What do you get when you put smart speakers with smart ideas in front of a smart audience? Well, you get the “Next Thing Now”- a new speaker series that recently held their inaugural event at the Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington.
The goal of the new series is to share ideas and foster conversation among the event’s attendees. The “Next Thing Now” event series is sponsored through the support of Corporation Service Company’s small business division The Company Corporation.
Over 240 people attended the kick-off event on January 8th which featured presentations by local entrepreneurs, artists, nonprofit leaders and the event’s keynote presenter – New York Times bestselling author Dan Pink.
The event was centered on Pink’s latest book which was released in December and is entitled, To Sell Is Human. Pink, the author of such books as Drive and A Whole New Mind, kicked off his 30-city nationwide tour in Wilmington at the event.
Key takeaways from Pink’s presentation and his new book To Sell is Human include:
- One in 9 Americans – some 15 million people – make a living trying to get others to make a purchase. But the other 8 in 9 work in sales too – we’re persuading and influencing others to give up resources in exchange for something we have.
- We’re devoting upwards of 40 percent of our time on the job moving others, what’s called non-sales selling”: cajoling and convincing others in ways that don’t involve anyone making a purchase. And it is critical to our professional success.
- Sales remains the second largest occupational category (behind office and administration workers) in the American workforce, just has it been for decades. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the US will add nearly two million new sales jobs by 2020.
- We are selling ourselves online more than ever – whether it’s products on Etsy, funding ideas on Kickstarter or ourselves on Facebook, Twitter, and Match.com.
- It used to be that the salespeople had all the power- caveat emptor, buyer beware. Not anymore. Thanks to the power of the internet and new ways of collecting information, the balance in sales has shifted. If you’re a buyer and you’ve got just as much information, the balance in sales has shifted. If you’re a buyer and you’ve got just as much information as the seller (through technology), along with the means to talk back, you’re no longer the only one who needs to be on notice. In a world of information parity, the new guiding principle is caveat venditor- seller beware.
- It turns out that we’re all natural salespeople. Each of us – because we’re human – has a selling instinct, which means that anyone can master the basics of moving others.
- Contrary to popular assumptions, extroverts do not make the best salespeople. Instead, studies show it’s ambiverts – the people who fall in the middle of the extrovert/introvert spectrum- who are most effective at moving others.
Other presenters at “Next Thing Now” included:
- John Moore, the CEO of Acorn Energy
- Jeff Schaller, Artist
- Mariah Caligione, Co-owner, VP and Director of Marketing, Dogfish Head Brewery
- Andy Atkins, Founder CRM manager
- Robin Wray, Senior Director of Annual Giving, University of Delaware
Upcoming speakers in the “Next Thing Now” series will be announced soon. With the positive feedback from the first session, it is clear that our community of innovators and entrepreneurs are excited for a forum to share ideas and to foster a vibrant start-up scene here in Delaware.