Sales is a misunderstood profession. The words that come to mind are all negative – pushy, dodgy, untrustworthy. However, we all spend time persuading, convincing and influencing – behaviour that can be considered ‘selling’.
Dan Pink suggests throwing out the old sales adage, ABC – always be closing’ to something less pushy – ‘ABC – Attunement, Buoyancy and Clarity’. Attunement is about relating to people, and demonstrates how ambiverts (in the middle of introverts and extroverts) are the best influencers. Buoyancy is about resilience and emotional strength to continue your persuading efforts, even in the face of rejection. And Clarity, is well, being clear about the problem you’re solving. And that might mean finding a problem that others may not know they have – especially relevant in B2B sales.
Although he doesn’t directly relate his examples to brands and marketing, the paralells are there. Pink describes how the best sales people are motivated by purpose, describing it as servant selling – ‘serve first, sell later’. Basically, you need to have a deep belief in the value of what you are offering before you can sell it to others. Purpose gives deep meaning to brands, and the best sales and marketing organisations are driven by a strong purpose.
With plenty of great stories and techniques, Dan Pink provides great tips for persuading and influencing both at work and home. Now if I could just influence the kids to pick up their things…..