Think Better Marketing


Book Club Report | To Sell is Human, Daniel Pink

Our team here works with sales a lot. To further educate ourselves and get some modern insight into sales to help us improve our services and sales support, we decided to read Dan Pink’s book, To Sell is Human.

If you’re interested in the topic, I recommend you read this book. Pink provides a fresh perspective and some interesting and introspective thoughts on the mindset and approach that supports a successful salesperson, who—as you’ll learn in the book—is all of us.

Bonus - it’s a quick read 👍🏼

Also, if you want to keep up and read along with us, join The Marketer’s Book Club on Goodreads!

Here are highlights from the book

Facts Shared:

  • Sales is the second-largest occupational category in the US

  • 40 percent of a workers time is engaged in non-sales selling

  • 90 percent of businesses have fewer than ten employees = many entrepreneurs

  • A world of entrepreneurs = a world of salespeople

Fave Quotes:

(paraphrased from notes)

Buyers are no longer hapless victims of asymmetrical information. When buyers can know more than sellers, sellers are no longer protectors and purveyors of information. They are the curators and clarifiers of it—helping to make sense of a blizzard of facts, data, and options.

“Perspective-taking is the first essential quality in moving others today. Attunement is the ability to bring one’s actions and outlook into harmony with other people and the context you’re in.

There’s a shift in the salespeople that are highly prized. Buyers are looking for sales people who can brainstorm with the buyers, who uncover new opportunities for them, and who realize that it doesn’t matter if they close at the moment.

The purpose of a pitch isn’t necessarily to move others immediately to adopt your idea. The purpose is to offer something so compelling that it begins a conversation.”

What We Learned::

There are insights and ideas from this book that we intend to put into practice for ourselves and our clients. Here are a few.

  • Using perspective-taking to make the buyer feel more powerful can improve the sales experience. By reducing your own power and handing over the reigns to the buyer, they are more likely to trust you and buy from you.

  • When experiencing fear in life or in a sales experience, instead of stating “I can do this.” reframe it as “Can I do this?” This forces you to think through how you’re going to approach the situation that is creating fear and elicits more confidence.

  • Improve our problem-finding skills. Pink introduces the idea that transforming from problem-solving to problem-finding (problem identification) is a more valued skill and helps the seller to determine what the real problem is before jumping in and to solve.

  • Developing our skills of curation and questioning will improve our problem identification skills and help us to improve how we support sales teams.

  • Pink introduced three questions to answer before defining your pitch:

    • What do you want the audience to know?

    • What do you want them to feel?

    • What do you want them to do?

If you’re interested in joining our book club to keep up on what we’re reading and join in the discussion, you can join on Goodreads!

Andrea Steffes-Tuttle