I have never considered myself a salesperson. Maybe many of us don’t. But after reading Daniel Pink’s book “To Sell Is Human” one quickly realizes we are all salespeople. As Pink says, if you are convincing your kids to take a bath or asking the bank to offer you a lower interest rate, in one way or another you are selling.
I love Pink’s book because it reminds me of Malcolm Gladwell’s format of writing. Studies on human behavior and what makes us do or not do the things we do fascinates me. I for one don’t like to be pigeonholed nor stereotyped but the fact of the matter is we do have common behaviors that can be traced in studies. And then there are studies behind studies that clarify misconceptions.
Dan Pink’s ABC’s of Selling – Attunement, Buoyancy, Clarity
For instance, I have always believed that the only good sales people are Extraverts and those of us who are Introverts were just out of luck. According to Pink, a study has shown that a middle personality called an Ambiverts is actually the better salesperson. An Ambivert is somebody right in the middle, not to Extraverted, not to Intraverted. The reason the moderate personality wins is due to this person’s ability to attune to the other, read their needs, hear what they are saying, see their body language, and so on. Attunement is the bottom line, how attuned can we be with those we are trying to sell to?
The second portion of the ABC equation Pink proposes is Buoyancy. For example. A group of people were asked to monitor their self-talk. Those who had a balance of 1:1, positive to negative self-talk had no higher well-being than those whose emotions were predominantly negative. The same could be said for those with a 2:1 ratio. But, when one hit the 3:1 ratio of positive to negative, the tipping point occurred and these people flourished more. Furthermore, with another study of insurance agents, those who were optimistic sold 37% more insurance than those who were pessimistic. Positive self-talk, being grateful for the small things in life and seeing the glass half full apparently makes a big difference in one’s life.
C is for Clarity. Clarity has a lot to do with framing, bringing the information that is relative to the buyer into the forefront so that they can see how it benefits them personally. Apparently people don’t like too many choices. Within one study, participants were asked to imagine that they wanted to learn German. Researchers divided the people into two groups. One group had to choose between a $575 online German-language course and a $449 German-language software package. The second group had to choose between that same $575 online course and the $449 software package, plus a German dictionary.
In group one, 49% of the people picked the software package over the online course. In the second group only 36% picked the software package, even though it came with a free German dictionary and being a better deal.
Clarity also includes framing information. Being in the business of Internet Marketing and all things digital, learning to tone down the technical language and putting information into practical terms or correct framing is something I’m still working on. Who knew the ABC’s would be so difficult?