To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others
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To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  3,090 ratings  ·  407 reviews
#1 New York Times Business Bestseller
#1 Wall Street Journal Business Bestseller
#1 Washington Post bestseller

From the bestselling author of Drive and A Whole New Mind comes a surprising--and surprisingly useful--new book that explores the power of selling in our lives.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, one in nine Americans works in sales. Every day more t...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published December 31st 2012 by Riverhead Hardcover
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The Lean Startup by Eric RiesRework by Jason FriedGetting Things Done by David AllenThe Goal by Eliyahu M. GoldrattDrive by Daniel H. Pink
Codecademy Recommended Reading
9th out of 38 books — 22 voters
Against the Grain by Bill CourtneyThe Power of Habit by Charles DuhiggGrowing Great Employees by Erika AndersenDrive by Daniel H. PinkThe One Minute Manager by Kenneth H. Blanchard
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Phil Simon
Lamentably, we live in era in which many best-selling authors mail it in. I won't name names, but some of the most renowned authors out there can publishing anything and sell a slew copies, even though their books at sub-par at best.

Not this one.

Pink's research and writing style make this an incredibly informative, dare I say groundbreaking, text. I'm not big on sales books, but this one is just remarkable.

Get it. Read it. And read it again.

C. A. Hurst
To Sell Is Human by Daniel H. Pink is interesting, thoughtful, analytical, well-written, and, most importantly, helpful.

Dan Pink is an alembic. A what? An alembic. Think mad scientist (or maybe alchemist). An alembic is that funky looking glass thingie, round on the bottom, crooked neck, sitting over a flame with liquid happily bubbling away. The liquid is vaporized, travels through the neck into a curlicue glass dealybob and comes out the other end condensed and distilled. That’s what Dan does;...more
Once upon a time only some people were in sales. Every day, they sold stuff, we did stuff, and everyone was happy. One day, everything changed: All of us ended up in sales - and sales changed from a world of caveat emptor to caveat venditor. Because of that, we had to learn the new ABC's - attunement, buoyancy, and clarity. Because of that, we had to learn some new skills - to pitch, to improvise and to serve. Until finally we realized that selling isn't some grim accommodation to a merciless wo...more
Chad Warner
Jul 15, 2013 Chad Warner rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: salespeople, entrepreneurs, businesspeople
Recommended to Chad by: BizCraft podcast
This is the best sales book I’ve read yet. Pink dismisses the slimy salesperson of the past and presents an enlightened view of sales. By “sales”, Pink means traditional salespeople (1 in 9 Americans) and those involved in “non-sales selling”: persuading, convincing, and influencing (everyone). Each chapter ends with several specific examples applying the chapter’s lessons. Pink includes entertaining anecdotes to illustrate his points, and backs them with primary and secondary research from acad...more
I almost gave up on this because I disagreed with one of Pink's main ideas in the first part of the book: the idea that most people now spend most of their time in what he calls non-sales selling. I don't buy the idea that sales and persuasion and influence are the same thing. Sales are quantifiable; either you make your number or you don't. Persuasion is often tougher to measure. And influence is subtlest of all and can persist for decades.

Also, Pink's attempt to coin the term Ed-Med to describ...more
Corina Anghel

Domeniul ăsta al vânzărilor este unul fascinant pentru unii, urâcios pentru alții însă, cum spune și Pink, „we like it or not we are all in sales”, că trebuie să vindem un produs, un serviciu, o idee sau pe noi înșine. Astea nu sunt noutăți însă modul în care o facem s-a schimbat radical, in mare parte datorită internetului și accesului la informație. Dacă înainte vânzătorul putea să te păcălească mai ușor astăzi înainte să cumperi orice: compari prețuri și calitatea din mai multe părți,...more
Years ago, Daniel Pink, got my full attention with his book, A Whole New Mind, that argues for the embracing of the creative in our workplaces, in our education system and in our culture. As I recall, I read that book in two days.

Then came Pink’s highly successful book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. Using some of the latest social science research, Pink made the highly complex and heavily researched concept of motivation accessible to the reader by breaking down some com...more
JD Burkholder
In part 3, section 7, Daniel talks about "lessons from Tinseltown" in his section on The Pitch. He writes, "In the most successful pitches, the pitcher didn't push her idea on the catcher until she extracted a yes. Instead, she invited in her counterpart as a collaborator. The more the executives - often derided by their supposedly more artistic counterpart as "suits" - were able to contribute, the better the idea often became, and the more likely it was to be green-lighted. The most valuable se...more
I was drawn in by the promo line "Yes, one in nine Americans works in sales. But so do the other eight." A true fact. Even if you don't have to persuade people to do your job, you certainly have to sell yourself when you are looking for a job.
I'm a video game designer, so one important part of my job is selling concepts to my coworkers, my superiors, and sometimes outside partners. That's why I picked this up. In a conference room, the charisma of a speaker can often have more influence than the...more
I like pop psychology books that provide a serious and accurate review of research while applying it to some phenomena, like, for example, interpersonal persuasion. I love Cialdini's classic book "Influence" and was hoping for a spin on the same topic from "To Sell Is Human." I was disappointed to realize that Pink's book was written for the lowest common denominator of consumer, someone with little interest in the background research who seeks only quick uncomplicated sound bites.

