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Book Excerpt: Rebirth of a Salesman

 We’re All in Sales Now 

The obituaries declaring the death of the salesman in today’s digital world are woefully mistaken. In the United States alone, some 1 in 9 workers still earns a living trying to get others to make a purchase. They may have traded sample cases for smartphones and are offering experiences instead of encyclopedias, but they still work in traditional sales.
 
More startling, though, is what’s happened to the other 8 in 9. They’re in sales, too. They’re not stalking customers in a furniture showroom, but they – make the we – are engaged in what Daniel calls “non-sales selling.” 
 
We’re persuading, convincing, and influencing others to give up something they’ve got in exchange for what we’ve got. As you’ll see in the findings of a first-of-its-kind analysis of people’s activities at work, we’re devoting upward of 40 percent of our time on the job to moving others. And we consider it critical to our professional success.
 
• Entrepreneurship, Elasticity, and Ed-Med
 
Here explores how so many of us ended up in the moving business. The keys to understanding this workplace transformation: Entrepreneurship, Elasticity, and Ed-Med. 
 
First, Entrepreneurship. The very technologies that were supposed to obliterate salespeople have lowered the barriers to entry for small entrepreneurs and turned more of us into sellers. 
 
Second, Elasticity. Whether we work for ourselves or for a large organization, instead of doing only one thing, most of us are finding that our skills on the job must now stretch across boundaries. And as they stretch, they almost always encompass some traditional sales and a lot of non-sales selling. Finally, Ed-Med. The fastest-growing industries around the world are educational services and health care – a sector Daniel calls “Ed-Med.” Jobs in these areas are all about moving people.
 
  • From Caveat Emptor to Caveat Venditor
 
Daniel shows how the balance of power has shifted – and how we’ve moved from a world of caveat emptor, buyer beware, to one of caveat venditor, seller beware – where honesty, fairness, and transparency are often the only viable path.
 
That leads to Part Two, where Daniel culls research from the frontiers of social science to reveal the three qualities that are now most valuable in moving others. One adage of the sales trade has long been ABC – “Always Be Closing.” The three chapters of Part Two introduce the new ABCs – Attunement, Buoyancy, and Clarity.

(Source: To Sell is Human by Daniel H. Pink) 

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