Tuesday, July 21, 2015

More than Just Sales: Tremendous Insights You Can Use Everyday with Daniel Pink

Pink began by offering 3 key ingredients to effective presentations:
-          Brevity
-          Levity
-          Repetition

Selling has changed more in the past 10 years than the previous 100. This change happens so quickly we can barely register it happening.

We are now in a phase of Buyer Beware- information asymmetry has changed so much and now with the information we now have right at our fingertips we are much better informed and can refute unethical sellers.

To address this, Pink offered 3 points to focus on:

1.       Attunement
Understand the consumer through their eyes. What do they know- that information do they have access to?
2.       Buoyancy
How do you stay afloat in an ocean of rejection? In an experiment Pink presented, the best predictor of success was an explanatory style- a way to explain failure that allowed individuals to stay afloat in the ocean of rejection they commonly are exposed to. Interrogative self-talk- questions to elicit an active response- initiate wheels to turn – “can you do this and if so, how?” This thought provoking means of motiving yourself has a much larger positive impact on your ability to succeed after failure than either unthoughtful self talk or no self talk at all.
3.       Clarity
We all have access to information so our competitive advantage is curating information- find out what’s important and capitalize on this. “It’s all about expertise”.
If you client knows their problem, they don’t need you. When they’re wrong about their problem- that’s where you shine. Identify hidden problems to truly bloom.

Next we had the opportunity to learn some of Pink’s insights:

-          There lies an inverse correlation between feelings of power and perspective taking
We were asked to take part of an experiment- define your dominant hand, snap 4 times, and then draw an E on your head. We later analyzed what this meant- did you draw this E from your own perspective or from the outsiders view? Pink later connected this to power and how this influences our everyday lives.

Power leads individuals to think of themselves as more important and take their own perspective.

One can increase their effectiveness by briefly reducing feelings of power. This is important for bosses as harnessing the best from your team involves finding a way to motivate them. This is done by reducing your own feelings of power which increase your sense of perspective taking allowing you to better understand how to motivate your team.

-          Don’t try to be someone you’re not
Ambiverts, people who are somewhat introverted and somewhat extraverted, outperformed the introverts and extroverts in the software sales experiment. This curve also represents the general population- the odds are good that you are good at this already- focus on developing your expertise.

-          How much information do you need to give someone for them to be persuaded?
“More is better” is not the case. What is the sweet spot for how many claims you must make before it’s too much and overwhelms the consumer. 3 claims is the perfect amount after which consumers become skeptical.
Adding a minor negative detail to a positive description has a more positive impact. This adds credibility and provides a benchmark for us to compare against.  The little negative shines a light on that positive and enacts the contrast effect.

-          Give people an off ramp
Make it easy to do something you want them to do. If you make it easy for people to act- you can get people to do it! Think- opt-outs, automatic enrollment- don’t try to persuade just make it easy!
When we try to explain behaviors- we always overweight the importance of their personality and underweight the context they’re in.

Pink left us captivated with his ability to address all questions and provide interesting experimental conclusions to supplement his point of view.

Janel Parker, Market Research Consultant at SKIM, an international consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in Marketing and Psychology from Cornell University. Her previous experience at a social media agency combined with her knowledge from SKIM provide for a unique understanding of the relationships between social media and marketing. She can be reached at j.parker@skimgroup.com.

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