Dan Pink in his uniquely literary style, “To Sell Is Human” challenges us to accept the fact that although you may not be in “Sales”, we are in fact selling most of the time. The Webster dictionary defines selling as “to give up to another for something of value”. Implicit in this definition is the idea that some form of mutual exchange is actually taking place which we normally consider relative to a product or service in exchange for money.
When you broaden this definition of selling, you are getting into the realm of influencing, cajoling, asking and indeed coaching. Dan Pink argues that selling is all about moving people, and so too is coaching. The term “coaching” was supposedly borrowed from the old stage coach that physically transported (moved) people from one place to another.
What makes this concept even interesting is that when you truly coach somebody, it’s as though the client is making a deal (selling) with themselves – doing something in exchange for a desired outcome. Some examples might be:
- Actively looking for a new job so that you will be happier with your career
- Exercising and dieting so you can lose weight
- Learning and practicing new skills so that you can be a better leader
The intent here is to demystify the idea for coaches that selling is difficult or that some coaches argue that they are not comfortable “selling”. How about you think of coaching as a most effective form of selling? After all it’s about helping the potential client see what they want and the “movement” required to getting there. So just coach and without knowing it, you might be closing the deal or convincing that boss of a necessary change.