Hoodwinkery, Sleazebaggery! Who wants to be in sales!?

Who wants to be in sales!?

According to Daniel Pink all of us are! 2 out of 10 of us are officially in sales, 7 or 8 of us spend our day influencing others; which makes the majority of us in sales.

Daniel believes that times have changed and the ABC (Always Be Closing) of sales, translates in the 21st Century to Attunement, Bouyancy and Clarity. I reflect on the stereotypical salesperson, attunement to themselves, bouyancy of their own pay packet and clarity in the targets they are tasked to achieve. Then I reflect on two talented real estate agents I have been fortunate to mentor and their realistic and authentic approach to helping their clients share in their passion, attuning to their needs, Bouyant in their knowledge that business will come when people are looking for quality and connection and clarity that if they follow their passion, be genuine and open, success will follow.

There is nothing more sexy, as Ashton Kutcher put it, than someone with a brain. Is it time you rethought your ABC's and understood how to transact with people?

Enjoy this throw back blog on my thoughts and journey as I read Daniel's book....


Are You in Sales…..or the Moving Business?

Accordingly to Daniel H. Pink in his book ‘To Sell is Human’, we are all in sales. I pondered this concept and dived into his book with excitement, hoping to learn the keys to success!

Each day more than 15 million people in America earn their keep by trying to convince someone else to make a purchase [1]. The Australian Bureau of Statistics census data shows that about 10% of Australia’s labour force falls under the heading ‘sales workers’.

Pink’s definition of ‘sales worker’ encompasses selling in a broader sense – persuading, influencing and convincing others. Taking this definition, I am definitely a salesperson!

 Having convinced myself I was in sales, I eagerly turned the pages to discover my next revelation….I am in the ‘moving’ business. Pink conducted his own research, dubbed the What Do You Do at Work? survey and reported on two major findings:

1.     “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. Across a range of professions, we are devoting roughly twenty-four minutes of every hour to moving others.

2.     People consider this aspect of their work crucial to their personal success – even in excess of the considerable amount of time they devote to it”

Pink. D., ‘To Sell is Human’, Cannongate Books (2013, p21)

The ‘moving’ business made sense to me. As a facilitator and executive coach, I definitely devote the majority of my day to moving mindsets. I have always considered this a privilege.

The words of the former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger have long resonated with me;

‘The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been’"

As a salesperson, a coach, or a leader, I’m firmly in the moving business!

The moving business…. It’s as simple as ABC

Those who know me know that I love the art of ‘simple stupid’, so I was ecstatic to read that Pink introduces the ABC formula of moving people:

A – Attunement
B – Buoyancy
C – Clarity


The ability to bring one’s actions and outlook into harmony with other people and the context you’re in. You need to understand the perspective of the buyer.

1.     Increase your power by reducing it [the buyer is the one with the power]

2.     Use your head as much as your heart [focus on the buyer’s thoughts rather than their feelings]

3.     Mimic strategically [people like people like themselves]

I recently had a client who wanted to increase their annual salary by $30, 000 per annum. He was the only one who could action the change which would make a tremendous difference to his family and lifestyle.

He needed to see himself succeeding within his ‘new’ position: What does a person in this current job look like? Where can you see the extra $30,000 in their observable behaviour? What do they do differently from you? I am starting to see how Pink’s first trait of successful sellers translates to the people moving industry.

Trait two: Buoyancy: Staying afloat amid the ocean of rejection consists of three components which apply before, during and after any effort to move others.

1.     Before: Interrogative Self-Talk: Ask yourself…’Can I move these people?’ move from making statements to asking questions.

2.     During: Positive Ratios: Believe in what you sell; focus on positive conversations, emotions and actions. Remember the 3: 1 ratio [three positives: 1 negative].

3.     After: Explanatory Style: Stop the ‘learned-helplessness’ talk; speak to yourself optimistically; de-catastrophise.

Ask yourself ‘Can I make a difference to this person?’, ‘Can I succeed?’. Intrinsically motivate myself as to why I am the right person for the job. Be positive rather than negative; although falling off the horse isn’t bad for you…provided you don’t break your leg!

Some people just aren’t ready to move…. a little negativity keeps you grounded. Don’t dramatise failures,  rejection is temporary and often linked to external factors. Get back on the horse and believe. Sounds great in theory…but if you have seen me riding a horse you would know how laughable this sounds! Thank God it’s a metaphor and all I need do is apply it and understand; the horses are safe for now!

Trait three, and Pink’s last is: Clarity: The capacity to help others see their situation in fresh and more revealing ways and to identify problems they didn’t realise they had. Find the right problem to solve and frame it correctly.

I was beginning to feel like I was entering a spectacle store; it’s all about the frame type:

  • The less frame: don’t offer too many options and confuse people; keep it simple.
  • The experience frame: are they making a material purchase or an experiential one? Experience purchases are better.
  • The label frame: giving someone a label will alter their behaviour… you’re neat; you will become neat! 
  • The blemished frame: advise people of negative information after you have presented the positives, e.g.: They are made from the latest materials….but they only come in two colours.
  • The potential frame: highlight their potential to be good at something. According to the research potential is preferred over actually being good at the very same thing.

Finally Pink concludes that you need to give buyers a clear method of action to take; a call to arms - a reason for doing business with you. 

Moving people is as easy as ABC

Armed with my ABC’s I am now ready to give it a go. If I’m going to move people I must emphasise the experiences they will gain from doing business with me [increased self-awareness, knowledge, an alternative perspective], frame their personal growth in comparison statements [your salary potential will be tens of thousands from what it is now when you demonstrate effective leadership skills], weave in ‘knowledge is power’ labels or catch phrases, inform them of the investment cost after I have advised them of the benefits to them and remind them of how amazing they can become; the leaders of the future.

Well it sounds like the truth to me! Why wouldn’t you act now? Executive coaching, which can be aligned to nationally recognised qualifications, is a great way to ‘sharpen the saw’ and set yourself apart from your colleagues. Maybe you want to Go Pro with us? Or just attend one of our workshops? Or perhaps gain the business certification you've been dreaming of! Join us on a journey to awesome. Laugh, lunch, learn, participate in monthly grow challenges with a group of incredible people investing their energy and passion in their biggest asset.....themselves!

Don't just think....grow!

Build a life, find your opportunities and always be sexy!

[1] US Bureau of Labour Statistics, ‘Occupational Employment and Wages summary (2011) released March 27, 2012



Maria-Jane Satterthwaite

After being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at 29, MJ knew her journey was going to be unique! 

No way was she going to waste any of her years working 9-5 under poor leadership! She seized the opportunity to become an independent worker; starting her own Registered Training Organisation, Scope Vision.

MJ’s curiosity into what drives people, and businesses, to achieve success has been the passion recognised in her award-winning business. The drive to continue to train and embrace lifelong learning has been her key to success, and she wants to see this happen for others.

20 years on, the passion and curiosity she’s used to shape the businesses she works with, and her longevity in these relationships have inspired her to think about the future of work; what this will mean for workers in general and indeed her own business. Find out more about MJ