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To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Mind Map: To Sell Is Human: The
Surprising Truth About Moving
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To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others

by Daniel H. Pink


We’re all in sales now

Summary (from, Sales has changed in the past 10 years: older door-to-door sales companies have gone out of business, and their practices seem outdated in a world where we can buy and research any product online. But still, 1 in 9 workers are in sales, amounting to over 15 million people. And the rest of us are also selling – not just objects, but ideas and techniques. We are persuading, negotiating, and pitching, like lawyers selling juries on their verdict or public figures selling their personal brand on Twitter. In fact, a study Pink commissioned showed that people spend 40 percent of their work time selling something.

Quotes from the book, Rebirth of a Salesman (and Saleswoman), One out of every nine American workers works in sales, EU - about 13%, The Rise of Non-Sales Selling, People are now spending about 40% of their time at work engaged in non-sales selling - persuading, influencing, and convincing others in ways that don't involve anyone making a purchase., People consider this aspect of their work crucial to their prefessional success

Entrepreneurship, elasticity, and ed-med

Summary (from, The reason we’re all in sales is because the workforce has changed. With the rise in small businesses and startups – thanks to innovations like eBay, Etsy, and Apple’s app store – more employees wear different hats, including a sales hat. Even jobs at large companies are broader and require some selling. And the growing field of education and health services (the largest job sector in the US economy) is about selling: convincing students to pay attention, and patients to follow through with treatments.

Quotes from the book, Entrepreneurship, American economy has more than twenty-one million "non-employer" businesses - operations without any paid employees, 30% of Americans workers now work on their own, Wether we call the artisans, non-employer businesses, free agents, or micro-entrepreneurs, these woman and men are selling all the time., Elasticity, A world of flat organizations and tumultuous business conditions—and that’s our world—punishes fixed skills and prizes elastic ones., As elasticity of skills becomes more common, one particular category of skill it seems always to encompass is moving others., Ed-Med, To sell well is to convince someone else to part with resources - not to deprive that person, but to leave him better off in the end., “It’s about leading with my ears instead of my mouth,” Ferlazzo says. “It means trying to elicit from people what their goals are for themselves and having the flexibility to frame what we do in that context.”

From caveat emptor to caveat venditor

Summary (from, Selling does have a bad reputation. Pink writes, “To the smart set, sales is an endeavor that requires little intellectual throw weight – a task for slick glad-handers who skate through life on a shoeshine and a smile” – and deception, of course. But deception was only possible because buyers lacked information or expertise. Now, since buyers have reviews, ratings, and comparison shopping at their fingertips, sellers have more incentives to be fair and honest. It’s “seller beware.”

Quotes from the book, Lemons and Other Sour Subjects, Finding Your Kowalskis, People want a fair deal from someone they like ~Joe Girard, A Tale of Two Saturdays, There are no "natural" salespeople, in part because we're all naturally salespeople., Each of us - because we're human - has a selling instinct, which means that anyone ca master the basics of moving others. The rest of the book will show you how.


Quotes from the book

"Always Be Closing" is a cornerstone of the sales cathedral, ..but when all of us are in sales, and none of us has much of an information edge.. this seems dated.

I introduce the new ABCs of moving others: Attunement - Buoyancy - Clarity


Summary (from, The first trait of successful sellers is understanding the perspective of the buyer, and studies have shown us how to do this: assume that the buyer is the one with the power; focus on understanding the buyer’s thoughts rather than their feelings; and mimic the buyer’s gestures. As it turns out, studies also show that extroverts aren’t the best sellers; that title goes to ambiverts, who score around 4-4.5 on the extroversion scale of 1-7.

Quotes from the book, Power, Empathy, and Chamelons, Attunement is the ability to bring one’s actions and outlook into harmony with other people and with the context you’re in., 3 principles, 1. Increase your power by reducing it, ..those who’d received even a small injection of power became less likely (and perhaps less able) to attune themselves to someone else’s point of view. (a study gy Adam Galinsky), The results of several studies: an inverse relationship between power and perspective-taking. Power can move you off the proper position on the dial and scramble the signals you receive, distorting clear messages and obscuring more subtle ones., 2. Use your head as much as your heart, Perspective-taking is a cognitive capacity; it's mostly about thinking. Empathy is an emotional response; it's mostly about feeling., Both are crucial, But when it comes to moving others, perspective-taking is the more effective of these fraternal twins., As the researchers say, ultimately it’s “more beneficial to get inside their heads than to have them inside one’s own heart.”7, 3. Mimic strategically, Human beings are natural mimickers, But scientists view mimicry differently. To them, this tendency is deeply human, a natural act that serves as a social glue and a sign of trust., a dutch study found that waitresses who repeated diners' orders word for word earned 70% more tips.., And much as perspective-taking and empathy are fraternal twins, mimicry has a first cousin: touching., several studies have shown that when restaurant servers touch patrons lightly on the arm or shoulder, diners leave larger tips, Of course, mimicry, like the other attunement behaviors, requires deftness. When people know they’re being mimicked, which was exceedingly rare in the experiments, it can have the opposite effect, turning people against you., The Ambivert Advantage, The notion that extraverts are the finest salespeople is so obvious that we’ve overlooked one teensy flaw. There’s almost no evidence that it’s actually true., One of the most comprehensive investigations—a set of three meta-analyses of thirty-five separate studies involving 3,806 salespeople—found that the correlation between extraversion and sales was essentially nonexistent., Extraverts, in other words, often stumble over themselves. They can talk too much and listen too little, which dulls their understanding of others’ perspectives., Ambiverts: people who are neither overly extraverted nor wildly introverted, Ambiverts can find that balance. They know when to speak up and when to shut up., Talking with each other, one to one, is human beings’ most powerful form of attunement.


