Notes from To Sell is Human, by Daniel H. Pink

To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel H. Pink
Notes from To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel H. Pink.

– We all sell- sellers and buyers have access to roughly the same info. Buyers are not as informed in and idealized what experts think, but the balance has shifted.

– Anyone can master the basics of moving others.

– Attunement, buoyancy, clarity – requirements for moving people. Attunement is about locking in on with what’s being transmitted. Being in tune with others. Selling yourself hinges on 3 principles.

  1. Increase power by reducing it. A study where people were given a slight sense of power and then asked to do the E test (snap five times then write e on forehead) where more likely to write the letter e gave themselves. Thus reducing their ability to a tune to others. IOW be humble and you will be in tune. It is not about being a pushover or sacrificing more than needed
  2. Use your head as much as your heart. Feeling and emotion are critical. Perspective, imagine what the other is thinking vs what they’re feeling. It will help you better negotiate deals
  3. Mimic strategically. It’s social glue, when you mimic others. Be subtle when mimicking others. You’ll be more likely to create a deal that benefits both parties. Mimic carefully and wait 10sec before doing so. Touching is mimicking seconds cousin

– Percentage of closing jumps when buyers are lightly touched and quality perception goes up too. Atonement is about being human. Humility. There is no evidence to suggest extroverts are better at sales than introverts. Ambiverts perform the best. People right in the middle of extroversion and introversion. Extroverts are too aggressive and bug people to much. Introverts, not enough. Ambiverts know the balance of knowing when to listen and when to speak up. Most people are ambiverts. “Where are you from?” Is a great opener for meeting someone new. It’s open and triggers more questions. Some say where they were born and some where they work.

– Stay buoyant in a sea of nos. we talk to ourselves all the time. Some is critical some is positive. But be like bob the builder. He is always on predicaments but asks ” can we fix it.” It shifts linguistic categories. Self question groups solve 50% more of puzzles. It beats declarative talk. “Can I make a good pitch?” “Can I close the deal?” You mind digs deep for the answer. Positivity is key.

– problem finding then problem solving. Good sales people find problems by asking questions and digging deep. Understanding customer workflow and their pain.

– Compare and contrast. It’s summer time and I’m blind. More choose gets more visitors but fewer sales. Limited selection gets 30% sales while huge selection gets 3% sales. Compare and contrast. Focus on what their life will be like with new product. Cars = freedom to go on trips, visiting old friends and family. Experiences are easy to talk about and spread. Needs to come after positives

– Blemishes can boost perception

– Emphasize your potential. Not what you have done but what you will accomplish.

– Ask irrational or misdirection questions. Not binary questions. If they have faint desire to move, ask to put on scale 1-10 their desire to move or buy. Then ask why number isn’t lower. This allows them to question their motives and more likely to buy. They move to why they want to behave differently if their number is low

– Use rhymes for people to easily understand your offering. It helps you be easy to understand and easily compared to competitors. Also easier to describe to others.

– People open email based in utility and curiosity. Utility is such as work email and curiosity when they have down time and not much email. Blank email subject can be good sometimes. But being specific in subject line is best. For light email: “things I learned about marketing” for heavy email inbox: “3 tips on getting your email read first”

– 4 types of tweets:

  1. Me now: “I’m eating sushi!”
  2. Maintenance: “Good morning!”
  3. Complaints: “My Uber is late”
  4. Twets with questions rate the highest! And those that contain links and useful info.

– Practice. Practice. Practice

– Review your inbox for good and bad email subjects

– Get your pitch from a paragraph to a few sentences toa sentence to. Few words to one word

– Get to one word. Anchor you company to one word. Search=Google

– Answer 3 questions to prep your pitch: 1. What do you want them to know 2. What do you want them to feel 3. What do you want them to do. Strong answers to these lead to stronger pitch.

– Pay attention to others pitch. Practice. Act like an artist. Practice, do, review and copy.

– Salesmen are good at improv. Which means they are good at listening. Listening means attunement and not predicting response, but hearing and taking conversation based on what is said

– Nos are rare. “No I can’t invest now”. “Now” is an offer. Hook on to it. “When will you be ready?” Or “what holding you back right now?”

– Say “yes and”. Don’t say “yes, but how will people who can’t afford the conference attend?” Rather say “yes, and people who can’t afford to attend we will host a fundraiser “. Five people in a group each come up with a business idea. Others comment with only “yes, and”.

– Yes and no people. Yes people get to bask in new experiences, no people get to bask in their safety.

– Servant selling. Serve first, sell last. Benefit others first, then sell. It’s about them not you. You need commitment that product offers more and is altruistically good so much so that the cost is minimal to the value

Distraction kills

Do work that’s hard. Push through until it’s done. Most people stop half way through, telling themselves it’s plenty for now, or they just can’t do anymore.

But push through. Go to completion. Set goals and go.

Freeletics has created a near perfect tool for getting you to push through. Complete 5 sets of 30 climbers, 30 sit-ups, 20 push-ups and 30 squats no matter what. Even if it takes hours.

Write a blog post, even if it takes hours to get out want you want to say.

There are more distractions today than ever. This means fewer people will be diving deep into skills and topics. This is opportunity for anyone to do the hard work and master the skills and talents in need.

Distraction kills. Find the pleasure in the pains. Find the joys, the rewards. When you focus on the bad that pain can bring, you stop. When you focus on the pleasure, you’ll be shocked to see how far you’ve gotten.

Total Recall by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Part I

Notes from the first half of Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story by Arnold Schwarzenegger


Discipline. Don’t give in to short lived wants.

Take advantage of the system is subversive ways.

Break the rules, they weren’t made for you. They’re there to keep others inline.

