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To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others

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3.89  ·  Rating details ·  17,552 ratings  ·  1,216 reviews
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 than fifteen million people earn their keep by persuading someone else to make a purchase.

But dig deeper and a
...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published December 31st 2012 by Riverhead Books (first published December 1st 2012)
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Phil Simon
Dec 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
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.

Kirsti
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
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Jennifer
May 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was fascinating. Forget the out of date image of a sales person being a slick man in a polyester plaid suit trying to sell a lemon on a used car lot. This book is about human behavior, motivation, and about how EVERYONE "sells" (if you're a parent trying to convince a child to do their homework, that's selling. If your job function has nothing to do with sales, but you're trying to convince others in your company to take a certain action, then that's selling).

I listened to the audio
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Amy
Jan 10, 2014 rated it did not like it
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
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Farnoosh Brock
Apr 09, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: business-spirit
To Sell is Human was one of the books I had heard about for months, recommended by my fellow entrepreneurial peeps left and right. Finally grabbed the audio version - narrated by the author - and listened to the book, and overall, it was a let down from what I had expected to find.

The author uses the approach of getting his point across in a style similar to Malcolm Gladwell - whose first two books, Tipping Point and Blink, were brilliant! - but in the case of this book, do you really want to
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C. A. Hurst
Dec 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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;
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Will Ducey
Jun 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is another great book by Dan Pink. I recommend everyone read for an improvement in their everyday interactions.


My notes:

"One of the most effective ways of moving others is to uncover challenges they may not know they have." (p.5)

People are now spending about 40 percent of their time at work engaged in non-sales selling--persuading, influencing, and convincing others in ways that don't involve anyone making a purchase.

With all of the information available to consume, "the new guiding
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Annie
Jun 11, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I give this book 3.5 stars. I have noticed that books with "surprising truth" or "secrets to" in the title don't provide anything new. This book contains familiar concepts and research, just with the author's spin on it. For example, he uses the phrase "non-sales selling" activities. That's just influence and persuasion. The author jumps from topic to topic, all loosely tied to the theme of "To Sell is Human." He recites research and tips for selling, negotiating, influencing, persuading, and ...more
Chad Warner
Jul 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Synexe
Jul 23, 2013 rated it liked it
THE MAIN IDEA

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.

INTERESTING TIDBIT

While a law student at Yale, Daniel H. Pink was the editor-in-chief of The Yale Law &
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Traci
Jan 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
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Anand
Jan 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
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.
Sue
Dec 31, 2012 rated it liked it
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
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Amy
Mar 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I checked this book out based on the premise: that everyone is in sales in some way. We’re all trying to move others to listen to us, buy from us, or do things for us. I hoped I would get some ideas how to manage that a bit better.

The first half of the book was incredibly slow. I almost didn’t finish it. Pink spends most of the time hammering on the idea of everyone being in sales. The best part of it, though, was a focus on how the information age has shifted roles.

Ten or fifteen years ago,
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JD Burkholder
May 31, 2013 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Celine
Sep 03, 2014 rated it it was ok
I had to read this book for a class in business. It was a book that beat it's ideas like a dead horse and just kept goin at it with no main objective. The author just talked about whatever he felt was accurate and offered little research or evidence on how "selling is human". The writing style was also very watered-down. It read at a 5th grade reading level and I didn't feel challenged at all. The information could of been summed up in a quick article. I could tell you everything you would learn ...more
Leah Good
Sep 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
This summer I spent four months doing an internship in sales. I discovered that I love spending my days on the phone, talking to people interested in a product I passionately believe in. Seriously, it doesn't get better than being payed to talk endlessly about something you love. Upon arriving home from the internship, I googled "Top 10 Books About Sales." Now that I know I enjoy the field, might as well learn more about it. To Sell Is Human delivered what I was looking for.

As I read this book,
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Phil Gerbyshak
Mar 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
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Rhnair
Jun 19, 2016 rated it it was ok
At every stage in our lives and practically almost every day, we are constantly selling to others – it may be idea, beliefs, but most of the time, stories. Dan has taken this simple fact and tried to convert into a wholesome handbook on how to improve selling capabilities. I had read his earlier book – “A Whole New Mind” – and was highly impressed. So, I went into this book also with some great expectations.

The world of selling has changed with the asymmetry in information being removed. As Dan
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John
May 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, 2019
Great insights
Tanja Berg
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to move others
Once upon a time there was a reluctant sales manager. Every day she would wonder if she was doing the right thing. Then one day, she dusted off "to sell is human" and started reading. Immediately she was reaffirmed that some of the things she was doing was definitely right. That sales had come along way since the slick car sales guy from 70's. That everyone is doing now, in one way or the other. This removed the stigma from "sales" as a profession and the concrete tips in the book alleviated and ...more
Soheil
Dec 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
A fantastic book on modern selling which forms a framework to be effective in a world where the customer may have as much or more information than the seller. This was my first book to read on sales and I am satisfied with what I have learned from it. The book is not only for salespeople (I'm a marketer) and can have application in life both professional and personal.

One last thing to note on the book is that it only offers a framework or to quote the book "new ABCs" of selling. It constantly
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Rachel Medeiros
Jan 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Linda Tapp
Mar 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Ricardo Sueiras
Jan 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Taylor Ellwood
Feb 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
In to Sell is human, the author takes apart the stereotypical myths about sales and shows how all of us are actually involved in sales. He shares 6 strategies on how we can get comfortable with sales and use sales in our life in a way that actually gets everyone what they want. I particularly liked his emphasis on service and the various exercises he included to help the reader apply these ideas. If you want to be a better sales person or if you want to understand how sales shows up in your ...more
Chris Johnson
Jan 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
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.
Michael Finocchiaro
This is an easy to read bool about selling and influencing people. While not as entertaining and fun to read as Guy Kawasaki, its them is similar and it does contain some good examples and rules to follow. It is not condescending and is highly readable. I would recommend reading Kawasaki's books first and then this one if you are trying to understand modern sales techniques and communication.
Raphael Molesim
Oct 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book changed the way as I understand the sales! Three things that I got from this book:
To sell is about to make a better world than to get money.
To sell is a skill highly important in many areas, mainly for knowledge workers.
If your are not selling, actually you did not understand what is to sell.
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
How to Sell Your House Fast 1 1 Jul 23, 2018 12:53PM  
World, Writing, W...: Has anyone read "To Sell Is Human"? 1 15 Dec 07, 2016 06:48AM  
BOOKD: Does Communicating Ideas Count as Selling? 2 12 Feb 01, 2013 10:44AM  
BOOKD: Non-Sales Selling 1 10 Feb 01, 2013 10:43AM  

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19,563 followers
Daniel H. Pink is the author of six provocative books — including his newest, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing.

WHEN has spent 4 months on the New York Times bestseller list and was named a Best Book of 2018 by Amazon and iBooks.

Dan's other books include the long-running New York Times bestseller A Whole New Mind and the #1 New York Times bestsellers Drive and To Sell is Human. His
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“To sell well is to convince someone else to part with resources—not to deprive that person, but to leave him better off in the end.” 14 likes
“Anytime you're tempted to upsell someone else, stop what you're doing and upserve instead.” 14 likes
More quotes…