23 May 2018
When it comes to sales, there are a lot of great books out there, each calling themselves the best sales books of the year! Some are classics, some new, but we can learn a lot from them.
But how do you choose from the hundreds of sales books? Maybe people have told you to read SPIN Selling or The Challenger Sale, but there is so much more to read.
We have put together this list of 15 of the best sales books around to get you started. As you retool your career, it is a good time to change your thinking as well!
1. SPIN Selling (1995)
By Neil Rackham
Price: $35.01 (Amazon, paperback)
This is one of the most intuitive books on the market for selling. SPIN Selling explains the science behind consultative selling, or rather, presenting an offer to a potential client, based systematically on the clients pain-points, using a powerful questioning process. It will also give you a lot to think about for how you are closing the deal or tell you how you could close better. SPIN Selling, although it is not new, is a top rec for 2018!
2. The Challenger Sale (2011)
By Matthew Dixon
Price: $15.97 (Amazon, hardback)
The Challenger Sale presents a new way to look at selling. Instead of putting customers to sleep, boring them with facts and features, the Challenger shows customers how they can save or make money – challenging them to accept it. The sales message is conceived around a customer's specific needs. This book also shows how to drive back customer objections and take control of the “customer conversation.” The Challenger Sale will give you a lot to think about!
3. The Psychology of Selling (2006)
By Brian Tracy
Price: $14.16 (Amazon, paperback)
Bryan Tracy’s book attempts to put you inside the heads of your customers – where all the decision-making takes place! The Psychology of Selling not only looks at sales as an exercise in empathy, but it also gives lots of great examples from Tracy’s own life and successful career, including the unsuccessful moments and what he learned from them. Many of the ideas and strategies in this book can be put to work right away and boost your sales!
4. Sell or Be Sold (2006)
Price: $ $19.04 (Amazon, paperback)
In this groundbreaking book, sales expert Grant Cardone takes on the question of Selling vs. Convincing. In fact, the book gives an interesting perspective on all kinds of sales situations – at work selling a product, in the manager’s office selling yourself for a promotion or a raise, or even at home selling an idea to your family. Sales, he seems to say, is a way of thinking and once you set your mind to it, everything opens up for success in sales! In the meantime, Cardone weaves in great techniques that you can use!
5. Thinkertoys (2006)
Price: $ $11.19 (Amazon, paperback)
Creativity has a huge role to play in sales, and creativity expert Michael Michalko offers us new ways to approach problem-solving, innovation, and just getting new ideas. Michalko also provides entertaining exercises to get the mind working and the creative juices flowing. If you are updating your sales career, Thinkertoys is a great place to get started.
6. The Art of War Plus the Art of Sales (2016)
By Gary Gagliardi, Sun Tzu
Price: $19.95 (Amazon, paperback)
Sun Tzu was a Chinese general, military strategist, and philosopher who lived in the Eastern Zhou period of ancient China. But the ideas in his famous book, The Art of War, are extremely applicable to business. The sales methods presented in this book follow Sun Tzu's principles line by line, with the complete text of The Art of War. Gary Gagliardi gives us both an ancient philosophy that has survived 2,500 years and a practical sales adaptation of them.
7. The 10X Rule (2011)
Price: $16.96 (Amazon, paperback)
The main idea we get from The 10 X Rule is the principle of "Massive Action." Massive Action means cutting out the useless drivel of overused and trite business axioms and powering through to more real sales. It shows why we get often stuck in the first three “actions” and how to get by them and boost your sales effectiveness. Cardone shows us where to start, what to do, and how to follow up each action he proposes. It is a new twist on overcoming objections.
8. Little Red Book of Selling (2004)
Price: $11.42 (Amazon, paperback)
The most famous Little Red Book was by Chairman Mao giving his insights on how to live well and in harmony with your country. The Little Red Book of Selling gives straightforward and entertaining aphorisms that everyone can remember in a sales situation. With its red cover, small convenient size, and the amusing illustrations on almost every page, this is an appealing and accessible book.
9. Hacking Sales (2016)
Price: $12.69 (Amazon, paperback)
Sales-driven companies know that a good sales team will make or break a business. As data and technology become cheaper to access, and more well-educated people choose careers in sales, the world of sales ain’t what used to be. This book is a passport to modern sales. The author calls it “Sales Hacking.” The book reveals ways to build a great sales engine using new technology. The book provides 150 tools for making a fully efficient sales machine.
10. Exactly What to Say (2017)
Price: $13.49 (Amazon, paperback)
The subtitle says it all: “the magic words for influence and impact.” In this book, Jones looks into the art, science, and psychology of effective communication, good listening skills, and quick analysis techniques that help you understand people and how to say what they want to hear. As applied to sales, knowing “exactly what to say” is invaluable in presenting products, facing objections, and getting the deal closed.
11. The New Solution Selling (2003)
Price: $16.78 (Amazon, hardback)
The New Solution Selling is the next level in the rules for selling big-ticket, long-cycle products, with a sharp focus on streamlining the sales process to achieve greater success in fewer steps and a shorter time frame. The sales environment is changing all the time, and this book takes stock those changes with an integrated, tailored approach for improving both individual productivity and organizational return on investment.
12. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (2013)
Price: $13.70 (Amazon, paperback)
This book became an instant classic and must-read for managers, professionals, and salespeople as soon as it came out. First published back in 1989, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People defines effectiveness as the balance of obtaining desirable results with caring for that which produces those results. There is much to be learned (and remembered) in this useful volume – it goes beyond the cliché and shows readers how changing habits can build success.
13. Everybody Lies (2017)
Price: $11.59 (Amazon, paperback)
What if you knew what your sales lead was going to do before you ever spoke to them? The Internet has led to such a proliferation of data that we can predict behaviors based on everything from what sports you like to who you voted for. In this sales book, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz digs deeper and offers up revealing truths about how we think and feel as humans.
14. Pitch Anything (2011)
By Oren Klaff
Price: $17.99 (Amazon, paperback)
Creating and presenting a great pitch should not be seen as an art but a science, and one that can be easily learned. Klaff applies the latest findings in the field of “neuroeconomics” and shares useful examples of his method in action. We learn how the brain makes decisions and responds to pitches. With this information, we can remain in control of every stage of the pitch process.
15. To Sell Is Human (2013)
Price: $12.95 (Amazon, paperback)
Even though some of his findings seem counterintuitive, the author backs them up with real insights drawn from social science. To sell, according to Pink, is about “moving others” and not just constantly closing. Pink talks about the six successors to the elevator pitch, rules for understanding another's perspective, and frames that can make your message clearer and more persuasive, and much more.
But don’t stop here!
We have chosen a cross-section of different approaches and different ideas that will help you think differently about sales, make you think a little, and perhaps even challenge some of your precepts as you embark on a new career as a sales professional.
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