Top 12 Recommended Books for Sales People

Every sales training course or coaching session that I deliver always incorporates supporting material to bring to life the skills, tips and tactics offered throughout.  Lots of delegates like to have a recommended reading list to go through and keep as part of their tool kit. However, there are so many books out there that often getting the right one can be hit and miss.Well let me do the work for you. I buy lots of books to see what is new and exciting in the world of sales, and as a person who is constantly selling to my own clients, the content has to work and be written by someone credible. Some of these books are new to the market, others have stood the test of time. You can buy all of these  books in good stores or secondhand on Amazon’s Marketplace. Unless you like the smell of a new book, do look for notes that say ‘some writing in the margin and highlighting”  it means that someone else has found all the good stuff therefore saving you the time. Yey!

To this end I offer up here, my top 12 books  covering sales and selling. Yes one of them is a virtual book! Each one offers practical and relevant advice for today’s salespeople.

Spin Selling, Neil Rackham

Neil Rackham came up with this sales process years ago and it has formed the foundation for many sales processes out there today. Whatever you use whether it is AIDA, DIPIDA or PCMC there will be something here that will resonate with you. Rackham is an extraordinary author who engages with and truly understands sales people. Essential Reading for those just setting out in sales or those wishing to refresh their skills or heal some battle wounds!

The Psychology of Sales Call Reluctance, George Dudley 

When I was selling advertising, I noticed several behaviours in sales people who were nervous or scared to pick up the phone. Some of these behaviours are rooted in deep beliefs and this book truly opened my eyes to why some sales people 1. Hate cold calling or 2. Do not make enough calls.  This revelation of a book is essential for any sales person or sales manager looking to get more from their own ability and skill set and worth every penny. This book is featured in my blog Sales People Not Selling? Blame the Parents. 

Life’s a Pitch, Philip Delves Broughton

This gem is a collection of brilliant texts put together by an engaging and interesting chap who simply wants to understand what the worlds best sales people can teach us. From the Zen of Sales to the Soul of a Salesperson this book is truly a great read and perfect for experienced sales people who need something different.

The Challenger Sale, Matthew Dixon & Brent Adamson

Game changer. This book stands head and shoulders above many recent sales books. it takes sales processes and says stop, lets just look at this a minute. There are different types of sales people, from the Relationship Builder and Lone Wolf and the Challenger to name but three, this book examines how these types deal with more complex sales and suggest they try coming at it with a bit of insight and opinion. The result is a masterpiece and this is perfect for experienced sales people who want to hold a mirror up to themselves and say “That’s me. Now what?” and Dixon and Adamson will give you the answer. This book changed the way I sell, no doubt about it.

The Challenger Customer, Matthew Dixon & Brent Adamson

Oh they didn’t stop there, no Sir. These guys then looked at the principles of the Challenger Sale and examined the customer types. This perfect partner gives the rest of the story and is quite something.

Influence Science & Practice, Robert Cialdini

Cialdini is a master. No doubt. This book and the others in the series have been around a while, but each of the rules of influence are simply brilliant and are illustrated in a way that makes us realise that we are all being influenced without knowing it. If we could harness the techniques we could sell more. This book makes that happen. Buy it now. Perfect for anyone wanting to work on negotiation and presentation skills, especially the language to use.

The Negotiation Book, Steve Gates

This new book is really refreshing and for those people who might have attended a Scotwork course and need a new viewpoint to compliment their skills. I love the techniques laid out in this book and the way it simply makes sense to those in straightforward transactional negotiations through to those that are more involved.  There is a lot in this book and it will need more than one read as certain elements will need to be used and reflected on, however this only adds to its brilliance.

Rainmaking Conversations, Mike Schultz & John E. Doerr

Sales conversations that go nowhere are a waste of time and the R.A.I.N. method of sales is certainly unique and offers a different perspective that really works. Schultz and Doerr make their subject concise and easy to apply to sales scenarios. Anyone in sales needs this book at whatever level or experience.

Insight Selling, Mike Schultz & John E. Doerr

Building on the skills of R.A.I.N. the guys move things onto selling with insight, with a view to resonating, differentiating and substantiating claims to help minimise objections and truly collaborate with a client. This along with the Challenger Sale is truly essential and the skills simply work. Terrific stuff that is perfect for those looking to deal with or anticipate objections or those wanting to get closer to a client but do not know how.

The Rules of Sales & Service, David Meerman Scott

Sales and Service have evolved, customers are far more savvy and demand more excellence from sales people. This book explains these changes and furthermore helps the sales person understand the importance of effective and valuable service from the client’s perspective. I really enjoyed this book, as unlike many books on customer service that bang on about the customer always being right (yawn) it puts the sales person in their shoes. Anyone in service needs to read this book.

Hypnotic Writing, Joe Vitale

Joe Vitale has some fantastic tips and techniques hear in his book aimed at sales people who want to make more impact with sales writing for collateral and proposals. His work around hypnotic connectors that can join paragraphs together seamlessly is pure genius, his hypnotic openers really nail the reader to the page. For anyone wanting to polish their written word this is the book to buy.

The Book of Experience, by You & Me 

Not really a physical book I know, but there is no doubt in my mind the best knowledge comes from people like you and I who are selling everyday. The tips and techniques we use, that are locked up tacitly in our heads we call upon time and time again, why? because they work. Share your experiences with others, learn from those that have been there or the school of hard knocks! You cannot beat experience for first hand learning, I include anecdotes and tales from my best and worst sales experiences in the hope that new sales people and some seasoned can pick up some tips and in return so can I. Share and share a like!

If your Sales People need sales training then consider SerialTrainer7 for relevant skills based on experience that really work. Whether it is Questioning Skills, Proposal Writing, Dealing with Objections, Presenting or Closing there is something in this suite of training that can help. So get in touch on 07979 537824 or contact me,  Oh and don’t take my word for it read my testimonials from those who have already worked with me.

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