Last night I braved the arctic weather to hear a talk by Daniel Pink, best selling author of Drive, A Whole New Mind and now his latest,
To Sell Is Human .
Pink is a really good speaker; he does repeat phrases at times and he plays to the crowd. Well;, it was cold and late in the day and people were looking for a laugh; this guy has the timing of a stand-up comic. If you get a chance to hear him, it’s worth the trip. He managed to cite research and keep the audience riveted (admittedly, we were a self-selected group of bibliophiles).
His first point isn’t surprising, yet few of us have considered it. In the old days (pre 1980, say) sellers had power. For instance, if you wanted to buy a car, you’d go to the showroom. The sales rep would quote you a price. You (and possibly the sales rep) would never see the manufaacturer’s invoice price of the car.
Today, he says, we walk in with price lists from every dealer in the area (and maybe outside the area). We know if there’s a glitch that’s worth bargaining over. “Even my 80-year-old mother,” he said, “can find the invoice price of a car.” So now the playing field is level, with the customer possibly holding the upper hand.
Here are some takeaways –
– More people are in sales jobs than in ALL branches of US government including local, national and military. Fifteen million Americans work in sales. And nearly everyone else has some element of sales – defined as getting others to do what we want them to do – in their jobs or businesses.
– Ambiverts are more successful in sales than introverts OR extroverts; in fact, extreme introverts or extroverts are nearly equally effective.
– Our challenge now isn’t problem-solving, but problem-finding.
– Success depends on creating a pitch that engages your audience, improvising to recognize and respond to offers, and serving customers well.
– Effective selling depends on perspective-taking, which is not the same as empathy.
As I look over my notes (yes, I was scribbling away) I was surprised how much substance he delivered…yet he got everybody eager to read the whole thing.
The line was long and the night was frigid but I’ve got the book on order…and thought I’d pass this info to you, too. When you click on the cover image, you can buy directly from Amazon via my associates account.