We are all in Sales Now!
I remember one of my first jobs in college where I was to earn money by knocking on doors selling printing services for a local printer. He gave me the flyers and said, "go to it." I started with the easy ones, folks I knew but after my dad and a good friend of the family, I was lost. It was stressful to say the least. I came home and decided that whatever my college years prepared me for, it was not going to be in sales.
Needless to say, my opinion of sales back then was in line with what Dan Pink introduces as "the old mind-set of the sleezy sales person" and how much this has changed for we now all sell in one way or another. I recommend his new book, To Sell Is Human. By the way, I have adopted relationship selling and genuine curiosity in others as we built our consulting company over the past 20 years. I am sold.
Dan shares some amazing statistics as a result of his research that "people are now spending up to 40% of their time in non-sales, or persuading, influencing and convincing others that don't involve a purchase. Across all disciplines we are devoting 24 minutes of every hour in persuading others. Wow, this surprised me for sure and I started thinking about how sales has changed so dramatically in the past 20 years.
The book makes a compelling argument that we are all in sales now and we come to our negotiations with others armed with so much more data, information from our own research that this world of selling has been turned upside down. If we are not good at asking questions and putting ourselves in others shoes, we will struggle with getting our points made or even see any change.
I appreciate that Dan does not see himself as a salesperson, but he clearly demonstrates in the examples and real case studies that sharing information and presenting new ideas is more important than selling a book. He is all about moving others but what is delightful here, is that he starts with "what will move us" and that it starts here. How great to start the new year with this idea that it starts with us. Is there a surprising truth for you as you evaluate your own ability to influence others?