• To Sell Is Human

  • The Surprising Truth about Persuading, Convincing and Influencing Others
  • By: Daniel H. Pink
  • Narrated by: Daniel H. Pink
  • Length: 6 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 07-02-13
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd
  • 4 out of 5 stars 4.2 (407 ratings)


p>A ground-breaking new business book from the New York Times number-one best seller. We're all in sales now. Each day millions of people earn their keep by convincing someone else to make a purchase. They sell planes to airlines, oil shares to sheiks, cars to drivers. They sell consulting agreements, magazine subscriptions, and time-shares, double glazing, broadband, fitted kitchens, car insurance, life insurance, pet insurance! Some work in fancy offices with glorious views, others in dreary cubicles, but most look exactly like you. In fact, each and every one of us spends time trying to persuade others to part with resources - money, time, attention - though most of the time we don't realise we're doing it.
Parents sell their kids on going to bed. Spouses sell their partners on mowing the lawn or putting the cat out. We sell our bosses on giving us more money and more time off. And in astonishing numbers we go online to sell ourselves on Facebook, Twitter, and in Match.com profiles.
In this new book from the best-selling author of Drive, Dan Pink explores the ways in which we can all improve our sales skills in every area of our lives and identifies the three personal qualities and four essential skills necessary to move people. Relying on science rather than platitudes and analysis instead of exhortation, Dan builds on his own sales experience and on the profiles of some of the world's best salespeople - and makes us look again at our own sales skills.
©2012 Daniel Pink (P)2013 Canongate Books Ltd
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Zoot on 25-08-17

Generalising to the degree of meaninglessness

This book begins with a logic that is somewhat convoluted. At it’s basic argument it goes a little like this: 1. Sales jobs require flexibility 2. All jobs increasingly demand more flexibility 3. Therefore everyone is a salesperson… It’s a fallacious argument but sadly just the surface of this BS peddling, continuing the flawed logic with: 1. Sales requires you to convince and persuade people 2. As part of your job you convince and persuade people 3. Therefore you’re a salesperson… It’s ridiculous and a bit of a stretch to the definition of the salesperson. On this vacuous plain of reasoning one could argue that – 1. Dogs eat food 2. You eat food 3. Therefore you are a dog.

Perhaps this complete disregard of logical arguments and word definitions should have been a warning of what was to come but alas I was still bewildered by the littering of jargon, which I can only presume (as there was no introduction to such terms) that were supposed to be synonyms for “sales”. Terms like “moving people” seem empty when compared to the attempt he takes in the beginning of the book to apply “sales” to us.

Dan Pink draws from some interesting studies, lending his writing an air of authority but for someone who is clearly knowledgeable about a lot of reputable research it is surprising to learn of his complete ineptitude at critical reasoning or interpretation. Pink takes the results of studies that are focused on isolated phenomena and erroneously generalises them across a wide range of theoretical situations. The researchers who conduct such studies acknowledge their limitations, something he does not do.

He makes the rookie error of mistaking statistics for being absolute descriptors of people and behaviour when they are frankly not even close. Putting everybody under the umbrella of majority statistical results, in itself a distorted view of the real world. It is always a red light warning when somebody draws from research uncritically and mashes it together with a bunch of meaningless stories, old wives tales and tid-bits. This is a clear example of a cherry-picked argument.

Later in the book Pink pulls outs the over simplified (and simply wrong) cliché of “introvert” “extrovert” leaning a lot of weight on this way of thinking without any consideration to its legitimacy. Sure it sounds snappy but reality isn’t black and white like that – people behave differently in varying situations – the introvert, extrovert perspective is a false dichotomy.

He gives an anecdote at the end of the book about a website he visited. He gets all “mightier than though” about a webpage titled “upselling”, ditching his whole order because of the terminology of a html address. If one held his standard of generalising and presumption then this book would hold no value based on the first mistake, error and clumsy reasoning he p*sses on the page, not to mention the continued literal diarrhoea that was Pink’s book.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Mark on 17-02-13

To persuade, divine

It may only be February but this is probably the best business book of 2013. If your work involves selling ideas to or moving others, and as explained here most job now do, this books offers ways to get much better at persuasion.

If you liked Drive or A Whole New Mind you will enjoy this audiobook too. It's better as an audiobook because it's read by Daniel Pink himself, an engaging an entertaining speaker, and you get all the added emphasis and meaning he intended. The Fuller Brush mans interaction with Beth is an amusing interlude really brought to life in the audiobook. Daniel Pink puts forward the new ABC of selling everything from product to ideas to motivation. The ideas of Attunement, Buoyancy and Clarity are then explained with a sound evidence base and links to the latest research for each. The research is brought to life with practical examples in the real world away from the lab.

For me the most useful part of this book is the 'Sample Case' or activities given to practice and increase effectiveness in each of the 3 key behaviours. Which is where I will end my review because I'm off to sharpen my improvisation skills.

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10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Paul Shellard on 06-12-17

Good intro for beginners

A good intro into some of the principles of marketing, as a novice I found it very useful

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5 out of 5 stars
By Anonymous User on 27-11-17

I'm Sold!

Pink delivers another excellent book - well researched and full of data that makes his points so compelling.

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