The New ABC’s of Selling!

I come to you today pumped up, feeling like my head is in the clouds. Oh wait, that’s because I am on a plane. Anyways, I have been working on my book review of Daniel Pink’s book To Sell Is Human and just finished it on the plane. I am returning from my first solo business trip for Idle Smart, meeting with prospective fleets in Michigan as well as working on business development – creating a partnership with a transportation group who will not only be a dealer for our product, but also an installation site. This trip has been eye opening on many different accounts – it is one thing to call on different companies, speaking on the phone. However; having one on one meetings with decision makers in multi-million dollar companies is a whole different ballgame. Right now I am reflecting on how the meetings went – what went well, what I need to work on, and so on. To do this you really must detach from the situation and look at your performance objectively. Sure there were times I was nervous, and didn’t want to make that cold call visit. That’s what this post is about – understanding the new rules of selling and why everyone is now in sales. I am going to share with you the new ABC’s of Selling from Pink’s book. I relied heavily on the buoyancy principle this trip – staying positive which allowed me to stay motivated. Understand, this – everyone is now in sales – non-sales selling is the practice of moving, persuading, and influencing another person from where they are before you started talking – to where you want them to be – but also understanding that having the other person’s best interests in mind is crucial. Let’s Get to it!

The New ABC’s of Selling

  • Attunement – the ability to bring one’s actions and outlook into harmony with other people and with the context you’re in.
    • Attunement hinges on 3 principles
  1. Increase your power by reducing it – as the research concludes – power leads individuals to anchor too heavily on their own vantage point, insufficiently adjusting to other’s perspective.
    1. Conclusion – there is an inverse relationship between power and perspective taking
      1. Assume that you’re NOT the one with the power! This is the using an apparent weakness as an actual strength.
      2. Find uncommon similarities – people are more likely to move together when they share common ground.
    2. Use your head as much as your Heart – Social scientists have found that perspective taking is a cognitive capacity which is mostly about thinking.
      1. Empathy, however is an emotional response which is mostly about feeling
      2. Both are important, however the research points that perspective takers have proven to be much more effective in moving others
      3. When negotiating or moving others – imagine what the other person is thinking vs. what they are feeling to be effective
        1. The reasoning behind this is based on if you make decisions on emotions you may submerge your own interests – empathy is great, but P.T. is better
      4. Mimic Strategically – based on synching our mannerisms and vocal patterns to someone else so that we both understand and can be understood.
        1. Be present in the moment and put out the correct vibes – be engaged
        2. An example – research has found that waitresses who repeated diners’ orders word for word earned 70% more tips than those who paraphrased!
  • Buoyancy – the ability to stay afloat amidst the ocean of rejection that we face.
    • Anyone who is in the business of moving others must contend with wave after wave of rebuffs, refusals, and repudiations.
    • Buoyancy’s 3 Components
  1. Before – Interrogative Self Talk – shift from making statements to asking yourself questions.
    1. Positive self-talk is effective but only shifts emotions. Interrogative self-talk shifts linguistic categories – remember perspective?
    2. Using this technique elicits answers – and within those answers are strategies for actually carrying out the task. Questions reach deeper and provide yourself with more convincing answers – Why.
    3. : instead of telling yourself you can make a great pitch, ask yourself can I make a great pitch? See the difference?
  2. During – Positivity Ratios – Positive emotions broaden people’s ideas about possible actions, opening our awareness to a wider range of thoughts and makes us more receptive and creative
    1. On the flipside – negativity narrows people’s vision and propels their behavior toward survival in the moment
    2. Positivity to Negativity effective ratio is 3-1 – research shows people flourish when they have some appropriate negativity but have 3 positive emotions for every 1 negative they experience
  3. After – Explanatory Style – Martin Seligman defines this as people’s habit of explaining negative events to themselves. Pink writes to think of explanatory style as a form of self-talk that occurs after (rather than before) an experience.
    1. Seligman notes that a Pessimistic explanatory style is one that holds on to the belief that negativity is always your fault, it’s going to last forever, and it’s going to undermine everything I do – is debilitating.
    2. Optimistic Explanatory style – seeing rejections as temporary rather than permanent, specific rather than universal, and external rather than personal.
      1. Using this style leads to the ability to keep moving forward and also to see the world with flexible optimism – the proper balance between downward and upward forces.
  • Clarity – the capacity to help others see their situations in fresh and more revealing ways and to identify problems they didn’t realize they had.
    • Make the switch from problem solving to problem finding
    • Really understand what you are there to do with your client – unbiased “business partners”
      • Be a person who can brainstorm with the retailers, who uncover new opportunities for them, and who realize that it doesn’t matter if they close at that moment
    • Today’s world of information symmetry calls for a new premium – “the ability to hypothesize, to clarify what’s going to happen next.”
    • Clarity on how to think without clarity on how to act can leave people unmoved – always have a defined plan of action (or as my mentor says a POA)

If you have any questions/comments/feedback about these ideas – I want to hear them!


Be Great, Nothing Else Pays.

1 Comment

  1. be Authentic
    Built trust

    My business is built on a similar set of ABCs. I believe in educating clients, understanding their needs, caring about their goals, then identifying ways that I can help them achieve those goals through resources that I can provide.
    Another solid review.

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