Be inspired. Find a mentor. Find a leader to model after.

Know who you are. What you’re capable of. What your interests are. How to push yourself.

Greate a goal and lay down a path to it.

Split sets. Break workouts in two. One in morning. One at night.

People will sabotage you, but others will come through. E.g the guys owner threw his application for Mr. Universe out, because he did not get what he wanted out of Arnold. But a competitor of the gym owner came through and paid for Arnold to go the contest. Even though his application was late, friends rallied the Mr. Universe organization to let him in.

Focus on the end goal. Envision it. Knew what it looks like. Know what it feels like. Arnold envisioned himself at the top of the pedestal. He could feel what it would feel like.

Focus on winning. Talk to yourself saying you’re going to win. Don’t compete. Go to win. He learned this after losing Mr. Universe but realizing that he made a big splash. It made him wonder if he had changed his mindset from one of “competing” to one of “winning.”

Focus on others.

Don’t be a robot. Engage with people.

Leave no stone unturned. Use any advantage you can find and think of. Otherwise, you’re at a disadvantage.

Arnold took steroids because top guys did. He learned they Russians and East Germans were experimenting with them.

Train and work early. Before the day starts. There are no distractions. There are no responsibilities. No one asking anything of you. Working during normal hours is a distraction.

Your mind limits you. Realize you can do more, lift more. Put things in context and you’ll realize it to be true. You walk everyday, carrying 100s of pounds. This means you need to lift more to make any progress.

Expose your weakness. It will ensure you don’t neglect it. Hide your strengths. Otherwise you’ll indulge in areas you’re good at and ignore the rest.

Eat all the proteins.

Hard work is all you can rely on.

Get in the path to somewhere. Join and become part of communities.

Losing is fine. But only if you had truly dug deep. Did everything you could have.

You can view obstacles as challenges or opportunities. When Arnold was competing for Mr. World, Sergio showed up as a surprise contestant. This terrified Arnold at first, but then he realized he had an opportunity to beat him.

Arnold played all sorts of psychological mind fucks. He even tricked Sergio into leaving the stage while they were competing. He felt it was s primal move, done in the heat of the battle.

Push things out of your mind to get on with your goals.

Wanders in like a puppy. Not knowing much, but also not overly concerned with what could go wrong. Focusing on what could go wrong will just prevent you from getting what you want.

Always be smiling. Every action is one more step towards your goal.

Art and movies in the US is formulaic and lacks creativity.

Actors worked out in secret. Bodybuilding was still a small group of people. It took long to take off with everyday people. Seems like it’s split off into all sorts of sports that encourage weightlifting of some kind.

Presentation. Presentation. Presentation. It’s about educating people.

Though highly of Lou Farigno. Felt if he had Lou’s body, he’d be able to beat himself.

He made sure he had money coming in so he didn’t have to take parts simply because he had to pay the bills. He had a goal to be a big star and didn’t want to jeopardize that.

Peculiarities can be an asset.

Every dollar spent is two that could have been earned.

He always stayed with a friendlier style.

In working with special needs kids, teaching them weightlifting, he discovered that lifting weights was great at building confidence. With soccer, sometimes you made a good kick, other times not so much. It was inconsistent. With weight lifting, you could always rely on matching or even beating your last training session.

Sell in unconventional places. To an audience that is ignored, but still your core.

Get training throughput it your life and career. You can’t do it on your own and you can’t know everything.

He kept his goals attainable. He never reached beyond his grasp.

Arnold lived in multiple worlds and loved it. Republicans. Democrats. Surfers. Bodybuilders. Etc. His immigrant background meant he did not understand the vernacular subtleties. He just saw the good in every group.

Have to vs get to. Arnold saw every moment in his life as an opportunity to do something, vs. having to do something.

Mileage. Get mileage. Put in the hours. It’s the only path to mastery.

The more you know about something, the less likely you are to do it. Just stumble into things.

Acting was half the job. Selling was the other half. He traveled the world selling his movies. He didn’t understand why artists just painted and didn’t sell their work.

Notes from Decisive by Chip Heath

Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work by Chip Heath.

Voting is not a choice. It’s yes or no. It ignores options.

Biases influences our research efforts more than we realize. We look for ways to make the decision we want or evidence that supports a belief.

The goal should be to widen your choices, not narrow them. If you are choosing where to go to school, don’t think between two choices, think about what you want out of life. Better to get to know yourself and what you want, then you’ll realize the options will widen.

Opportunity cost decisions: picking between an expensive stereo or a mid range stereo and $300 of new albums. Choices widen.

It’s not much of a decision if you think options between buying something vs not buying something. You could realize the money could be used elsewhere. Now you’re options have widened and better decisions will be made.

“Whether or not” should be an alarm signal that options have not be well thought out.

Get in the habit of generating options. Otherwise you’ll stay fixated on narrow options. Even metaphorically (rather than literally) widening options works.

Why Silicon Valley has high failure rate. A narrow view of options.

Likeness and metaphors. Not physical attributes when naming products. Light vs small. Eg Colgate whisp.

Multiple options allow people to see the landscape and make better and faster decisions.

Know when to ask open ended questions and when to probe. Probe with specific questions when being interviewed “when did you last have dinner with friends and family” “did you work afterwards?”

Trust base rates of reviews and success rate. Eg. Opening a restaurant. Base rate of failure is 60%. Doesn’t matter if it’s a hot dog stand or a 5-star restaurant. It does not mean you give up, it’s just a factor in your decision process. Maybe you’re not betting all your savings. And the upside is huge. Then maybe it’s ok.

Ooching. Great way to make small bets to test hypothesis. Eg try to sell a new product rather than tons of market research. But is bad if total commitment is required such as mastering an instrument or major career change.