(by Daniel Pink)
- The ability to move others to exchange what they have for what we have is crucial to our survival and our happiness.
Part 1: Rebirth of a Salesman
Ch 1: We're All in Sales Now
- One out of every nine American workers works in sales, and by 2020 the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects 2 million new sales jobs.
- The same holds elsewhere around the world, even after the global financial implosion and the Internet.
- Beyond producing and consuming, we now focus on moving other people to part with their resources so that we both get what we want.
- People now spend 40% of their time at work engaged in non-sales selling, and they consider this aspect crucial to their professional success.
- The older someone is, and so the more experience that person has, the more moving others occupies her days and determines her success.
- The existing data shows that 1 in 9 Americans work in sales; but the other 8 in 9 engage in non-sales selling.
Ch 2: Entrepreneurship, Elasticity, and Ed-Med
- Very large enterprises and very small ones not only have differences in degree, but differences in kind.
- Entrepreneurs cannot specialize, they must wear many hats; and that is the first reason why more of us find ourselves in sales.
- 30% of American workers now work on their own; this may grow by 65 million and become the majority of the US workforce in 2020.
- Technology was supposed to make salespeople obsolete but transformed more people into sellers -- see Etsy, Square, Kickstarter, etc.
- Elasticity, or the new breadth of skills demanded by established companies, is the second reason why we're all in sales now.
- A world of flat organizations and tumultuous business conditions 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.
- Education and health services, or Ed-Med, is the largest job sector in the U.S. economy, and the fastest growing sector in the world.
- Teachers and health care professionals sell and convince others to part with time, attention, and effort, for a better future.
- Irritation is challenging people to do something you want to do; agitation is challenging them to do something they want to do.
- Non-sales selling requires influencing, persuading, and changing behavior while balancing what others want and what you can provide them.
Ch 3: From Caveat Emptor to Caveat Venditor
- Adjectives and interjections can reveal people's attitudes, since they often contain an emotional component that nouns lack.
- Selling makes us uncomfortable and disgusted because we believe its practice revolves around duplicity, dissembling, and double-dealing.
- The presence of people who wish to pawn bad wares as good wares tends to drive out the legitimate business.
- In a world of information asymmetry, the guiding principle is caveat emptor, or buyer beware.
- If you have just as much information as the seller, and a means to talk back, the new guiding principle is caveat venditor, or seller beware.
- When buyers can know more than sellers, the sellers are not the protectors and purveyors of information, but the curators and clarifiers of it.
- Our feelings about sales derive not from the inherent nature of selling, but the information asymmetry that long defined its context.
- But as long as there are complicated products where the potential for lucre is enormous, abide by caveat emptor.
- The low road is now harder to pass and the high road has become the better, more pragmatic, long-term route.
- There are no "natural" salespeople, in part because we're all naturally salespeople with a selling instinct.
Part 2: How to Be
Ch 4: Attunement
- Attunement is the ability to bring one's actions and outlook into harmony with other people and with the context you're in.
- Power leads individuals to anchor too heavily on their own vantage point, insufficiently adjusting to others' perspective.
- Start your encounters assuming that you have less power; this will help you see other side's perspective, and in turn move them.
- Perspective-taking is a cognitive capacity, mostly about thinking; empathy is an emotional response, mostly about feeling.
- Perspective-taking is better than empathy, because you can submerge your own interests.
- People belong to groups, situations, and contexts, so pay attention to the relationships and connections of a person.
- Syncing our mannerisms and vocal patterns to someone else so that we both understand and can be understood is fundamental to attunement.
- Related to mimicry, touching someone on the upper arm or shoulder has positive results.
- The correlation between extraversion and sales in one study was only 0.07, or virtually non-existent.
- Extraverts can talk too much and listen too little, and fail to balance between asserting and holding back.
- Intraverts can be too shy to initiate and too timid to close.
- Ambiverts are the best movers because they're the most skilled attuners, knowing when to speak up and when to shut up.
- Jim Collins' favorite opening question is "Where are you from?" because it opens someone up easily.
