“Reading is a discount ticket to everywhere.” That’s how Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Mary Schmich sums up the inherent value of reading. If your sales have been a tad lacklustre recently, a little reading from the experts could go a long way. Check out these 10 inspiring books to help boost your sales and bolster your career.
1. Monday Morning Sales Tips (2009)
By Maura Schreier-Fleming
Monday Morning Sales Tips details fundamental sales skills; such as questioning and negotiating and helps the reader develop their critical communication skills. Maura supplements these foundational sales skills with her tips to stay motivated and manage disappointment in a sometimes emotionally challenging role.
2. Influence: Science and Practice (2008)
By Robert B. Cialdini
The way a salesperson articulates themselves can make or break a sale. In this industry, the tools of the trade are our words. Our choice of words has a significant impact on our ability to influence and persuade people’s opinions and decisions.
The book, Influence: Science and Practice by Robert B. Cialdini is relied upon by many salespeople. The principles outlined in this book are excellent tools to help you understand the breadth of your influence in the sales process. Robert analyses influence through the lens of ethical persuasion, rather than coercion. This book teaches us that, by leveraging influence, we can shorten the sales cycle, and thereby help your potential client make a buying decision that will positively impact their life or their business.
3. Personality Plus: How to Understand Others by Understanding Yourself (1982)
By Florence Littauer
While this book was released almost 40 years ago, the principles remain increasingly relevant. Florence dissects the clues that customers give and how these translate to their desire to buy. Noting that successful salespeople can successfully “read” people, Personality Plus outlines the tools to understand others, so you can assist them in making effective purchasing decisions.
Getting Past No: Negotiating Your Way From Confrontation to Cooperation
By Willliam Ury
Negotiating is key to success in sales. Being an effective negotiator doesn’t just improve your sales skills, but offers countless spillover benefits for other facets of your life. William Ury’s book, Getting Past No: Negotiating Your Way From Confrontation to Cooperation, brings us back to the basics of negotiation. William outlines how to prepare for a negotiation, how to settle expectations, articulate yourself, and how to analyse the alternatives when negotiating.
5. Six Thinking Hats (1999)
By Edward De Bono
When it comes to sales, knowing how to problem solve goes a long way. Edward de Bono used his ‘Six Thinking Hats’ as a metaphor for effective group problem-solving. Each coloured ‘hat’ symbolises a way of thinking that quickly brings about a solution when individuals, or groups, are involved. Considering human decisions are oftentimes made without sufficient evaluation, or are highly swayed by emotions, Edward’s Six Thinking Hats addresses problem-solving from multiple angles. This book will help salespeople arrive at their solution more efficiently, and is a great addition to add to your sales toolbox.
6. A Whack On the Side Of the Head: How To Unlock Your Mind for Innovation (1988)
By Roger Von Oech, PhD
In sales, we’re always thinking of new ideas and innovations to address client challenges or issues. That’s why Roger von Oech’s book, A Whack on the Side of the Head: How to Unlock Your Mind for Innovation needs to be on your sales reading list. This book details how we can innovate to develop creative solutions to problems.
7. Spin Selling (1988)
By Neil Rackham
At the end of the day, we need to fully understand our customers’ problems, needs and wants if we are going to make a sale. Neil’s book dives into his SPIN (Situation, Problem, Implication, Need payoff) strategy. This highly praised model teaches salespeople how they can uncover their customers’ challenges and unique goals. It also unpacks how we can ask strategic questions that reveal to our customers why they would benefit from buying.
8. Strategic Selling: The Unique Sales System Proven Successful by America’s Best Companies (1988)
By Robert B. Miller and Stephen E. Heiman
Do you feel your sales strategy needs a makeover? Robert Miller and Stephen Heiman’s Strategic Selling: The Unique Sales System Proven Successful by America’s Best Companies can help you do just that. This book gives readers an exemplary understanding of who the key players are in the sales process, and who is making the important buying decisions. The book helps you develop an efficient sales strategy that’s rooted in the knowledge of who these people are and their role in closing the sale.
9. NLP at Work, The Difference That Makes a Difference In Business (2002)
By Sue Knight
This book unpacks how we can understand, and leverage, our customers’ unique cues in the sales process. By noticing the subtle clues our customers give us, we can use this to help build rapport and trust with our customers. Author Sue Knight’s thorough approach informs readers how their words impact the sales process and assist them in selecting the best words to improve their sales.
10. Winning By Negotiation (1980)
By Tessa Albert Warschaw
We’ll finish off with another book on negotiation: Winning by Negotiation by Tessa Albert Warschaw. This book gives readers valuable tools that will help develop their negotiation skills. Tessa outlines how to read people, how to evaluate what to negotiate and how to tactically negotiate for successful sales.
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