Most of us would not describe our post-graduation job as a sales job, but Daniel H. Pink, author of, To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth about Moving Others, persuaded Wharton students that no matter the job, a significant amount of time is spent on “non-sales selling” which is described as “persuading, convincing, and influencing others to give up something they’ve got in exchange for what we’ve got.”. Pink spoke on January 22nd, as part of the Authors at Wharton Speaker Series.
After sharing research that proves that ‘non-sales selling’ is integral to most people’s work, Pink shared what he believes are the most valuable qualities in moving others – the ABC’s of selling – Attunement, Buoyancy, and Clarity. While the stigma of a sales-person is to be pushy, manipulative, and annoying, the qualities that lead to success are actually the ability to take another’s perspective, staying afloat in an ocean full of rejection, and identifying key problems in a world full of information. Pink then went on to describe the actions one must take to be successful: Pitch, Improvise and Serve. Kathleen Fleming, WG ‘13, stated “Daniel Pink’s research into the art and psychology of sales was interesting – particularly its influence on roles not traditionally thought of as ‘sales.’”
Just as he is in his writing style, Daniel Pink is an engaging and entertaining speaker and story-teller. He challenged people’s way of thinking, and provided insight on how Wharton students can continue to grow into successful business leaders. Brent Habitz (WG ’13) added “I enjoyed hearing his perspective on the necessity of using persuasive communication in the workplace. He wasn’t shy about challenging the stigma associated with sales and was adamant that effective business leaders need to develop this skill. I also found his comments on bouncing back from failures particularly interesting. Recognizing that we’re all going to experience failures, it was encouraging to hear that we have an active choice in how we bounce back from these setbacks.”
The Authors at Wharton Speaker Series will continue on February 6th with Anne-Marie Slaughter, author of Why Women Still Can’t Have it All and on March 13th with Jonathan Haidt, author of The Righteous Mind.