- To master strategic mimicry: watch, then wait before applying, and finally wane, or become less conscious of what you're doing.
- Jeff Bezos uses an empty chair in meetings to represent the customer; let the chair represent whom you must be attuned to.
- A discussion map of a meeting has an X next to someone's name when they talk, and has arrows for directed comments.
- Finding similarities can help you attune yourself to others and help them attune themselves to you.
- Similarity is a key form of human connection, as people are more likely to move together when they share common ground.
Ch 5: Buoyancy
- How to stay afloat in the ocean of rejection, or buoyancy, is the second essential quality in moving others.
- Positive self-talk is better than negative self-talk, but most effective is to ask questions instead of make statements.
- The interrogative elicits answers, in which are strategies for actually carrying out the task.
- Moreover, interrogative self-talk inspires thoughts about autonomous and intrinsically motivated reasons to pursue a goal.
- Negative emotions narrow our vision and help us survive in the moment, namely fight or flight.
- Positive emotions broaden our ideas about actions, opening us to a wider range of thoughts, making us more receptive and creative.
- Believing in an offering leads to a deeper understanding of it, allowing sellers to better match what they have with what others need.
- A ratio of positive to negative emotions between 3:1 and 11:1 is ideal.
- Negative emotions offer us feedback on our performance, information on what's not working, and hints on how to do better.
- Unchecked levity makes you flighty, ungrounded, and unreal, while unchecked gravity leaves you in a heap of misery.
- Learned helplessness is a habit of people explaining negative events to themselves as permanent, pervasive, or personal.
- They believe that the negative conditions will last a long time, the causes are universal, and that they're the ones to blame.
- Optimism can stir persistence, steady us during challenges, and stoke the confidence that we can influence our surroundings.
- Next time you're getting ready to persuade others, ask yourself "Can I move these people?" Answer it, directly and in writing.
- Be more positive by displaying positive emotions of joy, gratitude, serenity, interest, hope, pride, amusement, inspiration, awe, and love.
- Explain bad events as temporary, specific, and external, and find ways to "dispute" and "de-catastrophize" negative explanations.
- Thinking through the gloom-and-doom scenarios and mentally preparing for the very worst can help some people manage their anxieties.
- Writing yourself a fake rejection letter can make consequences seem less dire, and even reveal soft spots in what you're presenting.
Ch 6: Clarity
- Partly because our brains evolved when the future itself was perilous, we are bad at wrapping our minds around far-off events.
- Clarity is the capacity to help others see their problems in fresh and revealing ways, and to identify problems they didn't realize they had.
- The ability to move others hinges on problem finding, not solving, when one's mistaken, confused, or clueless about the true problem.
- People most disposed to creative breakthroughs tend to be problem finders, and not just problem solvers.
- Non-sales selling depends more on the problem-finding because information symmetry enables us to problem solve.
- We must now be adept at curating data, not accessing it; we must also be adept at asking questions, not answering questions.
- The contrast principle says we understand something when compared to something else than when we see it in isolation.
- The less frame: Restricting people's choices can help them see those choices more clearly instead of overwhelming them.
- The experience frame: Frame a sale as a purchase of an experience, which is more satisfying than the sale of a good.
- The label frame: Simply changing the label of an activity can favorably alter behavior.
- The blemished frame: Adding a minor negative detail in an otherwise positive description can give that description more impact.
- The blemishing effect only works if the subject is in a "low effort" state, and if the negative information comes last.
- The potential frame: Highlighting one's potential, not achievements, causes deeper thought into why that person is a good choice.
- Clarity on how to think without clarity on how to act can leave people unmoved, so provide a clear path of action.
- Irrational questions work better than rational questions when trying to motivate resistant people.
- To become an efficient curator, first seek, or gather information; then sense, or create meaning out if it; and finally share.
- To ask better questions, write down as many as you can, classify them as open-ended or closed-ended, and choose the best three.
- The Five Whys technique forces us to examine and express the underlying reasons for our behaviors and attitudes.
- Always focus on the "one percent," or the essence of what you're exploring, that gives life to the other ninety-nine.
