To Sell is Human By Daniel H. Pink

Sunday, April 9th, 2023

I’ve picked out parts of this book that I’ve found relevant (mind you, this whole book is very relevant to the work we’re currently doing as Happiness Engineers)

“A – always. B – be. C – closing. Always be closing. Always be closing.”

Always be closing is a cornerstone of the sales cathedral. Successful salespeople, like successful hunters of any species, never relent in pursuing their prey. Every utterance and each maneuver must serve a single goal: pushing the transaction to a conclusion – your conclusion – and getting the person across the table, as Blake says, “to sign on the line which is dotted.”

A – Attunement
B – Buoyancy
C – Clarity

“Attunement, buoyancy, and clarity: These three qualities, which emerge from a rich trove of social science research, are the new requirements for effectively moving people on the remade landscape of the twenty-first century.” (page 68, 69)

“Start your encounters with the assumption that you’re in a position of lower power. That will help you see the other side’s perspective more accurately, which in turn, will help you move them’ (page 72, 73)

“Servant selling is the essence of moving others today. It begins with the idea that those who move others aren’t manipulators but servants. They serve first and sell later.” (page 220)

“Upserve. Upserve means doing more for the other person than he expects or you initially intended, taking the extra steps that transform a mundane interaction into a memorable experience. This simple move – from upselling to upserving – has the obvious advantage of being the right thing to do. But it also carries the hidden advantage of being extraordinarily effective. Anytime you’re tempted to upsell someone else, stop what you’re doing and upserve instead. Don’t try to increase what they can do for you. Elevate what you can do for them.” (page 226)

“Salespeople are no different from engineers, architects, or accountants. Really good salespeople want to solve problems and serve customers. They want to be part of something larger than themselves.” (page 227)

Asking ChatGPT to summarize the book…

I’m pretty impressed by what ChatGPT has to say about the book. Here’s the summary…

“To Sell is Human” by Daniel H. Pink is a book about how everyone sells in some way or another, whether it’s a product, an idea, or even just themselves. The author argues that selling has evolved from a traditional, aggressive approach to a more nuanced and empathetic one, where understanding the needs and desires of the customer is key.

Pink also discusses the importance of pitching, or presenting an idea, in a way that is compelling and memorable. He outlines several techniques for doing so, such as using analogies and asking questions.

Throughout the book, Pink emphasizes the importance of being attuned to others’ perspectives and using empathy to connect with them. He also encourages readers to embrace the idea of “servant selling,” which involves focusing on the customer’s needs rather than just one’s own.

Overall, “To Sell is Human” argues that selling is not just for salespeople, but for anyone who wants to persuade others and get things done. It’s a thought-provoking read that offers practical advice for anyone looking to improve their communication and persuasion skills.


“Finally, at every opportunity you have to move someone – from traditional sales, like convincing a prospect to buy a new computer system, to non-sales selling, like persuading to buy a new computer system, to non-sales selling, like persuading your daughter to do her homework – be sure you can answer the two questions at the core of genuine service.

1). If the person you’re selling to agrees to buy, will his or her life improve?

2). When your interaction is over, will the world be a better place than when you began?

If the answer to either of these questions is no, you’re doing something wrong.”

(page 232, 233)

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: