The art of selling is not just for estate agents and car sales-people, says Daniel H Pink, author of To Sell Is Human.
We are all in the business of clinching a deal, be it asking your boss for a raise, getting a date, or persuading your child to do their homework.
Here are his tips for making a successful sale, in any area of life.
- Attune yourself to the situation and the person you are selling to. Listen to their response to your ‘sale’ or pitch. In most cases you will never get a straight ‘no’. Take their reasons why and find the offer within it. If someone explains they ‘can’t sponsor you for your charity fun run right now’, ask them if they can sponsor you next month, or even volunteer their time instead of money.
- Stay buoyant in your outlook. We all encounter rejection, but positivity is an important quality to maintain. Instead of allowing ‘Yes, but’ to take control of the situation, introduce ‘Yes, and’. Turn negative excuses on their heads and give resolutions instead. Make the person you are selling to look good, let them feel that they are contributing to the pitch, and never get pulled into an argument.
- Have clarity throughout your pitches. Make your message personal and purposeful and remember who you are selling to. Persuasion is often amplified by contrast. Let them know why they should ‘buy’ what you’re selling over their other options and don’t give too many choices; fewer options increase the chance of making your sale. ‘
To Sell Is Human’ by Daniel H Pink (Canongate Books, £14.99)