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I’ve just finished reading Dan Pink’s latest book To sell is human. I really enjoyed it on a number of levels. First I run a business so I need to be good at selling. Second, he’s a former journalist so is good at referencing his thinking with a wide range of evidence. He also interviews people to help tell his story. Third, it challenges perceived thinking around selling by asking good questions. I particularly like challenging perceived thinking and asking good questions is a very powerful way to get a good story.

Pink ends the book by saying:

At every opportunity you have to move someone – from traditional sales, like convincing a prospect to buy a new computer system, to non-sales selling, like persuading your daughter to do her homework – be sure you can answer the two questions at the core of genuine service.

1. If the person you’re selling to agrees to buy, will his or her life improve?

2. When your interaction is over, will the world be a better place than when you began?

If the answer to either of these questions is no, you’re doing something wrong.

So, if the content you are producing is to help move people, would these two questions also be relevant to the content you are producing? Maybe it is too lofty an aspiration to think that your content will help make the world a better place. But if your content is helping make someone buy something then it has its part to play. I think that’s worth thinking about because it can be easy to churn out content that does not help people.

And here is Pink sharing his thinking.