Saturday, February 8, 2014

Moving Others: Reviewing Dan Pinks "To Sell Is Human"

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Daniel Pink's now not so new book "To Sell is Human, The Amazing Truth about What Motivates Others" connected with when I first read it in early 2013 with it's ideas reverberating with me everyday since.  I'm serious. Reading it confirmed something I knew intuitively, that "we are all in sales" and that selling isn't a dirty word, rather a reflection of basic human activity we do each and every day. 

      Pink shares how day in and day out we spend "40% of our jobs seeking to persuade others to act, choose, decide, select an idea, in some way to behave a certain way to achieve a desired outcome"  As Pink says, this is called "Non-sales selling". This behavior is basic to our existence. We all do it. Reading this rang true to me as a sole-proprietor architect and business person. 
      Everyday I seek to move people in my work, engaging in non sales selling and yes sometimes selling, and what better way to improve I found is reading Pink's book and acting on the ideas and research he shares.  Whether you realize it or not, everytime you post on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn and the like you sell yourself, your ideas, the things you find interesting.  
      You can continue doing so without clarity or understanding of this basic fact or recognizing you do it harness the aha moment and put it to good use. As Pink says, "It turns out that we are all natural salespeople. Each of us- because we're human--has a selling instinct, which means that anyone can master the basics of moving others." He goes on to say how the traditional catch phrase ABC, "Always be Closing" no longer applies, rather could be replaced with a new ABC, "Attunement, Buoyancy and Clarity." 
      Attunement is fascinating to me for a number of reasons. Pink says "Attunement  is the ability to blend one's actions and outlook into harmony with other people." He believes you increase your power by intentionally reducing it, beginning each new encounter or interaction believing you are in a position of lower power or authority. Doing so helps you empathize with the other's viewpoint.  You walk in their shoes, understand their perspective better.
      Attunement is strengthened "by using your head as much as your heart - Top Sales people have strong emotional intelligence but they don't let their emotional connection sweep them away." You need to connect and empathize with your coworkers but not get sucked in too far, finding a balance and objectivity.
      A very direct way to explain attunement which I continue using daily is mimicking others in a self-aware, observant, respectful way.  Pink goes on to share many examples of this but for me I explain this as keenly observing those around you, picking up cues from them about how they're interacting with you and blending with them by interacting similarly rather than in sharp jarring contrast to them.  This blending translates to figures of speech, body movement and position, energy level together and more.