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"Today, like it or not, we're all in sales." Dan Pink, NYT and WSJ best-selling author of To Sell is Human knows that many professionals don't think (or like to think) of themselves as salespeople. For many of us, the word "sales" conjures up anxiety-inducing visions of ourselves standing with charts in front of a restless audience or fumbling through an "elevator pitch" to someone who's hoping the elevator will hurry up and let them out. 

But whatever it says on your business card, studies have shown that you're likely spend about 40 percent of your workday selling something. Going on job interviews? You're selling yourself. Trying to convince a colleague that an idea is worth pursuing? You're selling. Even in writing this blog post, I'm selling — repackaging Pink's ideas in ways that, if I've done my job right, will be enjoyable and instructive to read. 

Pink calls this "non-sales selling" — the kind of sales in which money never changes hands, but crucial transactions happen. And whether or not people recognize it as sales, they consistently rate non-sales selling as one of the most important aspects of their worklife — the one that yields the greatest value per minute worked. 

Coming to terms with the fact that you're already a salesperson (and quite possibly a better one than you think!) is the first step on the road to mastering the art of persuasion, one that is essential to every aspect of your career. 

Dan Pink's 7-part masterclass on Mastering the Art of Sales and Persuasion is available exclusively at Big Think Edge