One of the things that separates a lot of the greats from the core performers is the fact that those who are top performers are always reading and looking for opportunities to sharpen their tools.
Below are some the best books I recommend to sales professionals to help them sharpen their ability to sell at a top performers level. Check out the selection below:
1. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Published in 1937, Think and Grow Rich is a self-help, personal development book where the author got inspiration to write this from a suggestion made by business magnate and philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie. Hill explains the philosophy of personal achievement and success condensed into 13 principles.
- Specialized Knowledge
- Organized planning
- Power of the Master Mind
- The Mystery of Sex Transmutation
- The Subconscious Mind
- The Brain
- The Sixth Sense
2. How to Win Friends and Influence Others by Dale Carnegie
A classic bestseller. This is a compelling book that talks about the Fundamental Techniques in Handling People, 6 Ways to Make People Like You, 12 Ways to Win People to Your Way of Thinking, Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment, and 7 Rules for Making Your Home Life Happier.
3. The Challenger Sale by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson
This book talks about how a relationship is not the “be all and all” to make that sale. Instead, it talks about how the best salespeople do not just build relationships, but they also challenge customers. This book covers how you can identify the challengers in an organization and how you can model such approach and apply it into your own team.
4. Selling to Big Companies by Jill Konrath
Jill’s masterpiece helps you get your feet in the door of big companies so you can close more business while reducing your sales cycle. This book covers topics like positioning and differentiating yourself from other salespeople, targeting the right accounts, creating value propositions, overcoming obstacles and objections, and more.
5. The Psychology of Selling by Brian Tracy
This book teaches you how to get yourself in the right selling psychology by keeping strong confidence in yourself, avoiding resistance in sales, and improving your skill sets in a systematic fashion. This book also talks about attracting customers and maintaining their attention, presenting offers the best way possible, handling purchasing barriers, and closing the deal.
6. The Ultimate Selling Machine by Chet Holmes
This book helps you get your sales and marketing engine into full swing as it dives deep into the power of having a process with a bold emphasis on focus. In this book, the late Chet Holmes presents 12 Key Strategies to create the Ultimate Sales Machine including topics like time management, hiring best practices, tactics for getting the best buyers, the 7 Musts of Marketing, client follow up, the power of positive thinking, and more.
7. How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling by Frank Bettger
In this book, Frank shares his experiences and sales secrets that practically turned his life from a failure selling insurance into becoming one of the highest paid salespeople in the United States. Frank shares his insights into overcoming fear, a quick win to confidence, 7 Golden Rules for Closing a Sale, the power of enthusiasm, and how to turn a customer’s skepticism to enthusiasm.
8. Raving Fans by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles
Written in parable style, this book contains tips and techniques to help turn your customers into raving fans who won’t hesitate to spend. This book helps learn to define your vision, what customers want, and incorporate effective systems to help you create a revolution in your workplace.
Would you like to win more of the deals you find yourself going after? Would you like to know what the winning sellers do different that pretty much guarantees them success every time? Well, Mike Schultz and John Doerr, bestselling authors and world-renowned sales experts, set out to find the answer. They studied more than 700 business-to-business purchases made by buyers who represented a total of $3.1 billion in annual purchasing power. When they compared the winners to the second-place finishers, they found surprising results. This is a great read for both entrepreneurs and sales professionals. Check it out.
10. To Sell Is Human by Daniel Pink
In this book, Daniel points out how all of us are doing sales every day of our lives. He also talks about the 3 Rules for Understanding Another’s Perspective, the 6 Successors to Elevator Pitches, and the 5 frames to making your messages more persuasive and much clearer.
11. The Greatest Salesman In The World by Og Mandino
This book relays the story of Hafid, a poor camel boy who soon lives a life of abundance. The book serves as a philosophical guide to salesmanship covering some key points on how you should live a good life; such as the power of laughter, greeting each day with love in your heart, the power of good habits, mastering your emotions, multiplying your value everyday, and living each day as if it were your last.
12. Sell or Be Sold by Grant Cardone
In this book, Grant reveals strategies and techniques necessary for success in sales such as handling rejections, dealing with negative situations and how to turn them around, overcoming reluctance in calling, how to shorten sales cycles, how to stay positive despite rejection, and how to fill your pipeline with new businesses.
13. Little Red Book of Selling: 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness by Jeffrey Gitomer
This book is packed with nuggets of information that would keep you handy along your sales journey. This includes 20 ways to beat a sales slump, 14 ways to create a personal brand, 18 ways to become a sales success, and 8.5 resources to tap in a pinch. This book is a practical guide to sales success where Jeffrey lays out the fundamentals of selling but with some elements of fun.
14. Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal by Oren Klaff
This book effectively walks you through how to position your ideas in a way that will help you gain new business and achieve success – all through the power of making a pitch. In this book, Oren introduces the STRONG method of pitching which you can apply into your own daily sales calls.
Setting the Frame
Telling the Story
Revealing the Intrigue
Offering the Prize
Nailing the Hookpoint
Getting a Decision
15. The New Strategic Selling: The Unique Sales System Proven Successful by the World’s Best Companies by Robert B. Miller, Stephen E. Heiman, Tad Tuleja, J. W. Marriott
This book contains new real-life examples and techniques for confronting competition which you can readily put to use. The New Strategic Selling teaches us how to identify the 4 real decision makers in every corporation, how to avoid closing business you might regret later, how to avoid the single most common error when handling competition, how to make a senior executive rave about you, how to prevent sales sabotage, as well as some key points in effective territory management.
16. The Art of Closing the Sale: The Key to Making More Money Faster in the World of Professional Selling by Brian Tracy
This book teaches us how to effectively close a sale through some powerful sales-closing techniques that the author wishes to impart with us. This book underlines the necessary skills every salesperson should have so he can transform every sales process into a successful close each time.
17. Secrets of Closing the Sale by Zig Ziglar
In this book, Zig Ziglar unveils his secrets to has sales success as he offers over 100 closings for every kind of persuasion, painting word pictures and the use of imagination to generate results, and over 700 thought-provoking questions that will help you unearth new possibilities. The books also includes tips and pieces of precious advice from 100 of America’s successful salespeople.
18. The Power of Follow Up by Judy Garmaise
Do you follow up enough? In this book, Judy explains why people do not follow up enough, or even at all. Judy also shares some tricks on how to overcome this common failure among salespeople as she reveals the secrets and techniques successful salespeople use in making effective and affirmative follow ups.
19. DISCOVER Questions Get You Connected: for professional sellers by Deb Calvert, Renee Calvert
This book includes research, real-life examples, anecdotes, exercises, and role plays to help salespeople be more effective in each stage of the selling process. This book teaches you how to ask the right kinds of questions, drive the sales conversation, and show customers that you care in order for you to make strong connections.
20. Go for No! Yes is the Destination, No is How You Get There by Richard Fenton (Author), Andrea Waltz (Author)
This fictional book recounts the story of Eric Bratton, a copier salesman who wakes up one morning and strangely finds himself in a house without any knowledge of how he got there. The book features a dialogue of two main characters who share with each other the essential concepts critical in achieving sales success such as how to outperform 92% of the world’s salespeople, the difference between failing and failure, celebrating both success and failure, and how NO becomes the most empowering word for any salesman.
Now that you’ve seen the list, get out there and start reading. Let me know if there are any others that you would recommend that did not make my list. As always, remember to go out and do BIG THINGS!