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I live in Bedford, England. Having retired from teaching; I am now a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Threshold Concepts in the context of A-level Physics. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. I have also recently become a keen playgoer to London Fringe Theatre. I enjoy mostly classics and I read the playscripts and add those to the blog. I am a member of Bedford Writers' Circle. See their website here: http://bedford-writers.co.uk/ Follow me on twitter: @daja57

Sunday, 6 April 2014

"To sell is human" by Daniel Pink

I described Pink's Drive as "a fantastic and deeply thought provoking book". 

This suffers by comparison. Drive proposed a revolutionary third type of human motivation, neither derived from biological necessities (Maslow's hierarchy of needs) nor from externally imposed rewards and punishments but from the intrinsic pleasure of contributing such as is experienced by those who write wikipedia

The present book seeks first to convince the reader that we are all in the sales business: teachers 'sell' the idea of learning to pupils; doctors 'sell' to patients the treatments on which patients must sometimes gamble their lives. In other words, any employment which involves perusading anyone else to do something is, in Pink's view, selling.

Pink also suggests that the old fashioned stereotype of a seedy salesman seeking to rook his 'prospect' is precisely that, old-fashioned. That sort of salesman can only operate in a market in which there is 'information asymmetry'; for example, when the man selling the used car knows whether it is a clapped out old lemon or a juicy peach but the customer doesn't know this. Pink suggests that in the internet age information is rarely asymmetric and therefore the old-fashioned sales can no longer exist. Rather, the modern salesman has to be an advisor, helping the client navigate a landscape in which information can be deafening and sometimes conflicting and confusing.

Then Pink offers training for the new-style salesman. They have to be:

  • attuned to the customers needs
  • buoyant to cope easily with repeated rejection but not to ignore sings of how they can improve
  • clear about what problems they can solve for their clients and how to solve them

Then Pink offers a variety of exercises to help trainee new-style salesmen improve things such as their Pitch. 

And what started out as a book with interesting ideas becomes just another sales training manual.

Don't get me wrong: some of the ideas are interesting and there are one or two neat tricks that I would like to adopt. But this book has nothing like the mind-altering impact of Drive.

April 2014; 233 pages

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