One in nine Americans works in sales.
And so do the other eight. Really.
So says best-selling writer Daniel Pink, author of “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us” and, more recently, “To Sell is Human.”
Is he right? For those of us in the consulting profession, we’re either in sales or we’re in trouble.
To kick off our fall meeting schedule, we’re doing something a little bit different. Instead of having a speaker come in and tell us what to do, we’re going to do some things and then speak about them.
For our September meeting, we will be looking at Daniel Pink’s new book, “To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others.” The Internet, he says, has destroyed traditional selling. The traditional salesman (and yes, he was a man) has gone the way of the switchboard operator and the travel agent. The information monopoly that sellers of all types used to have is gone. But the information revolution has also given rise to a vast range of what Pink calls “bantamweight entrepreneurs” – from app developers to someone pickling and selling artisanal vegetables in Brooklyn.
Thirty percent of American workers are now on their own, according to the research firm IDC. And even those in a more traditional employment relationship are spending much of their time in what Pink calls “non-sales selling”: the activities of influencing, convincing, and persuading.
Why does Pink say that the time-honored sales mantra of “ABC: Always Be Closing” is no longer valid? What has changed in sales since the days when Joe Girard became “the world’s greatest car salesman?” Could Girard’s techniques work today? Why does Daniel Pink say no?
In this meeting, we will learn the new ABCs of sales: Attunement, Buoyancy, Clarity; and then we will all engage in a series of interactive exercises being used by CEOs and other corporate leaders to train themselves and their sales teams. We will end with an open discussion of Daniel Pink’s approach and how it can help us improve our selling.
You don’t have to read “To Sell is Human,” before this meeting, but the book is widely available in a number of formats, including as an e-book accessible from Pink’s own website here: http://www.danpink.com/books/to-sell-is-human/.