Selling is Human

Sarah Santacroce

This episode is part of a 12 days of Christmas read-along of the Selling Like We’re Human book, recorded in 2021.

The book follows a similar concept to what you’re already used to here on the Humane Marketing show with the 7Ps of Humane Marketing and the Marketing Like We’re Human book: we start with the being and then go into the doing.

The 3 parts of the Selling Like We’re Human book are : Being, Knowing and Doing (compared to Rumble, Rise and Resonate of the Marketing Like We’re Human book)

So today we start with an excerpt from Part 1, BEING, and Chapter 1: Change Your Perspective.

So much of my work has to do with changing your perspective and doing things differently, and selling is no different.

"Selling is a conversation where the BEING matters just as much as the DOING." -Sarah Santacroce @sarahsantacroce #humanemarketing #sellinglikeyourehuman Share on X

Excerpt from Selling Like We’re Human, Part 1: BEING, Chapter 1: Change Your Perspective

Selling Is Human
In various old dialects, the word selling had a completely different meaning
and vibe than it has today.
Here are a few according to the Etymology Dictionary:
Old English: sellan “to give, furnish, supply, lend; surrender, give up; deliver
to; promise”
Old Norse: selja “to hand over, deliver, sell”
Old High German: sellen “to give, hand over, sell”
Gothic saljan: “to offer a sacrifice”
If we go even further back, before the introduction of money, men traded goods
and services using the bartering system. Goods were exchanged for food, tea,
weapons, and spices. The history of bartering dates all the way back to 6000 BC.
So yes, Daniel H. Pink was right to call his book To Sell is Human.
It’s human, and since it’s human, it starts with an “inside job.”
You can change your mindset and make your own selling rules. But to do
that, you need to dig deeper than the typical book on sales would dare to go.
You see, selling has to do with money. And whenever there’s money involved,
there’s some baggage. We’ll unlock your personal objections to selling, shine
a light on the hidden shadow stories, and then you’ll start with a fresh slate,
with renewed confidence that you can sell, according to your own rules.
Oh, and as an introvert, let me address the most widespread myth about
selling: no, there is absolutely no evidence that extroverts make the best

Sure, extroverts are good at small talk and socializing and tend to have more
assertiveness and less scruple to ask for their worth. They tend to come across
as more confident and show more enthusiasm and energy. And extroverts are
more likely than introverts to be firm and even forceful, refusing to take no
for an answer. But introverts are very good listeners, they are empathic, pay
attention to details, are less self-oriented, and are therefore very good at
considering the needs, interests, and values of customers
Well, it turns out, Daniel H. Pink had this conversation about extroverts
versus introverts in sales with Adam M. Grant, Organizational Psychologist,
who took on the challenge to dig deeper and wrote a research paper entitled
Rethinking the Extraverted Sales Ideal: The Ambivert Advantage. In it, Grant
makes a point, based on a study of 340 outbound call-center representatives,
that there is no relationship between extroversion and sales revenue.
He argues that the ambivert, the person in the middle of the scale, is the best
at selling. Like amphibians, they have the skills from both worlds and can
adapt their sales style to any given situation. I think that’s good news for
everyone, whether you’re an intro-, ambi-, or extrovert. It shows that anyone
can become good at selling, no matter your personality type.

Let’s move on to debunk some other myths or beliefs you may have about

Selling is a Conversation, Not a Unidirectional Download
Since selling is most often taught to us entrepreneurs as a thing we need to
DO, it always felt to me like a one-directional conversation where I was the
one responsible for the talking, convincing, and pitching.
So not true. Selling is a conversation where the BEING matters just as much
as the DOING. The following story from fellow Sales Lab participant Emily
Shull shows this well:
I found a training program online and did a lot of research on
it. It just called to me. It seemed to be a perfect addition to my
current coaching practice as it would build on my skills and
interests, and would give me another tool that would allow me
to go deeper with my clients. As a behavioral money coach, my
aim is always to get to the emotional root of the problem instead
of just addressing symptoms. The client and I are usually able to
get there together, but once in a while, that root is elusive. This
training would give me a cool method to help them get there. I
was really excited about training in this method because it felt
like an intuitive and organic next step in crafting my coaching
practice. So I was ready to sign up, but had to book a call with
a representative to enroll.
I began by giving a brief but enthusiastic summary of my practice
and how training in this method would complement my services. I
guess I was expecting him to use that opportunity to elaborate on
the training and then describe (and agree) how it would work well
in my practice. But he didn’t. Instead, he was simply checking off
a list of questions, never really listening to my answers. He spoke
very quickly, which is always a turnoff for me. I realized he had a
script and would not deviate from it, even though so many of the
questions, and my answers, were repetitive. I found myself thinking
that it felt like a sleazy attempt at mind control. Ask a question
three times in order to get the prospective client to convince
themselves of how much they need and want the program. I didn’t
need to be asked three times. I was sold before the sales call. Instead,
the conversation nearly unsold me. It made me question whether
the program was run with integrity.
In the end, I did enroll, and as soon as I began the program, my
enthusiasm returned.

  • Emily Shull, Certified Money Coach (CMC)

What went wrong here? Unfortunately, Jake (not his real name) most likely
followed some kind of sales script that made the whole thing feel very robotic.
To Emily, it didn’t feel like there was a connection. It felt like she could have
sat there without saying a word and he would have gone through each step of
his script without ever checking in with her.
And that’s exactly where most of the advice about sales fails. It’s taught as a
skill the seller needs to learn in order to convince the buyer. And since we all
love lists or steps, the typical sales conversation is taught in a linear and one-directional
way of some kind: step one: discover the problem; step two: make
them see the gap; step three: offer the solution; step four: overcome
objections; step five: close the deal. As the seller, you have to do everything—
with willpower and skill.
But if we only focus on the doing—in other words, making our way through
these steps—then we completely forget that the conscious client doesn’t just
buy with his head, but also with his heart.

So who you are matters for at least 50 percent of your chance at a successful
sales outcome, if not more. And let’s not forget Maya Angelou’s famous quote
about how you make people feel:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you
did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

This excerpt is from Part One on Being, and from the first chapter called ‘Change your Perspective’.

If what you heard today resonates with you and made you curious about the book, I invite you to get your copy of the new Selling Like You’re Human book at You can also download the whole 1st chapter for free to see if it resonates.

And I’m also planting a seed about my ‘Marketing Like We’re Human’ program that I’ll run in its live edition starting at the end of January 2022. This is where we take all these concepts from the two books as well as the 7Ps of Humane Marketing to a much much deeper level in an intimate group learning experience. Find out more at

Get your copy of the ‘Selling Like We’re Human’ book !

Get the new Selling Like We’re Human book HERE!

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Marketing Like We’re Human – Sarah’s first book

Selling Like We’re Human – Sarah’s second book

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