Looking for a good sales book to read. What are your favorite ones?
Fanatical prospecting is a good one. probably the best I read in the last year or so.
New Sales Simplified by Mike Weinberg – This book goes over prospecting, meeting hot leads, and closing deals. It has some really actionable advice on how to engage prospects and move them through the pipeline. The chapter on outlining meeting agendas with prospects directly impacted my sales process. The whole thing is easy to read but really valuable.
Challenger Sale and Unselling are my top picks. They give new perspectives on how to think about engaging with customers and sales. Great insight on approaching customers in a new and less salesy way.
I have a few favorites
- SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham unravels the principles you see in conventional sales training. It might be an obvious choice but it’s worth a look if you haven’t read it yet.
- How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie is a good book for everyone in business to read. People (and prospects, haha) are egotistical so Carnegie tells you how you can use that to your advantage.
- Perfect Selling by Linda Richardson has sound, straightforward sales advice. My manager actually gave this to everyone on my team for Christmas several years ago.
I want to second andy’s SPIN Selling suggestion. I read that book in college and I still think about it all the time.
If you don’t have time to read Predictable Revenue, which is another really good sales book, you can watch this video book summary which is helpful for summarizing the book’s main points.
I have read so many sales books and they all have great tidbits of information. One that I particularly love is “how to get your competition fired without saying something bad about them”. the basic tenet which seems obvious is that when you are trying to sell a new potential prospect and they already have a product that is similar to yours…how to do get rid of the other salesperson without saying something bad about them or their company. If you think about it, there are really three people in the room when you are selling…you…your prospect…and the person they are currently buying from (even though he is invisible). At some point your prospect will need to tell that invisible person that he is moving on to you and frankly that is an uncomfortable situation. And even though you might have a better price/product…etc…that prospect does not want to fire this person who has been calling on him for years. You will need to provide him with ammunition. That is what this book teaches you
I already read SPIN Selling in school but thank you, it’s definitely a good one!
@grace - That is a really cool idea. I have never tried watching book recaps to save time on reading
@James James - Never heard of that but it was just added to my amazon cart, thanks. I think it would have been a good thing for me to read in school as well
Robert Chaldini’s Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion is a classic and my absolute number one!
@padav45 I love that book too! In my opinion, psychology books can really help you if you work in sales (and a lot of other areas actually), as they allow you to better understand the human brain and how we make decisions and function on a deeper level. It has really helped me better approach certain situations both in my private life and at the workplace.
If anyone is looking for free ebooks for sales and leadership. Here is a place you can go get some of the classics from Dale Carnegie, Napoleon Hill, and others. You just need to register to have access. Free Ebooks for Sales and Leadership
FYI, there has been more books added with in the last couple of days.
My favorite one is To Sell is Human by Daniel Pink.
It talks about how sales is a really natural activity. It shows how we all practice the art of selling in our daily lives (when you pitch your coworkers a new idea or when you tell your children to study, for example).
It’s a great book that offers a fresh look about the act of selling. I strongly recommend it!
The “Secrets of Closing the Sale” by Zig Ziglar…
@Laurel90 To recommend top sales books, it would be helpful to know what kinds of sales you engage in. I’ve been reading sales books forever, and I’ve read hundreds. I categorize them into different buckets, depending on the kind of sales you do and where you feel you could use help. Are you in B2B or B2C? If you’re in B2B, do you engage in transactional sales (low value, high volume) or in complex sales (higher value, lower volume, more sales involvement)? What are some of the key challenges you’re facing at the moment? Engaging with new prospects? Landing big deals you’ve forecast? Managing your time? How to run a sales meeting? How to present effectively? Giving good demos? Leading an extended revenue team? Building value and differentiation for the products or services you sell?
Answer these questions, and I can give you great recommendations that are a good fit for your current situation.
Hi @Dave_V! You’re absolutely right, I should have given more context. So, right now I’m in B2B, selling aesthetic lasers for one of the biggest companies in the industry. I’m basically trying to avoid deals to go cold after the demo. It happens quite often that a deal seems quite promising and then I never hear back from my prospects. So, I guess I have a problem with follow-ups, not sure how to keep my prospects’ interest high after the meeting. Do you know about any book that could help here?
@Laurel90 Thanks for the context. I still don’t know enough about your situation to offer a real diagnosis. But I have a working hypothesis. I think if you’re selling aesthetic lasers, you’re probably selling them to medical offices or offices that do hair or tattoo removal. Is that right?
From my online research, it appears that such machines often sell for more than $50,000 when new. But many companies sell used equipment and offer leasing options. It looks like a croweded market, and I’m guessing it’s very price competitive. Am I right?
How many people and what kinds of people are typically involved in making a purchase decision?
I’m guessing the root of your problem is that you’re having a hard time establishing highly differentiated value for the kinds of machines you sell. You provide a demo, then people go off to shop prices. Or they decide to do nothing. Those are the two main reasons why deals go cold.
Am I right?
If so, the challenge for you is to try to find a way to add more differentiated value. There’s not much opportunity to offer more value through your machines themselves. The machines are what they are. But as a salesperson, you may be able to help your prospects understand their needs better than your competitors do. You typically do this by asking them a lot of high-value questions about their needs. If you get them to think about things they haven’t previously considered, you provide value. The value builds trust and leads to a relationship.
The sales rep who wins the deal is the one who provides the most value in total.
If you agree with my line of thinking, I suggest you look for books about value-based selling. You might also look for books about asking effective questions.
I could suggest more than 20 books on both of those topics. But one I suggest you start with is called Gap Selling, by a guy named Keenan. If you buy the Kindle edition, it’s just $10.
A good book about asking questions is called DISCOVER Questions Get You Connected by Deb Calvert. The Kindle edition is $8.00.
Please let me know if you think I’m not on the right track. I’ll try to recommend other titles if you think I’ve missed the boat.