Ah, selling. Everyone conjures up the pushy car salesman in the bad suit. However, To Sell is Human, tells us that in today’s business climate, everyone is in sales – and this is especially true of us entrepreneurs, small business owners, and bloggers.

We all are trying to convince others to buy in to what we are saying and what we are offering.

We loved this book! It gave us some good perspectives on the sales process and lots of useful tips on how to get others to move. Here are our top 10 favorite parts:

1. We are all in sales.

Some stats for you to consider:

  • Some 1 in 9 workers still earn a living in traditional sales.
  • The other 8 in 9 are engaged in “non-sales selling.”
  • We devote upward of 40 percent of our time on the job to moving others.

If you are trying to convince others to do something (or move them), you are selling.

2.  The role of sales has evolved.

Pink says that we must practice cross functional elasticity. This means that designers analyze, analysts design, marketers create, and creators market. Since entrepreneurs often wear several hats, you may already be doing these things without realizing it.

3. Building great products is more than slinging code or writing great marketing copy.

It requires that you fully discover customers’ needs, understand how your product will be used, create something unique, and finally excite someone who will be moved enough to buy. To be successful, you have to be able to sell someone on your ideas throughout the entire process.

4. The ability to move people now depends on attunement.

This means that you take the time to understand a person’s perspective, get inside his or her head, and see the world through his eyes. By being in another’s shoes, you can better respond to their needs.

5. The ability to move people requires buoyancy.

Buoyancy tells yourself “you can do it,” which is important since sales often can include a lot of rejection. You must declare an unshakeable belief in your awesomeness despite seemingly tough odds. Pink says to be like Bob the Builder who declares, “Can we fix it? Yes, we can!”

6. The ability to move people relies on clarity.

This is capacity to help others see their situation in fresh and revealing ways. Entrepreneurs are encouraged to be skilled at curating information, asking questions, uncovering possibilities, surfacing latent issues, and finding unexpected problems.

7. Move over elevator pitch.

Pink believes that the purpose of the pitch isn’t to move people immediately. Rather, it’s to offer something so compelling that it begins a conversation, brings the person in as a participant, and eventually it allows you arrive at an outcome that appeals to you both.

Successors to the elevator pitch included:

  • One Word Pitch
  • The Question Pitch
  • The Rhyming Pitch
  • Subject Line Pitch
  • Twitter Pitch
  • Pixar Pitch

8. Become a master of improv.

Improv is a form of theater where most or all of what is performed is created at the moment it is performed, with little or no pre-planning. Learning this skill allows you to generate ideas, incorporate changes quickly, communicate effectively and convincingly, and spiral toward new possibilities.

9. Serve first, sell next.

To move people, you need to go beyond solving problems and really serve them. We liked the concept of upserving over upselling. Upserving means that you do more for the other person than he expects or that you intended, taking the extra steps that transforms a mundane transaction into a memorable experience.

10. Two important final questions.

You need to be able to answer YES to the following questions:

  1. If the person you are selling to agrees to buy, will his life improve?
  2. When your interaction is over, will the world be a better place than when you begun?

We found the book to be inspirational. Go and get yourself a copy (not an affiliate link).