Summary (from, The second trait of successful sellers is “buoyancy,” the combination of “a gritty spirit and a sunny outlook.” To survive repeated rejections, follow three practices. 1) Ask yourself questions beforehand (“Can I succeed?”) rather than pumping yourself up (“I am the best”); they encourage your brain to come up with answers, reasons, and intrinsic motivation. 2) Be mostly positive: it can make the buyer more positive and open to different possibilities (although a little negativity keeps you grounded). 3) Be optimistic: believe that rejections are temporary, contained, and due to external factors.

Quotes from the book, Before: Interrogative Self-Talk, Those who approached a task with Bob-the-Builder-style questioning self-talk outperformed those who employed the more conventional juice-myself-up declarative self-talk., But if you instead ask, “Can I make a great pitch?” the research has found that you provide yourself something that reaches deeper and lasts longer., But don’t simply leave the question hanging in the air like a lost balloon. Answer it—directly and in writing. List five specific reasons why the answer to your question is yes., During: Positivity Ratios, Once positive emotions outnumbered negative emotions by 3 to 1—that is, for every three instances of feeling gratitude, interest, or contentment, they experienced only one instance of anger, guilt, or embarrassment—people generally flourished., Too much can be as unproductive as too little. Once the ratio hit about 11 to 1, positive emotions began doing more harm than good., After: Explanatory Style, Optimism, it turns out, isn’t a hollow sentiment. It’s a catalyst that can stir persistence, steady us during challenges, and stoke the confidence that we can influence our surroundings.


Summary (from, The third trait of successful sellers is the ability to clarify what you’re actually offering, and why the buyer doesn’t want to buy. To the first point: don’t overwhelm buyers with options, emphasize the experiences they will gain (not just the material objects), pick labels and names carefully, list a small negative attribute after the positive ones, and (when selling yourself) focus on your potential rather than your past accomplishments. Then, give buyers a clear method of action to take.

Quotes from the book, Finding the Right Problems to Solve, Today, they must be good at asking questions—uncovering possibilities, surfacing latent issues, and finding unexpected problems., Finding Your Frames, So if you’re selling a car, go easy on emphasizing the rich Corinthian leather on the seats. Instead, point out what the car will allow the buyer to do—see new places, visit old friends, and add to a book of memories., So if you’re making your case to someone who’s not intently weighing every single word, list all the positives—but do add a mild negative. Being honest about the existence of a small blemish can enhance your offering’s true beauty., People often find potential more interesting than accomplishment because it’s more uncertain, the researchers argue. That uncertainty can lead people to think more deeply about the person they’re evaluating—and the more intensive processing that requires can lead to generating more and better reasons why the person is a good choice. So next time you’re selling yourself, don’t fixate only on what you achieved yesterday. Also emphasize the promise of what you could accomplish tomorrow., Finding an Off-ramp, In the old days, our challenge was accessing information. These days, our challenge is curating it., “Putting content curation into practice is part art form, part science, but mostly about daily practice,” writes Kanter. For more, see her “Content Curation Primer”:, Learn how to ask better questions, In the new world of sales, being able to ask the right questions is more valuable than producing the right answers. Unfortunately, our schools often have the opposite emphasis., Clarity operates by the same logic. Whether you’re selling computers to a giant company or a new bedtime to your youngest child, ask yourself: “What’s the one percent?” If you can answer that question, and convey it to others, they’re likely to be moved., "Don't get lost in the crabgrass of details, Instead think about the essence of what you're exploring - the one percent that gives life to the other ninety-nine. Understanding that one percent, and being able to explain it to others, is the hallmark of strong minds" ~Professor Harold Hongju Koh



Summary (from, The “elevator pitch” isn’t as relevant these days, when people are accessible not just on elevators but by email, on social media, and around the office. However, people are more distracted. The six new ways to pitch are: the one-word pitch, the question pitch, the rhyming pitch, the 140-character Twitter pitch, the subject line pitch (which promises useful content or elicits curiosity), or the Pixar pitch (a six-sentence narrative structure supposedly used in all Pixar movies).

