We’re All In Sales Now

Let me repeat, we are all in sales now.

This is the title of a great article in the new issue of Associations Now about Daniel Pink’s forthcoming book.  The article touches several of my favorite subjects: sales, marketing, and effective associations.  It’s written by Kristin Clarke, a business journalist and editor for ASAE.

I’ve been a fan of Daniel Pink since I read Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.  Drive examines the secret to high performance and satisfaction.  His other books are Free Agent Nation, and A Whole New Mind.  The article is a preview of his next book, expected in January 2013 and tentatively titled The Moving Business.  My sense from this article is that the new book is going to be fascinating. 

Here are Pink’s definitions of sales, persuasion and marketing:

Sales is ultimately about moving people to part with resources so you are both better off, which is different from persuasion, which is getting you to change your mind, and marketing, which is about positioning your product, pricing it right, and so forth.”

He’s making the point about sales that I often think about communications – these shouldn’t be departments, they should be a way of doing things.  Everyone on an association staff is responsible for effective communication and selling the association’s critical objectives.

This article and the coming book could help association executives dramatically improve their thinking and more effectively motivate staff and volunteers.

Pink identifies 4 big forces responsible for moving us all into the sales business:

1. The Nature of Jobs Has Changed – more people are doing conceptual rather than transactional work and concepts have to be sold.

2. The Nature of Sales as We Know it Has Changed – customers want experts, and they want them much later in the purchase decision-making process.

3. The Nature of People’s Lives Has Changed – people spend more of their lives online, trying to sell themselves.

4. The World’s Economy Has Changed – and these forces mean that everybody is in sales at some level.

Pink provides a model for selling more, and this applies to selling anything, products, services, or an association’s critical objectives.  It’s all selling.

The article also addresses personality type and sales, smashing the myth that the most persuasive salespeople are extroverts.  “The folks who really flourish in moving people are those who are not real extroverts or introverts but who are what social scientists call ambiverts” Pink says, “what really matters is that [ability] to know when to speak up and when to shut up.”

Pink’s book will include new research and some of it will be shared at the upcoming ASAE Annual Meeting and Expo, August 14th in Dallas when Pink presents during the Closing General Session.

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One Response to We’re All In Sales Now

  1. Pingback: ASAE Rocks and Cowboy, is that a Big Screen! | the Association Navigator

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