On December 31, 2012, Daniel H. Pink released his new book, “To Sell Is Human.” Pink is the bestselling author of “Drive,” and “A Whole New Mind.” Pink announces that, regardless of our career, today, we’re all in sales.
In the United States, 1 in 9 workers still earn their living trying to get others to make a purchase. Pink says that the other 8 in 9 are also in sales. “Non-sales selling” is Pink’s term, referring to persuading, convincing, and influencing others to give up something they’ve got in exchange for what we’ve got. Today, people spend roughly 40 percent of their workday engaged in non-sales selling.
Non-sales selling transcends the workplace, as parents cajole kids, and we, as individuals, sell our ideas, wares, and uniqueness on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Match.com. Pink notes that none of these social media platforms existed ten years ago.
Corporate America often compartmentalizes duties, like accounting, marketing, and sales. The increase in entrepreneurs and mico-entrepreneurs requires one or few individuals to wear many different hats, including selling services, creativity and customer service.
Initially, people surmised the Internet and technology would erode sales as a career, but the opposite persists, thanks to burgeoning mobile technology.
“The same technology that renders certain types of salespeople obsolete has turned even more people into potential sellers,” Pink says.
Elasticity in today’s workplace is crucial, because as Pink says, “A world of flat organizations and tumultuous business conditions-and that’s our world-punishes fixed skills, and prizes elastic ones.”
Ed-Med represents education and healthcare- the fastest-growing careers, both domestically and abroad, according to the U.S. Occupational Employment Statistics program. Non-sales selling drives both fields. Healthcare professionals sell patients on a remedy and teachers sell students on the value of paying attention in class.
Historically, caveat emptor (buyer beware) led consumers when making a purchase. Before the Internet, sellers often possessed knowledge not easily available to the general public, creating information asymmetry.
Now, caveat venditor (seller beware), reigns, as educated consumers now have access to once hidden information, via the Internet, which levels the playing field between buyers and sellers. Honesty, directness, and transparency trump duplicity and double-dealing in traditional sales and non-sales selling.
To be successful at moving others and non-sales selling requires re-writing the traditional ABCs (Always be closing) of sales.
The new ABCs of sales are Attunement, Buoyancy and Clarity- not flippant buzzwords but user-friendly concepts. Complement them with honed pitches, improvisation and service and you’re well on your way to being successful, whether you’re in traditional sales or non-sales selling.
On New Year’s Day, Pink hosted an exclusive, hour-long Webinar for first responders to “To Sell Is Human.” He suggested Daniel Coyle’s bestseller, “The Little Book of Talent-52 Tips for Improving Your Skills. To learn more, visit: http://thetalentcode.com/book