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HBR GoToMeeting to Sell is Human Brief

HBR GoToMeeting to Sell is Human Brief

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To sell is human
To sell is human

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Published by: pspdomo71 on Aug 27, 2014
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© 2014 Harvard Business School Publishing. Created for Harvard Business Review by BullsEye Resources, www.bullseyeresources.com.
To Sell is Human: The New ABC’s of Moving Others
Sponsored by
featuring
Daniel Pink
FEBRUARY 26, 2014
 
WEBINARS
© 2014 Harvard Business School Publishing. Created for Harvard Business Review by BullsEye Resources, www.bullseyeresources.com.
2
OVERVIEW
Contrary to what many believed, the incredible changes in communications technology and the rise of social media have not made sales forces obsolete. Sales professionals still play an inte-
gral role in the transactional process. To be eective, however, the role they play must change
dramatically. Since sales people no longer have a monopoly on access to market data, they
must have a dierent set of qualities and provide other services—such as sharing insights—
than sales people of past eras.
CONTEXT
Daniel Pink, bestselling author of
To Sell is Human
, discussed how the basics of selling have changed and how sales professionals need to adapt in order to succeed.
KEY CONCLUSIONS
Sales has undergone more profound changes as information asymmetry has been replaced by information parity.
It was originally believed that because of changes in information technology, there would no longer be a need for large sales forces. The theory was that since one of the major roles of a sales force was to provide product and competitive information to prospective customers, fewer sales people would be needed because customers would now have direct access to information themselves. The data does not bear this out. In 2000, 11% of the United States’ workforce worked in sales. In 2014 that percentage has not changed. Therefore, despite the emergence of incredible new communications technology (increased access to broadband, tablets, smart phones, etc.) and social media, one of every nine workers is involved in sales. Interestingly, the importance of sales workers in other developed countries is about the same (10% in the UK; 13% in the EU; and 13% in Japan).  What has changed is the role that the sales force plays in today’s sales process. In the past there  was information asymmetry, as sales people had more information than the customer. This asymmetry let to a negative perception of sales and selling, with individuals using adjectives
such as pushy, yuck, ugh, hard, and dicult to describe sales.
CONTRIBUTORS
Daniel Pink
 Author,
To Sell is Human
Angelia Herrin (Moderator)
Editor for Research and Special Projects,
Harvard Business Review 
FEBRUARY 󰀲󰀶, 󰀲󰀰󰀱󰀴
To Sell is Human: The New ABC’s of Moving Others
 
© 2014 Harvard Business School Publishing. Created for Harvard Business Review by BullsEye Resources, www.bullseyeresources.com.
3
FEBRUARY 󰀲󰀶, 󰀲󰀰󰀱󰀴
To Sell is Human: The New ABC’s of Moving Others
Figure 1: Word cloud of 25 common adjectives when describing “sales” or “selling”
Today, the playing eld has shifted and the game for sales has changed. We are moving
from a world where the warning sign read “Buyer Beware” to one where it is “Seller Beware.” Information asymmetry has been replaced by information parity.
The ABC’s of effective selling have changed.
In the movie
Glengarry Glen Ross
, the old-school sales manager exhorts his real estate sales-men to never forget their ABC’s:
 A 
lways
B
e
C
losing. In other words, don’t let up until the customer buys. This traditional sales philosophy is what led to the perception that sales people are “pushy” and would do anything to get a sale. In the last 20 years, there has been an explosion of research in behavioral science indicating three new ABC’s that are keys to selling in today’s environment:
 Attunement.
In this age of information parity, it is imperative that a sales person takes on the perspective of the customer and sees the customer’s point of view. This relationship
 building creates trust and condence.
Buoyancy.
In reecting on the challenges of his job, one sales person lamented, “Every day I face an ocean of rejection.” The key, then, to selling eectively is developing skills of  buoyancy to stay aoat. Humility is not a virtue often associated with sales, but questioning one’s abilities and analyzing failures can make a sales person more eective going forward.
Clarity.
Power previously came from access to information. Now that everyone has access to information, the important skill of great sales people is curating it, distilling it, and choosing what is most important. Also, today great sales people don’t just solve customers’
problems; they nd problems that customers might not even know they had.
“In the old days  you [sales people] had a comparative advantage of having access to information. Today, everyone has access to information.
󲀓DANIEL PINK
“The premium has shifted from the skill of problem solving to the skill of problem finding.”
󲀓DANIEL PINK

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