My first clue...more

Everybody is a salesman! This is the main theme of Daniel Pink’s new book. Based on the understanding that sales is about convincing others – Pink goes on to explain how three key concepts – attunement, buoyancy, and clarity – are at the base of successful sales. He then describes the three key skills needed to put these concepts to work – pitch, improvisation and service.


While a law student at Yale, Daniel H. Pink was the editor-in-chief of The Yale Law & P...more
Ricardo Sueiras
Really excellent book, which I came to read after a conversation with a colleague.

The title is a little misleading, as it is less about selling and more about how as humans, we spend a lot of time looking to influence and move others - be it via coaching, encouraging or selling.

The book is short and has excellent examples, case studies, analogies and exercises that you can follow to gain a good grasp of the subject matter.

I learnt a few new tricks during the reading of this book, but it also he...more
Phil Gerbyshak
To Sell is Human is a fantastic look at the new way of selling; one relationship at a time. The book is an easy to read, understand and apply guidebook for people that sell anything (and we are all selling something).

Pink's ABC method, with examples, provides the framework for anyone to be more effective at persuading others. It's all so simple, and yet so amazingly effective. It's a wonder this book wasn't written years ago, and yet, this book came at the perfect time.

I highly recommend this b...more
Chris Johnson
If I hadn't been on an airplane I would have abandoned this book about 25% of the way through. I'm glad I didn't do that. As a salesperson I don't dig reminders that there are many who don't like selling. That was the first part.
After that it got into some metaphors and nonobvious stuff on selling, on how we do things, and even with some exercises.
The book alone merits 3.5 stars or so but I always round up.
Jurgen Appelo
Three sections, each with three chapters, each with three points, illustrated with about three stories. Less inspiring than his previous work, therefore three stars.
LOVED this book. I am in sales, but my industry is so nuanced that most sales books are neither relevant nor helpful. This book was both relevant and helpful.

Pink offers insights into what makes someone persuasive and therefore good at sales. It turns out, the personality traits most people associate with successful sales professionals are NOT the traits that make someone successful in sales. Surprise (spoiler alert)...extroverts are NOT the best sales people. Similarly, Pink also discusses what...more
Jay Connor
A quote from Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman" greets us even before we get to the Prologue. The irony is that Pink's central theme is the refutation that the Internet and all of its on-line access and data have brought us to a death of sales or a post-sales world. In fact, we are, rather, in the age of ubiquitous sales where we all are in sales now and it is certainly no longer simply the province of the "Willy Lomans."

I think Daniel Pink does a much better job here than in his recent "Driv...more
Rachel Diephouse
I picked this up after having my thought processes revolutionized by Pink’s Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. This left me with really big expectations. My expectations weren’t quite met, but it was still a really good, thought-provoking book. Pink’s premise is that we are all sellers. We try to convince people to give up resources in exchange for what we want. As a teacher, I do this every day. I want students to give up their agenda for mine. Some days it works; some days it...more
David Durston
Is the salesman really dead? According to Dan Pink, the answer is unequivocally no. The cultural landscape has changed, but 1 in 9 job in America still are directly related to selling an good or service in the marketplace. Pink also adds that the other 8 of 9 jobs are non sales related selling job, since they are involved in persuading others, jobs that all require the ability to sell. Lawyers, teachers, and doctors are all in the business of convincing others of facts or ideas, and in doing so,...more
Malcolm Bastien
It was an ok book but it felt like it took a while for it to get started as well as some other problems I had with it.

The book starts to feel a bit repetitive as Dan begins to cite study after study. More depth on the stories would have been made the book stronger. Like all of Dan's books, which is Dan's greatest strength, he identifies a trend and makes it accessible to everyone. Dan's done the same with Free Agent Nation, Whole New Mind, Drive, and even Johnny Bunko. It lead me to many new ide...more
I read this because my Boss gave this book to me...I'd never been invited to the "reading circle" before, and created a non-intended reverse psychology for me, a book was finally handed down, by golly I'll read it.