Part 3: What To Do
Ch 7: Pitch
- Pitching is the ability to distill one's point to its persuasive essence.
- A pitch isn't to move others to immediately adopt your idea, but to begin a conversation, collaborate, and arrive at a mutually beneficial outcome.
- The elevator pitch is a bit threadbare, because organizations today are more democratic and because CEOs have more distractions.
- A one-word pitch reduces a point to a single word, and helps you be heard when attention spans are nearly disappearing.
- The question pitch asks a question, which compels people to respond and is more effective than statements unless the backing arguments are weak.
- The rhyming pitch relies on rhymes increasing "processing fluency," and we equate this ease of processing with accuracy.
- The subject-line pitch relies on utility when one is busy and curiosity when one is bored, but not both; as well as specificity.
- The Twitter pitch values short pitches that ask questions, convey information with links, and to self-promotion.
- The Pixar pitch follows the structure "One upon a time ___. Every day, ___. One day, ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally, ___."
- Ensure that after hearing your pitch, you can answer what someone should know, someone should feel, and someone should do.
- You can enliven question pitches, one-word pitches, rhyming pitches, and Twitter pitches with visuals.
- A pecha-kucha presentation contains exactly twenty slides, each of which appears on the screen for exactly twenty seconds.
- When pitching, go first if you're the incumbent and last if you're the challenger; avoid the middle.
- In a pitch, granular numbers are more credible than coarse ones.
- Ask people to describe in three words what your organization, your product, and you are about, and then look for patterns.
Ch 8: Improvise
- Sales scripts perform nicely in an environment where buyers have minimal choices and sellers have maximal information.
- The stable, simple, and certain conditions that favored scripts have given way to the dynamic, complex, and unpredictable conditions that favor improvisation.
- To move others, follow the three essential rules of improv: hear others, say "Yes and," and make your partner look good.
- Listening without some degree of intimacy isn't really listening; it's passive and transactional, not active and engaged.
- Don't listen for anything; instead, take in anything and everything someone says as an offer you can do something with.
- While "Yes, but" spirals down into frustration, "Yes, and" spirals up toward positivity.
- Under conditions of information asymmetry, results are often win-lose; but with information parity, we cannot push for win-lose.
- Making your partner look good calls for, and enables, clarity, the capacity to develop solutions that nobody previously imagined.
- Ask questions, because when both sides view an encounter as an opportunity to learn, the desire to defeat the other side wanes.
- Never argue, for to win an argument is to lose a sale.
- If your conversation partner isn't finishing his sentence, or can't speak without you interrupting, then you need to slow down.
- Ask questions, but don't ask yes-no questions, don't ask questions that are veiled opinions.
Ch 9: Serve
- For service to cause people to achieve something greater and more enduring than an exchange of resources, make it personal and purposeful.
- In circumstances in which we move others, we not adopt a stance that is abstract and distant, but concrete and personal.
- This lets you recognize the person you're trying to serve, and also puts you personally behind whatever you're trying to sell.
- Many of us like to say "I'm accountable," but few of us are so deeply committed to serving other that we'll say, "Call my cell."
- We assume everyone is driven by self-interest, but we all do things for "prosocial" or "self-transcending" reasons.
- We should also be tapping others' innate desire to serve by making it purposeful, not just personal.
- A servant-leader begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve; then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead.
- The best test of this philosophy is whether those who are served grow as persons, and in turn more likely themselves to become servants.
- Servant selling asks if the person you're selling to agrees to buy, will his or her life, and the state of the world, improve?
- Upserving means doing more than the other person expects or you initially intended, transforming a mundane interaction into a memorable experience.
- Really good salespeople want to solve problems and serve customers, becoming part of something larger than themselves.
- Emotionally intelligent signage either expresses empathy with the person viewing it, or tries to trigger empathy in that person.
- To make an encounter personal and encourage you to genuinely serve, imagine that the person you're dealing with is you grandmother.
- If the buyer isn't improving her life, or the world isn't a better place after the interaction, you're doing something wrong.
Last modified 18 April 2022