After talking to a number of you, it’s evident that salespeople have a consuming thirst for self improvement and personal growth. You want to constantly learn new techniques and hone your craft to be better in sales and better in life.
That level of optimism and ambition is encouraging and contagious. There are so many available resources for salespeople, but one of the most impactful ways to consistently improve is through reading.
And luckily, we are in no short supply of books about selling and improving your overall productivity. So let’s look at eight books—some classics and some new ones—every salesperson should read.
1. Jeffery Gittomer’s Little Red Book of Selling by Jeffery Gitomer
When asking many of you about what books have impacted you the most, I didn’t get far before hearing about this one. From the author of The Sales Bible, Gitomer writes about ways to get past common sales obstacles and answers to the most common sales questions you hear on a daily basis. Gitomer uses red ink throughout the book and offers easy to remember summaries to evoke passion and offer inspiration for your future sales interactions.
2. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
This should be essential reading for everyone, but its lessons ring especially true for those in sales. Published over 25 years ago, Covey’s book has stayed atop the bestseller list for a simple reason: the lessons are universal across all professions and all generations.
3. Good to Great by Jim Collins
This book takes a look at the secrets behind why some companies become great and why others never make the leap and remain average. Not only does it give lessons important to individual performance, but also to building the right team; an essential read for sales managers.
4. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
In the grand scheme of discovering success, this is The Bible. Published before WWII, Carnegie’s book has sold over 30 million copies, and for good reason. You’ve been told to read it countless times by your colleagues, your boss, and your mom or dad. It’s time to do it.
5. Secrets of Question Based Selling by Thomas Freese
When I ask salespeople about the most valuable skills you need in the industry, creating a need through asking the right questions tops the list. Freese talks about how all sales people have similar goals and similar processes. So it’s not what to do on a sales call, but how to execute more effectively. This happens by asking strategic questions to gain credibility and trust, finding the right person in an organization to talk to, and finally pivoting the conversation to the next step in the sales cycle.
6. The 5am Miracle by Jeff Sanders
Along with his podcast by the same name, Sanders promises you can “dominate your day before breakfast.” In the book, Sanders challenges the goal-setting system, encouraging you to set short-term goals, and as you achieve them you’ll eventually reach your long term, bigger goals, all before that first cup of coffee.
7. Write it Down Make it Happen by Henriette Anne Klauser
We all have dreams and goals, but taking the steps to achieve them is what separates successful people from everyone else. In this book, you learn the importance and power of taking that first step and simply writing down your goals. Klauser uses stories from everyday people who figured out what they wanted in life and achieved great things through taking the time to write it down.
8. The Challenger Sale by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson
In search of the behaviors, skills, and attitudes that drive high performing sales people, Dixon and Adamson wrote this book after studying thousands of sales reps across multiple industries. In it, they challenge the notion that sales is all about building relationships, arguing instead that the best salespeople challenge relationships. They are assertive, tailor their message to a customer’s specific needs, and take control of the sale. From new reps to managers or coaches, this is a must read for anybody in sales.
What are some of your favorite sales books or authors? Give us a recommendation in the comments section.