Practical Advice from ‘To Sell Is Human’ by Daniel Pink (An Actionable Books summary)

“1. If the person you’re selling agrees to buy, will his or her life improve?
2. When your interaction is over, will the world be a better place than when you began?

If the answer to either of these questions is no, you’re doing something wrong.”

To Sell Is Human, page 232

In the closing words of To Sell is Human, Dan Pink puts his mouth where the money is. Whether we like it or not, selling is a very human experience. Those of us who like it, in fact, have a distinct advantage over the inhumane practices we’ve come to associate with the word “salesman.”

Research confirms what we already knew: the word most associated with “sales” or “selling” is pushy, followed closely by sleazy, slimy, manipulative, and dishonest. Back in the bad old days, a salesman had all the information. You were at his mercy (if such existed.) Caveat emptor; buyer, beware!

Thanks to the internet, today we all have the information. Pink coins a new phrase: caveat venditor. Yes, in a world where information is ubiquitous, buyers know as much as or more than the seller. Not only can we protect ourselves from bad products and services, any seller dumb enough to behave unscrupulously can be pilloried in pixels around the world.

While many believed that universal access to information would make sales irrelevant, the surprising discovery is that a large segment of workers are still engaged directly in sales. If we include what Pink calls “non-sales selling,” that number becomes “all of us.”

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • We Are All in Sales, and That’s Okay
  • The ABCs of Selling: Attunement, Buoyancy, Clarity
  • 6 Successors to the Elevator Pitch

Read my summary of To Sell Is Human at Actionable Books.

5 thoughts on “Practical Advice from ‘To Sell Is Human’ by Daniel Pink (An Actionable Books summary)

  1. Old news in my family Joel. Mom always taught me, make a dollar, save a dime. She also taught me, before you buy anything, ask yourself, “Can I live without it?” That is why I’m debt free.

    triiibe on!

  2. Didn’t realize you were blogging again.

    Good summary. I’m still getting caught up on my Pink books. (Recently finished “A Whole New Mind.) After that I’ll dig into my Orange books.

    Did you know that several dozen business books get published every DAY? (And that doesn’t include self-published.) What’s frustrating is that I’m only able to read about half of them.

    1. Great googlymooglies, John, if you can read a dozen business books a day, you should take your act on the road.

      Working with Chris Taylor at Actionable books has nudged me to dig deeper into the relatively few books I do get to read. It makes a difference, specifically looking for 2 actionable items to take away.

        1. There ya go. Me too.

          I’ll make time for yours, though. Hey, I’ll even promise a summary at Actionable, because it will be, no doubt.

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