52 in 52 Book Summaries

To Sell Is Human by Daniel Pink

To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel Pink

forces of habit book summary of To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others

To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel Pink


The Essence

No matter what you do, the 21st century now calls all of us to persuade others to take action in one way or another; we’re all in sales now. The ability to sell ideas to those around you is how we maneuver in a social environment. And with an increasing amount of information available, it is no longer the seller who will manipulate the transparency of information to his benefit. With equality of information comes a restructuring of how we sell. From withholding to giving, by being clear, honest, curious, and helpful we can improve the lives of others all the while getting what we want.

To Sell Is Human Journal Entry Notes:

This is my book summary of To Sell Is Human. My notes are a reflection of the journal write up above. Written informally, the notes contain a mesh and mix of quotes and my own thoughts on the book. Sometimes, to my own fault, quotes are interlaced with my own words. Though rest assured, I am not attempting to take any credit for the main ideas below. The Journal write up includes important messages and crucial passages from the book.

• Lead with your ears instead of your mouth.
• “Non-sales selling”: We are devoting upwards of 40 percent of our time on the job to moving others. We are all in sales now.
• The ability to move others to exchange what they have for what we have is crucial to our survival and our happiness.
• The conventional view of economic behavior is that the two most important activities are producing and consuming. But today, much of what we do also seems to involve moving.
• Caveat Venditor: Sellers Beware.
• WE are all in sale now.
Entrepreneurship: the rise
Elasticity: skills are multifaceted and demanded
Ed-Med: it revolves around the ability to influence

Irritation and Agitation

Irritation is challenging people to do something that WE want them to do.
Agitation is challenging them to do something that THEY want to do.
Irritation doesn’t work. A neat example is when you ask a child to clean his room, he is hesitant if not combative. But if you ask them if they practiced playing piano today they feel urged to do so (that is if playing the piano is something they are interested in). It’s all about playing your cards towards someone’s personal identity.

How to Be (ABC)

The ability to bring one’s actions and outlook into harmony with other people and the context you’re in.
1. Increase your power by reducing it: Assume that you’re not the one with power.
2. Use your head as much as your heart: Perspective taking > Empathy.
3. Mimic Strategically. “Chameleon effect”.
Ambiverts: the most skilled attuners.
How to stay afloat amid the ocean of rejection.
1. Before: Interrogative self-talk. “Inspires thoughts about autonomous or intrinsically motivated reasons to pursue a goal”
2. During: Positivity Ratios. “More positive means broadening of peoples ideas about possible actions, opening our awareness to a wider range of thoughts…receptive and more creative”.
3. After: Explanatory Style. Our habit of explaining negative events to ourselves. This is the self-talk after the experience.
• How you see rejection often depends on how you frame it.
• Optimism is a catalyst that can stir persistence, steady us during challenges, and stroke the confidence that we can influence our surroundings.
The capacity to help others see their situations in fresh and more revealing ways and to identify problems they didn’t realize they had.
1. Finding the Right problem to solve: Problem finder > Problem solver. “Part of being an innovative leader is being able to frame a problem in interesting ways and… to see what the problem really is before you jump into solving it.”
2. Finding your frame: A frame can come in several forms. To name a few we have: less, blemish, experience, potential, and label frames.
3. Finding an off-ramp. “Clarity on how to think without clarity on how to act can leave people unmoved.” In other words, a solid theory of understanding is of little use without a plan of action. People believe and want to help, so give them more than an explanation, give them the game plan. 

• Attention spans aren’t merely shrinking. They’re nearly disappearing.
• Listening without some degree of intimacy isn’t really listening. It's passive and transactional rather than active and engaged.
• Always ask these two questions:
If the person you’re selling to agrees to buy, will his or her life be improved?
When the interaction is over, will the world be a better place than when you began?
• Make it personal and purposeful 
• When giving a speech:
What do you want them to know?
What do you want them to feel?
What do you want them to do?
Listen to your own voice and practice, practice, practice.

Reading Recommendations

If you liked what you saw. Here are 3 titles that I recommend based on what was discussed in To Sell Is Human.

  1. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek
  2. When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel Pink
  3. Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success by Adam Grant

Find the book on Amazon: Print | Audio

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