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To Sell Is Human

The Surprising Truth About Moving Others

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

To Sell Is Human explains how selling has become an important part of almost every job, and equips the reader with tools and techniques to be more effective at persuading others.

Key idea 1 of 9

Selling – or at least moving others – is part of almost every job today.

Even though the door-to-door salesmen who used to peddle everything from mothballs to feather dusters may have disappeared, the activity of selling is still as relevant and vibrant as ever – and is increasingly becoming part of everyone’s job.

In large companies, the traditional line between sales and other departments is blurring fast. Engineers, product designers and customer support staff all interact with customers and can therefore help bring in sales. The enterprise software company Atlassian, for example, generated revenues of just over $100 million in 2011 without a single dedicated salesperson.

This same “we’re all in sales” ethos also applies to entrepreneurs, soon to be the majority of the workforce in the United States. A start-up usually can’t afford a sales department – therefore everyone has to sell.

In addition to sales activities creeping into many jobs, research shows that, on average, people spend some 40 percent of their time at work engaged in so-called non-sales selling, meaning persuading, convincing and influencing others. In other words, we spend almost half our time at work trying to move people.

Non-sales selling is perhaps most important in the education and medical (Ed-Med) industries: A teacher persuades students to trade time and energy for an education; a doctor persuades patients to give up the pork chops they love for better health. Considering that Ed-Med is now the largest job sector in the US economy, and growing fast, it’s clear that moving people is becoming an increasingly important part of many Americans’ work.

This transforming landscape in both sales and non-sales selling is making most of us some sort of salesperson.

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