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In his new book, To Sell is Human, bestselling author Daniel Pink argues that selling has changed more in the last ten years than it did over the previous 100. Think about it, whether we’re trying to push a product to someone or just trying to convince someone of our point of view, we’re always in selling mode.
Why We’re All in Sales
Pink identifies three crucial elements of macro socioeconomic trends driving the changes in sales and selling. He calls them “the 3 E’s”:
1. Entrepreneurship. The enormous rise of small entrepreneurs in the economy means more of us are in sales. The research firm IDC estimates that 30 percent of American workers now work on their own. Some analysts project that independent entrepreneurs could become the majority of the workforce by 2020.
2. Elasticity. Workers can no longer rely on doing one task at work. The new breadth of skills demanded by companies means that more people are engaging in both selling and non-sales selling. As elasticity of skills becomes more common, the ability to move others becomes crucial.
3. “Ed-Med.” Education and health services are by far the largest job sectors in the U.S. economy, as well as a fast-growing sector in the rest of the world. Education and health care have more in common with selling than ever before—convincing someone to part with resources to leave them better off in the end, whether that means studying for a test, doing physical therapy or adhering to a drug regimen.
The New ABCs of Selling
The old ABCs of sales was “Always Be Closing.” The new ABCs, Pinks writes, are “Attunement, Buoyancy, and Clarity.
”Attunement is “the ability to blend one’s actions and outlook into harmony with other people.”
Buoyancy is “the quality that combines grittiness of spirit and sunniness of outlook.” To be buoyant means to apply three components before, during and after any effort to move others.
Clarity is “the capacity to make sense of murky situations.”
In the end selling, is about moving others. We can no longer ignore our human nature when we are selling.