Why “sales” matters to everyone, and how to make it work for you

February 26, 2015 • 3 minute read

Takeaways from Dan Pink’s LMA Keynote

“Sales” often has negative connotations, especially among attorneys. For many, the word is synonymous with “pushiness” or even deceit.

But Daniel Pink, New York Times bestselling author and the keynote speaker at this year’s Legal Marketing Association conference, argues we need to adjust our attitude because sales is everywhere. One in nine workers are in sales and people in general (not just salespeople) spend 40 percent of their work time selling something.

If you’re not selling a product, you are selling someone an idea, a project or a connection with you personally; thus sales training – learning good sales techniques – is useful and applicable to literally everyone.

Dan’s awesome speech at LMA inspired us to dig into his writing and thought-leadership in more depth, to bring you just a few of the valuable insights he has on how to be a better sales person at work and also in life…

Learn how to Engage the Empowered Buyer

The power dynamic between sellers and buyers have changed. While before access to product or service information was limited, today’s customers are armed with information with a simple Google search. This means, buyers now hold all the cards – and power – and in order for sellers to survive, they need to learn how to cope and succeed knowing everyone has equal access to information that informs buying decisions.

Think Proactive

It is no longer enough to sell goods and services, you have to identify problems and sell solutions. To succeed, you need to be forward-thinking and identify clients’ problems before they even realize the problems exist. If you want to be ahead of the pack, you have to be the first to say, ‘hey, you have a problem here and I can fix it’.

Have an Adaptable Attitude

Those selling with the more fitting attitude win the game. Dan calls this trait “buoyancy,” the combination of “a gritty spirit and a sunny outlook.” It’s about not giving up when you get rejected but thinking positively about different possibilities and why those are better solutions to a particular problem.

Get To The Point

Everyone’s busy, so let’s not waste time. Successful sellers have the ability to clarify what’s being offered and understand why the buyer does or does not want to buy. It’s about understanding the perspective of the buyer and focusing on the buyer’s logic of reasoning. We need to speak in our customers’ language, give them clear directions and drive the conversation somewhere meaningful.

Articulate Value

The product or service we are selling might be great but there are probably tons of competitors out there who can satisfy your customers in the same ways. Why should the buyers pick you? In today’s world, it is no longer enough to sell the strength of your product; you also need to sell the value of product. People want to know what the value of the product is: how it will impact the buyer’s life and how does it benefit others. Before initiating the next conversation, it’s important to think about what the product and brand messages are and figure out a smart way to incorporate those into your pitch.

Dan’s presentation was compelling to say the least, and not just because I was interested in the topic, but because he was one of those rare, naturally talented public speakers who can hold a room with their personalities alone. Seeing Dan in action made me realize how far I have to go, but also inspired me to keep his concepts in mind every day for success – both at work but also at home.