To Sell Is Human Summary – Strategies of Great Selling

Author: Daniel Pink

Short Summary
To Sell Is Human (2012) is a book written by Daniel Pink that shows us how a bit of strategy can help us achieve our goals: selling ourselves, our company, an idea, or even a product by explaining how to effectively negotiate without the hidden agendas so often associated with powerful negotiation techniques which you will get to know in this To Sell Is Human summary. But he also highlights that many of these approaches are not sustainable or honest: only if people believe in your product will they be willing to pay for it.
to sell is human summary

Detailed Summary of To Sell Is Human

For a long time, the idea of “selling” had an unpleasant stigma and was considered to be a lower, unnatural activity. It has been associated with the door-to-door salesman. Today, an army of people in his place strive to sell anything from cars to business opportunities and just about everything else.

And even though the concept of “selling” was once regarded as a bit suspect, it’s now considered to be mainstream and not so shameful anymore since everyone does it.

Being a successful business is all about the skills of selling what you can provide to the market. Being an excellent seller requires more than a good set of charisma and a good sales pitch. Excellent salespeople are good at what they do.

It’s not because of how they look but because of their sincere desire to help people and their ability to apply knowledge, skill, and self-discipline, which many businesses lack.

Pink argues that the best salespeople will be able to move people in the digital age because of their ability to connect with others on a deeper level than past generations could achieve.

To Sell Is Human Summary Key Points

It’s not only all right to sell. But how much of what we think we know about selling is true? That’s what we will find out in his book To Sell Is Human key points.

You might also like to read Kaizen Book Summary to learn how to take small steps to achieve success.

You spend most of your on Non-Sales Selling

See, the old-school view on sales was that you were in sales if you closed deals and sold stuff. This is why there was a special role in organizations for these people. These days though, organizations are much more cross-functional, with product managers and designers playing a major role in making things happen.

So now, sales are the elements of your marketing efforts, one part of product development or one way to market your product.

The line between sales and marketing, which used to be clear, has now become so blurry. Startups and companies hire salespeople, so people can focus on their jobs and not be distracted by selling. But sales work is important – the interaction moves things forward. Hence, every job includes non-sales selling, which means you have to move others somehow.

I once had a job as a janitor, which involved moving others somehow. On occasion even, no one paid me to do that. I just did it as part of my regular responsibilities. That’s when I figured out that every job involves “non-sales selling” in that regard.

Non-sales selling is about moving others to get them to do what you want them to do by using words rather than trying to move them by using actions (like you would do when you’re in a sales position).

Thanks to the Internet: Honest dealers are at your Fingertips

Before the internet, it was hard to track down such information. You needed to visit each dealer one by one. If you wanted to see what people thought about that specific place, you had to find a survey form and fill it out.

You cannot do so without being approached by a sales representative. I believe most people only go to car dealers because they need a car and not because they’re eager to buy.

So why are we so scared of salespeople?

It is because every time we enter a car dealership, we know that we will probably get sold something we don’t want or need. Nobody wants someone trying their best to sell you stuff you don’t need at the expense of your financial well-being. Decisions today are incredibly complex; you are assaulted with information and choices. To help in this process

In the past, if you wanted to buy something and didn’t have time to compare, you had to trust your salesperson. But today, all the information is at your fingertips, so you can tell if your salesman is a fraud or not.

For example, if you’re reading a book and want to know what other people thought, you can go to and see those reviews. If you want to find out what your friends are reading or what they thought of what they read, you can also use to do this.

Always say YES to your Customers if you don’t want to Lose them

Have you ever watched a comedian on stage? Most of them are great improvisers. If a comedian says a joke that doesn’t go over well with the audience, they’ll simply say “Yes, but…” and just go down a completely different road to get back the audience’s laugh.

This way of thinking is crucial to building a great brand and strong customer relationships.

The internet is a great place to find what you want and need, especially if you know where to look. If you want to find an obscure book or movie and it isn’t available online, your first instinct might be to say “No, it is not available online!” instead of saying, “Well, we don’t carry this obscure book or movie on our website, but…” and then provide some kind of solution for your customer.

When a customer comes to you with a complaint or an issue, you have the option to respond in one of two ways: to say either “Yes, and…” or “No.”

Saying “Yes, and…” means acknowledging the customer’s complaint or concern and yet entertaining the idea that you can fix it. For instance, say your customer says, “I can’t find that book I was reading”. You can respond by saying, “Yes, and we have other similar books to offer.”

If you say “No” or “Yes, but…” you are actively rejecting the complaint and immediately give your customer proof that they are right that there is an issue with your company. These responses might placate the customer, but they don’t solve anything.

To Sell Is Human Quotes

“To sell well is to convince someone else to part with resources—not to deprive that person, but to leave him better off in the end.” Daniel H. Pink

“Anytime you’re tempted to upsell someone else, stop what you’re doing and observe instead.” Daniel H. Pink

To Sell Is Human Review

Many things are important to know if you are a salesman. While reading the book, I realized that the writing style and tone of the author were very clear. Every other person can understand his thoughts and tactics, which are also mentioned in the To Sell Is Human summary. A must-recommended book for anyone who wants to improve his skills.

To whom I would recommend To Sell Is Human summary?

  • Anyone who thinks that selling is unimportant in their study or working field.
  • A dealer whose sales are being declined over some years.
  • Anyone who wants to polish up his selling techniques.