It was different then I expected. I expected a Carnegie-esque "How to win friends and influence people." And in a way, I suppose it was, to contradict myself. Only, what Carnegie wrote was pioneering information on how to sell, in a world of pushy door to door product salesman. Now all...more
Lou Prosperi
An engaging and thought provoking look at how everyone, including you and me, are in "sales" - whether we know it or not.

By digging beneath the surface of what “sales” really is, Dan Pink illustrates how the fundamental activity of sales - persuading others to part with their resources in exchange for something we have that they want - is a universal activity in which nearly everyone participates in some way. According to Dan Pink, ales and "non-sales selling" are all about moving others, whethe...more
Reagan Ramsey
Though this took me awhile to get in to, I loved the concepts later in the book. The beginning is about how all of us really are in sales (we negotiate, we enroll, we generally try to get our way)…I get it. the second part was about how we make the best of this arrangement, assuming it's true. And he had a lot of great research and ideas.
Here are a few:
--though extroverts are marginally more successful sales people than introverts…the ones who really kill it are what he calls “ambiverts”. They’...more
Fred Darbonne
Pink helps us understand that, though we may not be formal sales jobs, we all continually engage in what he terms "non-sales selling" in our work and personal lives. He raises awareness of how often we engage in persuading, convincing, and influencing others in our normal activities, and how the internet has democratized information, leveling the playing field between sellers and buyers and making transparency and authenticity the new currency in previously lopsided transactions. By raising our...more
Chris Salzman
An alternative subtitle to this book could be "If you don't think you do sales in your day to day life, I have news for you." Writing emails, reviews, negotiating pay, putting up signs in the breakroom, moving product, picking technology for a team, etc. all involve selling to some extent.

You should probably read this, or at least read a portion of it and flick through the rest. Especially if the thought of "doing sales" icky to you. It's definitely a business book, which means it'll gloss over...more
Linda Tapp
I have really enjoyed Daniel Pink's other books and am very happy that this one did not disappoint. I usually judge how good a non-fiction book was for me by how many pages I mark to return to so that I can take some sort of action on the ideas presented on that page. Of the 233 pages in "To Sell is Human," I now need to return to 37 of them! I don't consider myself a salesperson in the traditional sense but this book provides ideas for others like me - people trying to sell ideas to co-workers,...more
Matthew Hochstetler
This was a very important book to me. It contained lots of ideas for improving interactions with people.

I considered giving it 4 stars due to some material being repeated from his book "Drive," which is also good. The value of the contents, however, shone through and earned the fifth star.
Deonne Kahler
Pink's premise is that we're all in sales now, whether we're pushing a physical product, persuading people to read our blog, or coaxing our adorable but energetic toddler to go to bed.

If you have a negative response to the word "sales" - and most of us do, which is why Pink dedicates a chunk of pages to that reaction - but want to know more about persuasion, this book is for you. Don't worry - Pink's take on what that looks like is decidedly kind and humanist, and even concludes with the concep...more
Scott Schang
I listened to the audiobook read by Daniel Pink. I think the guy is brilliant and I'm a huge fan of his work. Excellent story telling and great research behind this book. I've dug into similar books taking a neuroscience approach to influence and how decisions are made, so I wasn't blown away with any ground breaking epiphanies, but it was an excellent read just the same. Compared to other books on the subject, Pink does a fantastic job of making this subject easy to understand and interesting t...more
Can't say I've become a fan of Daniel Pink or this book, which for some reason I had high hopes for. I'd long been curious about the act of selling, partly because of work, and I gravitated towards the title and the blurb because it sort of encapsulated what I believed, even when I was still in education: that as a teacher, a big part of my job was to sell and design experiences so I can sell. And selling, taken loosely, is just another term for persuading someone.

The book says much the same, b...more
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Small business book club 2 13 Apr 22, 2013 01:44PM  
BOOKD: Does Communicating Ideas Count as Selling? 2 10 Feb 01, 2013 10:44AM  
BOOKD: Non-Sales Selling 1 8 Feb 01, 2013 10:43AM  
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Daniel H. Pink is the author of a trio of provocative, bestselling books on the changing world of work: A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, The Adventures of Johnny Bunko, and Free Agent Nation. His next book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, will be published in 2010.

Dan's articles on business and technology appear in many publications, including The...more
More about Daniel H. Pink...
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You'll Ever Need Free Agent Nation: The Future of Working for Yourself The Seven Dirty Words of the Free Agent Workforce

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“Anytime you're tempted to upsell someone else, stop what you're doing and upserve instead.” 4 likes
“Alas, the social science shows something different and more nuanced. We human beings talk to ourselves all the time—so much, in fact, that it’s possible to categorize our self-talk. Some of it is positive, as in “I’m strong,” “I’ve got this,” or “I will be the world’s greatest salesman.” Some” 0 likes
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