15 Sales Secrets From Daniel Pink’s Book To Sell Is Human


This year has been off to a great start with my reading goals.  I’ve been reading more than a book a month and the latest book I just finished is To Sell Is Human by Daniel Pink.

At first this book reminded me of Grant Cardone’s audio book Sell or Be Sold, where Grant argues that in every situation you are either selling your position, or being sold on someone else’s.

Certainly there are elements of persuasion in all communication and by realizing this we can make a conscious effort to move others more effectively.

Despite the long drawn out argument that even non sales jobs involve a level of selling Daniel shared some helpful interviews and insights that make this book a worth while read.

Below are the 15 best sales secrets I discovered from To Sell is Human.

1) Persistence Helps You Sellto-sell-is-human-book-stack-420x420

This reminds me of the saying persistence is how you overcome resistance.

Daniel interviewed a highly successful car sales person and dealer owner and she said that there are two qualities she looks for in new sales reps: persistence and empathy.

2) Listen and Genuinely Want to Help

Empathy and genuinely wanting to help someone will help you make more sales, while creating a stronger relationship with your customer.

3) Mirroring Body Language Builds Trust

By mirroring the body language of the person you are talking with you create familiarity and show on a non-verbal level that you are giving them your attention.  This has been shown to increase tips among waiters.

4) Repeat Back What Your Customer Says to You

Waiters found that when they repeated back an order word for word this led to a 70% increase in tips.

This same strategy undoubtedly has similar positive effects in other industries as well.

5) The Power of Contact

Studies found that touching someone’s arm lightly makes them more likely to say yes to a survey or to agree to dance in a club.

6) Be an Introvert and an Extrovert

A study found that ambiverts (half way between an introvert and extrovert) sell more than most introverts and extroverts.

7) Ask “Where Are You From?”

Jim Collins (From Good to Great) favourite opening question: Where are you from?

This question is better for rapport building than asking “What do you do?”

8) Stay Positive

Negative emotions narrow vision, positive emotions broaden the possible and get us thinking more creatively.daniel-pink

9) Interrogative Self Talk is Helpful

Rather than simply telling yourself that you can do something, ask yourself if you can so that you are thoroughly convinced.

“Can I deliver a great sales presentation?” Yes I can.

10) Don’t Take Setbacks Personally

Not making a sale is not permanent, pervasive, and it is not personal.

Don’t let small setbacks get you down because there are plenty of opportunities to make sales that will bring you up.

11) Emphasize the Experience

People often derive greater satisfaction from purchasing experiences than they do purchasing goods.

Experiences come with stories to tell. (Tip: Emphasize how a good like a car can provide experiences like visiting old friends and exploring new places)

12) Emphasize Your Potential

People love to support the underdog.

Promotions that advertised a comedian who “Could be the next big thing” outperformed ads about a comedian who “Is the next big thing.”

13) Ask Questions

Questions can be more persuasive because they elicit thought and get the person you are asking to come to your conclusion on their own.

Statements can be received passively but questions compel a response.

14) Rhymes Are Persuasive

Rhymes enhance reason and are more persuasive. Take for example the famous line about the glove from the OJ Simpson trial “If it doesn’t fit you must acquit.”

Some companies have pitches that rhyme in every language to tap into the selling power of rhyming.

Pitches that rhyme are more sublime.

15) Say “Yes and” Instead of “Yes but”

“Yes and” statements are far more productive than statements that start with “Yes but.”

Saying “Yes and” opens the door to possibility and saying “Yes but” closes it.

This reminds me of something that Grant Cardone says, which is that the first rule of sales is to always agree.

By using “Yes and” statements and agreeing with your customer you can create a mutually beneficial situation where both parties win, rather than a counter productive confrontation.


What are some strategies you use to add value and convert more sales? Let me know with a comment below.

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2 Responses to 15 Sales Secrets From Daniel Pink’s Book To Sell Is Human

  1. MarknMichelle Eaves (@Mark_n_Michelle) March 30, 2016 at 4:57 pm #

    Sounds like a book I need to pick up. Thanks for sharing some great insights, looking forward to following along on your reading adventures!


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