Daniel Pink: To sell is human

Daniel Pink wrote a great book on what motivates people called Drive. If you haven’t read it – get it. You won’t regret it.

He now has a new book, TO SELL IS HUMAN, that comes out in 30 days time which I have just this minute pre-ordered following the sneak peak he just released. The content below is adapted from the chapter looking at some of the successors of the elevator pitch:

Almost from the moment that Elisha Otis invented the first viable elevator in 1853, people have been working on their elevator pitches. The idea was that if the big boss ever strode into your elevator, you’d be able to smoothly explain what you did at the company by the time you reached your floor.

But has the elevator pitch become passé?

These days, we’re pitching all the time — not just when we encounter the boss.  And we’re pitching to people — colleagues, prospects, customers, family, and friends — who are inundated with media, messages, and mayhem.  To stand out, we need to adapt to changed circumstances.  So over the last few years, I’ve plumbed the social science research, collected best practices from around the world, and compiled the 6 successors to the elevator pitch. Here are three:

1. The Question Pitch

What: A pitch that asks a question instead of making a statement.

ExampleAre you better off now than you were 4 years ago? (Ronald Reagan)

Why it works:  Research out of Ohio State University shows that when the facts are on your side, asking a question is more effective than making a statement.  People receive statements passively. But with questions, they summon their own, more autonomous reasons for agreeing.

2. The Rhyming Pitch

What: A pitch that — you guessed it — rhymes.

ExampleKids and grownups love it so — the happy world of Haribo. (German confectioner Haribo)

Why it works:  A fascinating study from Lafayette College reveals that rhymes increase “processing fluency.” As a result, people perceive rhyming statements as both more truthful and more persuasive.

3. The Subject Line Pitch

What:  We sometimes forget: Every email subject line is a pitch.

ExampleThe 5 Most Persuasive Words in the English Language (Email from Copyblogger)

Why it works:  Three Carnegie-Mellon scientists found that effective email subject lines fall into one of two categories: Utility and Curiosity. They either demonstrate their usefulness to the recipient or make the recipient curious about what’s inside. However, trying to accomplish both goals in one subject line is a big mistake

If the above captures your imagine as much as it did mine please check out his blog where anyone who pre-orders a copy can get a bunch of goodies.

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