Never Underestimate the Power of Attunement

Part 2 in our series based on the book To Sell Is Human

In his book To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others, Daniel H. Pink describes “attunement,” an often-overlooked superpower in the world of sales. “Attunement is the ability to bring one’s actions and outlook into harmony with other people and with the context you’re in.” 

Attunement lays the foundation for earning trust during the sales process and creating mutually beneficial relationships. It involves stepping into the customer’s shoes to understand their point of view, personal cues, and how they’re influenced by other people. It encompasses not only observing their style of collaboration and communication but also replicating it—it’s about meeting the customer where they are and demonstrating that you “get them.”

How can contractors flex their attunement muscles?   

  • Ask questions to learn not just “what” the customer wants but also “why” they want it.
  • Treat the customer as the project owner. Listen to their input without judgment before sharing your recommendations for moving forward and accomplishing their goals.
  • Recognize that multiple decision makers, with their own perspectives, may have a say in the project. Gently encourage them to communicate if the project begins to push the limits of the desired budget.
  • Adjust your interpersonal style to match your customer’s. If they’re serious and business-like, don’t act overly casual. Likewise, if they’re laid-back and easy-going, emulate that demeanor to make them feel comfortable.

Next, look for Part 3 in our series: Buoyancy. If you missed it, read Part 1 of our series now.

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