As a naive scientific-minded kid, I demonized capitalism and marketing growing up. Now as I get a little older and a little more humble, I realize that to sell is human. Over the last couple of months I’ve been actively trying to sell myself on capitalism and marketing. This is one of the best books I’ve read during this process. In this book, Daniel Pink explains why we all actually sell and how we can sell ethically (which is now effectively). His writing is clear, scientifically-supported, and full of practical techniques. I recommend this book to any of friends who view capitalism and marketing the way I use to. He ends the book with two questions we should all be asking ourselves when we sell, “If the person I’m selling to agrees to buy, will their life improve? When my interaction is over, will the world be a better place than when we began?” Continue to act in ways where those two questions continue to end with a “Yes.”

Book Notes

Part One: Rebirth of The Salesman

Chapter 1 – We’re All In Sales Now

Introduction of non-sales selling
People who are not classic salespeople devote about 40% of their work day trying to persuaded others in some way ( based off his research)

Claim: We are all in sales, in that all of us at some level need to convince others to do something we want them to do

Chapter 2 – Entrepreneurship, Elasticity, and Ed-Med

Three reasons for the rise in sales

1) Rise of small Entrepreneurship

2) Elasticity – Market pressures requires everyone to be a little bit of a salesperson
For software, if it is good enough, it will sell itself, so people just need to teach clients how to use it
3) The Rise of Ed-Med
Fastest growing job sector
The job of a teacher and health-care person is to move someone. To Persuade, inspire.

Interesting side note: Evolutionarily, men attempt to “sell” their social status and commitment to females. Females try to sell their fertility and male parental certainty.

Chapter 3 – From Caveat Emptor to Caveat Venditor

Selling use to be a place where the seller had disproportionate information, but we now live in an age where the buyer has disproportionate information

Informational honesty thrives in this current marketplace

He ends part one with the claim that all humans are naturally sellers. I agree.

Part 2 – How To Be

Chapter 4 – Attunement

The old adage of “Always Be Closing” does not work in this age.

The new ABC is

Attunement is “Perspective taking” the cognitive version or the emotional skill empathy

1. Increase your power by reducing it (The more powerful people feel, they tend to become less empathetic)
2. Use your head as much as your heart – attunement and empathy are different.
3. Mimic Strategically – people like and say yes to people they see as similar.

Debunking the myth of extroversion = good salesmen
Meta-analysis found a correlation between extroversion and salesmen performace 0.07%
Introduction of Ambiverts do best.

Open conversations with “Where are you from?”

Chapter 5 – Buoyancy 

Three aspects of Buoyancy

Before: Interrogative Self-Talk
During: Positivity Ratios
After: Explanatory Style!
Good overview of Seligman’s work

Chapter 6 – Clarity (Very good chapter, one of, if not the, best so far)

Clarity here is about being able to identify the problems clients have, that they don’t know they have.

We must be problem-identifiers
1) Curate the large swaths of information
2) Ask the right questions

“Clarity depends on contrast”
One of the most important questions is “compared to what?”

5 Useful Frames
“The Less Frame” – less options lead to more sales
“The Experience Frame” – people get more satisfaction from buying experiences over objects.
“The Label Frame” –
“The Blemish Frame” – adding a minor negative detail can have a positive effect on compliance/buying
“The Potential Frame” – pitch the potential of what you can achieve if you are selling yourself.

Present off-ramp
Give a clear goal and the specific roadmap to get there.

Summary –
Identify a unique problem
Frame solution with contrast
Provide an off-ramp

My 1% – Humans have a biological nature, our culture both conflicts and guides our nature. I want to understand our nature so we can intelligently improve our culture.

Part 4 – What To Do

Chapter 7 – Pitch

Pitch- the ability to distill one’s point to its persuasive essence.

The Six Successors to the Elevator Pitch

1. The One Word Pitch – Metaprogram
2. The Question Pitch – When we question, people give their reasons, which they are more likely to believe and act on.
3. The Rhyming Pitch – Things that rhyme unconscious seem more true (tested. p 162) Increases processing fluency
4. The Subject-line Pitch – be ultra specific and convey value in the subject-line
5. The Twitter Pitch – Highest rated tweets either ask questions of followers or provides value (information or links)
6. The Pixar Pitch – Template on page 169 (Try this for fun)

Case study section was very good

Chapter 8 – Improvise

Three rules for Improvising

1. Listen for Offers
2. Say “yes, and”
3. Make your partner look good

Chapter 9 – Serve

Seek to improve other people’s lives, and in turn, the world.

Make what you offer
Messages appealing to transpersonal goals seems to increase people’s prosocial behavior
Leverage this science when writing GFYW case studies
Appeal to my transpersonal goal on website
Identify what your transpersonal goal is and your Gawd will do the work of figuring out what kind of person you’d need to be to achieve that.

Introduced idea of Servant-Leader (Warrior archetype)
Then introduces Servant-Seller

Question: If the person buys, will their life be better for it? And in turn, will the world be better for it?