Friday’s Favoriates – To Sell Is Human A Critical Book Review

Believing that people buy from people and everyone sells something to someone else, I was anxious to read To Sell Is Human and then write a critical book review.  This book delivered a more qualitative perspective than a quantitative one such as in the Challenger Sale respective to sales and selling.


What Pink stated was the obvious. And how often is the obvious ignored?

Additionally he brings in some research from the social sciences such as reaction to words as well as:

  • Attitudes
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Positive self talk

Another perspective he offered was the middle ground between extrovert sales style and introvert that being the ambivert.  In the book, there is a link to an 18 questions survey to determine your preferential sales style.

Pink also introduced the concept of Attunement, Buoyancy and Clarity to replace the Always Be Closing. Now doesn’t that sound better than the pushy ABC you may have heard in the past?

Actually within my practice I include Clarity as the second step.  For without clarity, sustainable execution cannot be achieved.

From my perspective he placed sales back where it should be on the human side, the people side and de-emphasized the technical side.  Yes there are some technical or sales skills to be learned. Yet being a great salesperson is far more about being a great person who has empathy, who can bounce back during adversity and chaos and who has clarity.  These attitudes or better yet behaviors of attunement, buoyancy and clarity work for all and not just those who make a living by selling solutions.

Overall, this book, To Sell Is Human, will probably make it to my top 10 books because it makes perfect, common sense.  As someone who works using a people approach first instead of a technical one, I find it to be far more in alignment with the business growth solutions I employ with my clients. Who knows maybe some of the sales training and leadership training firms might take some lessons from Pink’s book and start thinking differently about marketing, leadership and sales.

Leanne Hoagland-Smith by being a heurist looks to discover new ways to guide and support rapidly growing small businesses or those who wish to grow beyond their current employees.  She can be reached at 219.759.5601 CST.

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