thank goodness. When I sold mainframes for NCR, I was required to memorize a sales pitch and deliver it to the other sales people in my branch. None of this personalization stuff.
Read the first six pages.
Anybody who orders the book — hardcover or e-book, from any bookseller — before December 30, 2012, will receive the following:
1. A free 20-page PDF workbook, based on To Sell is Human, giving you a two-week plan to get better at selling and a head start on those who won’t have the book until January.
2. A free New Year’s Day webinar – with an exclusive look at the ideas, people, and publications I’ll be watching in 2013 along with a chance to ask me questions. (We did this for the launch of Johnny Bunko a few years ago – and it was one of the best-received events I’ve ever done.)
3. A free customized Field Notes memo book — my favorite notebook of all time, printed in a (very) limited edition batch commemorating publication of the book.
4. A free To Sell is Human bookplate, signed and numbered, to slap inside your book.
5. A free audio download of a one-hour special edition of Office Hours (which won’t be available anywhere else) featuring exclusive interviews with Robert Cialdini, author of the classic book, Influence, and Adam Grant, the Wharton professor whose not-yet-published study is one of the biggest pieces of news in To Sell is Human.
Once you pre-order the book, or if you’ve done so already, just forward your receipt in any form to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll verify it and then send you instructions on how to access your goodies when they’re ready.