The Salesman Is Dead, Long Live The Salesman

Learn from author Daniel Pink giving some nuggets from his newest book “To Sell Is Human” in the great podcast from Harvard Business Review! Daniel Pink - PopTech 2007 - Camden, ME

I listen to a number of great podcasts, and one that I particularly like for its short (20-minute episodes) and easy-to-digest format of “interviews with engaging experts” is HBR Ideacast. In the latest episode called “Why We’re All In Sales” popular author Daniel Pink gives us a great re-framing of the role of salespeople in today’s world. The various research he refers to shatters some common beliefs about social psychology and authority. Give this podcast a listen to learn about:

  • Personal, pervasive, permanent: How we often make these mistakes of negative generalizations in our self-talk, and a tip of self-talk that actually works.
  • Introverts vs extroverts as salespeople: Surprising facts on what’s the personality type that most often gets hired/promoted in sales jobs – vs what’s the type that really performs the best!
  • Utility vs curiosity in email subject lines: How we can strive for one or the other for effective communication… instead of ending up somewhere in the muddy marshes in between the two.

The most fascinating point in the conversation was the talk about how today’s information accessibility creates a power shift when we interact with salespeople – we’re often close to, or as much informed as the one trying to persuade us. And that ease of access to information is also a contributing factor as to why the line is blurring between salesperson and customer. It made me think that the same goes to some degree for any kind of relation that used to have an element of hierarchy, whether it be doctor – patient, subordinate – boss, or teacher – student…

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… and that’s a bit of what I learned today! Please share – what did you learn today? How did you sharpen your entrepreneurial saw? And in what kinds of situations are you the salesperson and the customer, respectively?

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