Quotes from the book, Lessons from Tinseltown, The lesson here is critical: 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, brings the other person in as a participant, and eventually arrives at an outcome that appeals to both of you., The Six Successors to the Elevator Pitch, 1. The one-word pitch, 2. The Question Pitch, 3. The rhyming pitch, 4. The subject-line pitch, That’s why many of us haven’t realized that every e-mail we send is a pitch. It’s a plea for someone’s attention and an invitation to engage., But the next most important element in e-mail engagement is the subject line, But they were also likely “to open messages when they had moderate levels of uncertainty about the contents, i.e. they were ‘curious’ what the messages were about.”, 5. The Twitter pitch, 6. The pixar pitch, There are three ways to learn and perfect the six pitches: Practice, practice, practice., Collect other people's pitches and record your own, jot down the great pitches you hear as you’re moving through the world—a shrewd advertising tagline, a mom’s request to her kid, a colleague’s plea for a new assignment. This exercise serves two purposes. It will make you aware of all the pitches in your midst. And it will help you see which techniques move others and which merely drift into the wind., We don’t always realize it, but what we do and how we do it are themselves pitches. We’re conveying a message about ourselves, our work, or our organization—and other people are interpreting it.


Summary (from, If none of the above works, practice improvisation techniques. Listen well and hear the buyer’s answers as “offers,” not objections. Say “Yes and…,” which means agreeing but adding a suggestion. And make the buyer look good – there’s no sense trying to win arguments against them.

Quotes from the book, 1. Hear Offers, American philosopher Mortimer Adler wrote thirty years ago:, Is anyone anywhere taught how to listen? How utterly amazing is the general assumption that the ability to listen well is a natural gift for which no training is required. How extraordinary is the fact that no effort is made anywhere in the whole educational process to help individuals learn how to listen well., The ultimate idea, she says, uncorking a small bottle of Zen in the cramped conference room when the session is over, is to “listen without listening for anything.”, “Good improvisers seem telepathic; everything looks prearranged. This is because they accept all offers made.”, 2. Say "Yes and.", Instead of swirling downward into frustration, “Yes and” spirals upward toward possibility., There are certainly plenty of times in life to say “No.” When it comes to moving others, however, the best default position is this second principle of improv. And its benefits stretch further than sales and non-sales selling. “‘Yes and’ isn’t a technique,” Salit says. “It’s a way of life.”, “There are people who prefer to say ‘Yes,’ and there are people who prefer to say ‘No,’” Keith Johnstone writes. “Those who say ‘Yes’ are rewarded by the adventures they have. Those who say ‘No’ are rewarded by the safety they attain.”, 3. Make your partner look good, The second giant, who died just six weeks before Fisher at the age of seventy-nine, took the core of Fisher’s idea to an even larger audience. In 1989, Stephen R. Covey wrote The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, which went on to sell more than twenty-five million copies., Improv artists have long understood that helping your fellow performer shine helps you both create a better scene., Making your partner look good doesn’t make you look worse; it actually makes you look better., Alfred Fuller: “Never argue,” he wrote. “To win an argument is to lose a sale.”, Today, if you make people look bad, they can tell the world. But if you make people look good, they can also tell the world., you train your ears to hear offers, if you respond to others with “Yes and,” and if you always try to make your counterpart look good, possibilities will emerge., Nineteen centuries ago, the Greek Stoic philosopher Epictetus said, “Nature hath given men one tongue but two ears, that we may hear from others twice as much as we speak.”


Summary (from, Finally, the best sellers adopt an attitude of service. They believe in the value of the product and how it will impact the life of the buyer. And because buyers also care about benefitting others, good sellers incorporate altruistic messages into their selling.

Quotes from the book, Make it personal, But in order for them to do their jobs well—that is, to move people from sickness and injury to health and well-being—doctors fare better when they make it personal., Make it purposeful, This is what it means to serve: improving another’s life and, in turn, improving the world. That’s the lifeblood of service and the final secret to moving others., the idea that those who move others aren’t manipulators but servants., They serve first and sell later, “But the successful seller must feel some commitment that his product offers mankind as much altruistic benefit as it yields the seller in money.”, The true “salesman is an idealist and an artist.”


Summary (from

Almost everyone is now a seller – someone who persuades others to take action – but best practices have changed since the days of slimy used car salesman. This book teaches specific traits and techniques that will improve your sales, and might also improve your life, as well.

Quotes from the book

We're persauding, convincing, and influencing others to give up something they've got in exchange for what we've got

One of the most effective ways of moving others is to uncover challenges they may not know they have

The ability to move others to exchange what they have for what we have is crucial to our survival and our happiness

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