Books All Salespeople Need to Read
07.05.17 | Sales Success | Chelsey Canavan, Marketing Manager at Treeline, Inc.
Top Sales Books to Read This Summer
As we end Q2 and approach the summer, it’s time to relax, recharge, and revamp your sales strategy for the second half of the year.
What better way to do all of the above than to read some life-changing books?
If there is one thing all great sales leaders have in common, it’s that they read and are constantly educating themselves.
I reached out to some top sales leaders and asked, what are some of your favorite books that have helped you both professionally and personally?
So if you are looking for some great books that can improve your personal and professional success, check out these recommendations.
The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform You Life (Before 8AM) by Hal Elrod
My thinking is that if you are a sales professional you should be reading any and every sales-related book you can get your hands on as well as seeking mentors, formal sales training, be a true student of your profession. The more you learn, the more you earn.
If you want to get an edge on your competition and take your career to the next level you have to be willing to do what most won’t.
1) Install habits that are designed to make you better. Ex: Fitness, healthy diet, learning, meditation, proper sleep
2) Make habits a part of your “must do” daily routine.
3) Start your day with them. Your morning routine creates your days, your days create your life.
This book is a very quick read or listen on Audible, leaving you with the how and why you should install powerful habits, and why you should wake up an hour earlier than your peers to accomplish them. If you truly want to take your life to the next level you need to use the principals in this book.
This book is one of the best books I have read around the psychology of success & happiness. The author clearly explains the two types of mindsets, Fixed and Growth.
Bottom line, if you are not a growth mindset person you will not be as happy or successful as you could be. This book opened my eyes in ways that have been life changing, resulting in dramatic improvement in both my business and personal life.
Chief Sales Officer
If you are considering a sales career, this book should excite the @##$! out of you. This is a classic book and it's all about the power we each have to make decisions in business and in life. This book was written at the direction of Andrew Carnegie and highlights some of the most successful people of the twentieth century. I still remember reading this book as a sophomore in college and feeling like I just unlocked a secret code.
Frankly, many of the more trendy sales methodologies are repackaged versions of SPIN. This is a foundational program on top of which future skill building can occur. Neil Rackman outlines a basic framework for enlisting prospects while qualifying fit, and enabling the seller to better understand the opportunity value and probability.
SITUATION: What's happening today? Just the facts... for example, who is the current vendor, what is the current budget, is the vendor/product/solution meeting expectations?
PROBLEMS: Sellers can get buyers to think about and articulate (in their words) the problems. The problems are the basis for business drivers and timing imperatives which form the basis of the opportunity.
IMPLICATIONS: With the problems articulated, sellers can get the buyers to think about (and express) the implications. Meaning, the cost of the problem left unsolved or the value of the solution.
NEED/PAY-OFF: What is in it for the decision makers? How do they win? For example, does a successful implementation make life easier, lead to a promotion, etc?
This presumes an understanding of buyer influences and the ability to ask the "tough" questions required to discover budget, competition, and process.
Founder & Chief Sales Officer
Alice Heiman, LLC
It is a timeless classic that everyone should read because it helps you understand how to relate to people. I love it because it’s so clear and easy to understand. The author has principals in each chapter that we can all live by and help us no matter what profession we’re in. If you intend to be in sales, this book is a must. I read it every year and I recommend that salespeople do the same.
Conceptual Selling: The Most Effective and Proven Method for Face-to-Face Sales Planning by Stephen Heiman and Robert Miller
First I must admit my bias because my father coauthored this book. However, I’ve never seen a call planning process that is as thorough. There are other guides on getting prepared for sales meetings but they don’t go into depth on understanding the buyer or the types and ways to ask questions to truly understand what will make the buyer move forward. If you are in a business to business complex sale you should be using the methods in this book because you will increase your win rate exponentially.
Founder & Chairman
The Sensational Salesman: A Second Chance Story: Providing a Simple Path to Improving Your Relationships, Career, and Life by Duane Cummings
This book is a story about a salesperson who had to learn through the “school of hard knocks” way. It teaches lessons that don’t get taught by today’s sales leaders. You should have all of your front line sales reps read this book as it teaches them valuable lessons about conduct and being professional.
Shackleton’s Way: Leadership Lessons from the Great Antarctic Explorer by Margot Morrell and Stephanie Capparell
This book is based on the true story of how one man led a team to safety after their original mission to reach the South Pole failed. It gives great examples of how leaders can motivate a team despite odds being against them. Leaders will learn tips on how to build team unity.
Chief Executive Officer
This book is hands-down the best business book I have read. Just as it states in the title, this book is about increasing your emotional intelligence (EQ) and will change the way you think about success. It’s an easy and compelling read that gives you the perspective and ability to implement real change. It’s an impactful book. Read it twice. It also includes an Emotional Intelligence Test.
I love this book because it talks about what it means to be a leader and not a manager. Every time we interact with someone we have the ability to influence and make an impact, and as a sales leader that is one of the most powerful attributes you can possess and practice.
It provides insight into how you communicate and how your language affects others. She provides great tips and tools to increase your self-awareness. In order to be a positive sales leader you need to lead with intention.
It may have already been mentioned, but it’s one that all salespeople need to read. This book teaches timeless practices to effectively deal with people and win more friends. Dale Carnegie’s core principles translate to more productive salespeople when adopted. It will also result in happier people.
This book may change how salespeople view personal success. The people who give the most to others are those that ultimately benefit the most for themselves. This book will help people to play a more positive role in society AND succeed more professionally.
This is an excellent book for anyone working to be a leader and gain the courage and confidence needed in a meeting, a boardroom, or even leading a webinar with a prospective client. There are specific drawings of powerful poses and powerless poses - ideas you can gain immediately and put into use.
Act Like a Sales Pro: How to Command the Business Stage and Dramatically Increase Your Sales with Proven Acting Techniques by Julie Hansen
This book has many practical and helpful tips and examples that apply directly to a sales role. In fact, Julie shares "scenes" with real sales call situations and how they can be handled in every step of the sales cycle. It is a fun book with ideas on every page.
I recommend this book to anyone who works in a sales capacity. Top sales performers embrace and practice The Challenger Sales approach. In sales it’s not only about what you sell, but how you sell. Sales is about adding value to customers. If you want to be the top sales rep at your company, read this book and learn how teaching adds values to your customers.
FISH!: A Proven Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results by Stephen Lundin, Ph.D., Harry Paul, and John Christensen
I am a firm believer in positive thinking and positive affirmations. Positivity is contagious and it really impacts a company’s morale. I also believe you have the ability to choose your attitude. In sales, you will experience ups-and-downs so it’s important to keep a positive mindset. This books provides great insight and perspective on how you have the ability to make an impact in your life and in your career.
What are some other books you would recommend that all sales professionals read?