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Why To Sell Is Human?

‘To Sell Is Human’ is the concept from the Daniel Pink’s book of the same name.

This is from the excerpt of the exshcnage between him and Adam Grant, Professor of Management, Wharton School.

Everyone Is Selling

Daniel assets the idea that everyone is selling. If you pick out a labour report, it is easy to see that 1 in 10 workers are working in sales department.

But when you take a closer look, you will find that others – though have different titles like teacher, project manager and such – are doing sales work. Of course, they aren’t doin sales in traditional term and no dollar is exchanged. However, there is some convincing to give time, resource or permission.

Sales Is Sleazy

You may not like it but you are in sales. Suddenly the feeling of disgust comes in mind because selling is associated with scam, sleazy and bad.

But you need to understand the changing world. For the most of history there was information asymmetry. The seller usually had more information than the buyer and hence they ripped you off.

Now the information is on both the sides. Sometimes you know more than the person selling the stuff.

So no need to feel bad because you are in sales too. Also sales isn’t what it used to be.

How To Sell Better

Now that you realise you are selling, let’s understand how to do it better. For starters, you don’t need books on how to close the deal in 18 ways.

  1. Bring in your unique perspective. Also understand your customers view and be open about it.
  2. You will face multiple rejections. What do you do after that, how you navigate and make better assertions.
  3. Find the problem. Most of the times customers aren’t sure about their real problem. You come in with a clarity and find their problem. Because once you know their exact problem, you can solve it too.

Insights Vs Sales

Let’s take an example of a local candy company. The traditional way of doing sales would be to convince all pop stores to keep all their candies and enjoy the sales income.

The modern approach is to study all the pop stores and then re-access the strategy. It can mean denying a store to sell your candies or in less quantities. Or maybe recommending to keep competitors candies.

Insights means you focus on the long term and benefit of all party involved. And if you deliver in such fashion, you are welcomed in the modern sale world.

Self Talk

Most of the times when you are going in for big break – you are selling yourself or the idea. And then most people like to do the talk to encourage themselves.

For example, yes you can do it, you are awesome and yes you are going to get that job.

But the best way is to ask the question – can you do it? At first it seems like a self doubt. But rather it is an opportunity to be open and honest about yourself. And if you find hesitating then it means you need work to do.

It helps you see what steps you are taking, have taken or need to take to achieve your goal.


If you are looking for motivation from outside then it won’t result in sustained change. The best thing comes when you are motivated from within.

For example, if your daughter isn’t cleaning her room, you may ask – in scale of 1 to 10 how ready are you to clean the room. Chances are she will say 1 to 3. Then ask why isn’t it lower than that. This will help her come up with reasons to clean the room.

When you let the motivation and reasons come from within, you can have a sustained change or behaviour.

What Daniel Pink Learnt Himself?

By going through the process of writing this book, Daniel understood the importance of doing interrogative self talk. Also now he listens more carefully instead of jumping the conversations.

The most important is that he tries to understand what the other person wants along with empathising with her.

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