to sell is human

Summary: We’re all engaged in moving others and so we are doing ‘non-sales selling.’ To be effective in a world where everyone has abundant information, you need to be able to align your thinking/feeling with others, stay positive, and help clarify their situation.


  • More people are doing ‘non-sales selling’ based on freelance/entrepreneurial activity as well as the rise of Med/Ed sectors which are fundamentally about moving people
  • Once information is available, the sales role becomes consultative, focused on making sense of it
  • Key ingredients for success are: atunement (alignment of your actions and outlook with other’s thoughts/feelings), buoyancy (staying confident and positive in spite of rejection), and clarity (helping others make sense of their situation / information)
  • Make it personal, and make it purposeful – belief in what you’re doing is a prerequisite
  • Being able to relate to what someone else is thinking is more effective than simply empathizing with them (INSEAD experiment)
  • Asking yourself questions (which you, in turn, answer) is more effective than stating affirmations
  • People derive greater satisfaction from purchasing experiences than they do products, so frame a purchase in terms of what it will enable people to do
  • Rules of improv: hear offers, “yes and,” and make your partner look good
  • Robert Greenleaf – Servant Leadership
  • References:

Discussion Takeaways:

  • Don’t take the small/simple commission thinking it will lead to large/complex ones – it won’t. Instead you’ll be labelled the small project people. The only exception to this is when you grow with the client in scale of responsibility/position
  • People are interested in stories about potential, they want someone to route for
  • What’s your “one-word equity”? (e.g.: for Google = “search”)
  • Pitch tactics: rhymes are good, questions are good
  • Pixar narrative arc
  • Pitch first if you’re the incumbent, last if you’re the challenger