If you haven’t, grab a copy quickly because To Sell is Human  is a fascinating – and often entertaining – read that provides an excellent insight into how the practice of sales has evolved.

Whilst the early part of the book is focused on demonstrating that everyone is in sales,  the remaining chapters can still provide food for thought for the seasoned media sales executive looking for some new tips.

 A modern look at sales

Pink reinvents the ABC of sales – ‘always be closing’ – and introduces the concept of ‘attunement’, ‘buoyancy’ and ‘clarify’ as the three most essential qualities required to sell or ‘move’ others.

Pink’s new ABC shows that selling is no longer about big egos. Forget the hard sell of how great you are or what you’re selling is, it’s time to stop wearing down customers into submission, and concentrate on how you can help resolve your customers’ problems – (not a new concept for media sales people) however I like his view on being emotive and how it is your most powerful and persuasive tool. He also focuses on how you can serve your customers, by making the making your pitch more personal and purposeful.

 An alternative to the elevator pitch

Pink presents six new ways to pitch: the one-word pitch, the question pitch, the rhyming pitch, the 140-character Twitter pitch, the email subject line pitch, or the Pixar pitch, and how and when to use them to best effect. I particularly enjoyed the Pixar pitch, as in this era of storytelling it’s a useful starting point to help media sales executives to begin to develop their own ‘work’ related stories.

Extraverts make the best sales people?

Media sales like most other sales industries loves extraverts.  Sales managers look for people who are social, assertive, high energy and enthusiastic as these are generally thought to be the attributes of success particularly in media.  Pink with the support of research by Adam Grant a professor at Wharton University challenges this assumption.  Grant’s research shows that there is “no statistically significant relationship” between extraversion and ” sales performance”.  Equally introverts are not the best sales people. Grant identifies a third group ‘Ambiverts’ who are the top performers in sales, combining the qualities of extraverts and introverts. Thankfully lots of us fall into the Ambivert group. Check out http://www.danpink.com/assessment to see if you are one.

Research based thinking

Every idea Pink presents in the book is backed up by the latest academic research, so it really is a compelling read. He also includes lots of tips, tools and exercises to help you understand this new approach and how you can incorporate Pink’s techniques into your own working life.

Daniel H. Pink has an excellent reputation in his field – the Financial Times, in its review of To Sell is Human, describes him as an ‘international guru’. His conversational writing style makes the book an easy read (I chose to read it on holiday!) and crammed full of valuable advice, it’s little wonder that To Sell is Human has become such a bestseller.

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