Author Dan Pink’s bestseller “To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others”offers lots of valuable observationsthat can enable us to optimize our success in sales. Advisors should focus onthese five:
1. EXTROVERTS DON’ T NECESSARILYMAKE THE BEST SALESPEOPLE.There’s a widespread notion that chatty extroverts stand out from the packas top salespeople. In fact, there’s noresearch that supports this assertion.Pink cites a study of 300 sales repsat a software company. They weremeasured on an introversion-extro-version continuum.
Unsurprisingly, extroverted salespeople sold more than their introvertedcounterparts. But a third group outperformed everyone — the ambiverts, whoscored right in the middle of the scale.Pink says that extroverts often talk toomuch and listen too little to really understand their customers’ needs. Introvertscan be too shy to form relationships orto close sales.
Ambiverts know how to find thatright balance. They are the most adeptat understanding their customers’ viewpoints and moving them to action.
So if you’re not a salesperson withthe biggest “gift of gab,” take heart. Mostpeople tend to be ambiverts. And ifyou’re an ambivert, you’re well positioned to succeed as an advisor.
2. PRACTICE STRATEGIC MIMICRY TO
CLOSE MORE SALES.
The ability to persuade others depends
on our talent to convey that we can
understand the world from the point
of view of clients and prospects. We
need to listen well enough to get inside
Successful negotiators know this andoften subtlety mimic the mannerismsof their opponents. If they lean forwardin their chair or put their hand on theirchin, then the negotiators wait 10 seconds or so and do the same.
We are wired by evolution to experience this synching behavior as a signthat someone is trustworthy. One studyfound that wait staff who repeat ordersback to customers receive 70% more intips than those who don’t.
3. EMBRACE THE POWER OF
INTERROGATIVE SELF TALK.
Sometimes before an important salespresentation or client meeting, wepsyche ourselves up with affirmationslike “I can do this!” or “I’ve got this!” Butis there a better way?
Pink reveals that there are severalstudies showing the superiority of askingyourself a question before a challengingtask, rather than saying something like“I can do this.” Surprisingly, if we askourselves, “Can I do this?” beforehand,we are likely to achieve superior results.
Remember the “Bob the Builder”
animated show? I loved watching it
with my kids for many years. Prior to
beginning a difficult project, Bob would
always ask himself, “Can we build it?”
His enthusiastic reply: “Yes we can!”
First, when you ask yourself a ques-
tion, you prompt yourself to devise and
review strategies for accomplishing the
task. Mere affirmations feel good, but
don’t give us any extra resources to actu-
ally boost our performance.
Second, asking the question remindsus that we are internally driven to getit done. People perform better whentheir motivation comes from within, asopposed to it being imposed upon themby an external source.
4. POSITIVE EMOTIONS MAKE US
Research suggests that if our positiveemotions outweigh our negative onesby about a 3: 1 ratio, we’ll be more resil
RIA LESSONS & LEADERS
By Mark Elzweig
5 Sales Insights from Dan Pink
The bestselling author has many helpful tips for advisors.