Book Category: Business, Sales,

To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others (book summary)

Author: Daniel H. Pink
Life Changing Principles
Quality of Writing
Overall Value
pros: Very actionable, memorable, good for individuals
cons: Simplistic tone
overall rating

QUICK SUMMARY: To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others is all about learning the art of sales, no matter what industry we are in. Pink suggests we are all trying to “sell” something, either by convincing, influencing, and persuading others around us. With this in mind, Pink offers a fresh way to approach selling in a broader sense, from crafting an elevator pitch to changing your perspective about sales.


1. We’re all in sales and selling isn’t just selling.

2. Selling/convincing someone is a normal activity.

3. Be persistant in the face of adversity.

4. Don’t just solve problems, find problems that people don’t even know existed and solve those.

5. Ask “Why?” 5 times.

6. Slow down to speed up.

7. Serve. Go from upselling to upserving.

8. Take the extra steps that transform a mundane interaction into a memorable experience.


1. Replace the old ABC’s with the new; Attunement, Buoyancy and Clarity.

2. Be attuned to the needs, feelings and actions of those you sell to.

3. Be buoyant in the face of a repeated ocean of ‘no.’

4. Be clear on what you offer and how you frame that offer.

5. Improvise in order to deal with a changing situation.

6. Serve your clients by providing value.

7. The challenge now isn’t problem solving, but problem finding.


Anytime you’re tempted to upsell someone else, stop what you’re doing and upserve instead.

Don’t fixate on only what you achieved yesterday. Also emphasize

the promise of what you could accomplish tomorrow.

Clarity on how to think without clarity on how to act can leave people unmoved.

The purpose of a pitch isn’t necessarily to move others immediately to adopt your idea. The purpose is to offer something so compelling that it begins a conversation, brings the other person as a participant, and eventually arrives at an outcome that appeals to both of you.

Genuine listening is a bit like driving on a rain slicked highway. Speed kills. If you want to get to your destination, you’re better off decelerating and occasionally hitting the brake.

Moving others doesn’t require that we neglect these nobler aspects of our nature. Today it demands that we embrace them. It begins and ends by remembering that to sell is human.

Interested? Buy the book here!