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I am reading Daniel Pink‘s new book, To Sell Is Human. The central point of the book is this: Whether we’re employees pitching colleagues on a new idea, nonprofit staff trying to persuade people to rally to our cause, or parents trying to get our kids to do their homework, we spend our days trying to move others. As Pink puts it: “Do you earn your living trying to convince others? Like it or not, we’re all in sales now.”
I agree with this – in fact, I’ve often said we’re all marketers, too. Pink says that means we need three skills – the ABCs. Not the old “always be closing” mantra of Glengarry Glen Ross, but rather attunement, buoyancy and clarity. He means the ability to connect, a sense of resilience and clarity of purpose. We all must learn to pitch, to improvise and to serve.
“Selling isn’t some grim accommodation to a brutal marketplace culture. It’s part of who we are – and therefore something we can do better by being more human.”
We would all make the world a better place if we embraced the fact we can’t just be right in our fight. The best idea in the world can’t advance without connecting to others. We have to persuade others to join our effort. And that isn’t dictating – it’s selling. Congratulations – you’re a salesman or a saleswoman. And I am too.