I've been a Dan Pink fan for a while. I heard him Keynote as ASTD International Conference & Expo in Chicago in 2010 and went out and bought his book on intrinsic motivation, Drive, immediately. I then went and bought his previous one "A whole new mind" which is about how right brained thinkers are making a resurgence. Both great books that I would highly recommend.
So when I heard that he was coming out with a new one I was excited. When I heard that one of the main ideas in it was how useful improvisational skills are to the modern business world I almost died of happiness.
Dan is on a book tour right now, and last week (on the first day of my new gig!) he was speaking at the JCC in San Francisco. Now as the JCC is 2 blocks from us and Sarah and I are members at the fitness center there I could not resist.
So I left Mountain view at just gone 4:15 and drove back up to SF. Parked the car and headed over. Met Sarah and sat down to hear him sell his book about selling.
The book is called "To Sell is Human" and his basic argument is that although 1 in 9 people in North America are "in sales" (according to statistics and self defined answers to questions) if you look at what all the rest of us do we are also selling. What Dan calls "non-sales selling" This happens when we spend our time trying to persuade people (or move them as he says) to give us something of value (time, attention, resources, money, support) in exchange for something we have to offer. His figures show that about 40% of our time is spent doing that. When I reflected on how I spent most of my time at SumTotal I get to probably 60% or more. My new gig is too early to say.
So Dan tells us that to be successful in the new world of non-sales selling (and sales as well) there is a new ABC to think about. Instead of Always Be Closing we should concentrate on Attunement, Buoyancy and Clarity.
And three tools to help us with all that are Pitch, Improvise and Serve.
I recommend reading more, buying his book and/or seeing him on the tour.
If you are lucky I may put some more onto this blog.