Whether you’re a salesperson or not, my best advice for you is: Never stop learning. If you are in sales, this message is doubly important. The world around us is constantly changing, so it’s important to keep up to speed. That said, some things never change.
With all that in mind, here’s an updated list of my favorite, must-read sales books with must-know sales tips — and life tips — for you and your team.
How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
A perennial classic, Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People is the bedrock of business books. The 1936 tome has stood the test of time better than most books thanks to ideas like, “Become genuinely interested in other people,” “Encourage others to talk about themselves,” and “Give honest and sincere appreciation.”
Gorilla Mindset – Mike Cernovich
Mike Cernovich’s Gorilla Mindset is for today’s generation what Tony Robbins’ Awaken the Giant Within was to Gen X readers. The book was the most successful nonfiction launch in 2015, immediately becoming a best-seller. Important for sales professionals are chapters on routine, self-talk, focus, and mindfulness.
Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
Think and Grow Rich is far from the get-rich-quick read its title implies. This classic, written a year after Dale Carnegie’s best-seller, offers plans of action to reach not just personal wealth, but success in almost any endeavor. The book is credited with Ken Norton’s boxing upset of Muhammad Ali in 1973 as well as the successes of countless business giants of the last 70 years.
The Little Red Book of Selling – Jeffrey Gitomer
Jeffrey Gitomer’s Little Red Book of Selling is another must-read classic. It’s short, sweet, and to the point in terms of style, but invaluable in terms of substance. The book demystifies buying principles of customers for salespeople. This is a book written by a master seller to sales pros, directly addressing many common gripes upfront.
Smart Calling – Art Sobczak
Sales educator Art Sobczak offers smart tips and techniques for cold-calling sales professionals that help minimize fear and rejection. In Smart Calling, Sobczak claims that even though today’s sales pros have to be able to conduct a great phone call, many don’t know how. His approach consists of a “never-experience-rejection” system that aims to “get a yes every time.”
Wooden on Leadership – John Wooden
For anyone who manages a team, Wooden on Leadership is a must-read. The man, Jack Wooden, was a breakaway coach for UCLA’s basketball team, leading his players to an unheard of 10 NCAA wins in 12 years. Wooden’s “pyramid of success” focuses on the mental, emotional, and physical qualities teammates need to build a winning organization.
The 10X Rule – Grant Cardone
Sometimes it takes big effort to achieve that next level of success. That’s the message in Grant Cardone’s The 10X Rule. His “massive action” principle shows you how and why you need ten times the effort in your thoughts and actions to reach your next big goal. Importantly, each chapter ends with action steps you can take to make it happen.
Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook – Gary Vaynerchuk
A must for your marketing and customer connection needs, Gary Vaynerchuk’s Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook sets you up for successful storytelling in a noisy world. In “Gary Vee’s” words, jabs are the slow relationship building moves we make in sales while right hooks are the big asks that close sales.
Zig Ziglar’s Secrets of Closing the Sale – Zig Ziglar
A true sales legend and another author I reread often, Zig Ziglar’s Secrets of Closing the Sale is all about the art of persuasion. In this book, you’ll learn that persuasion starts with persuading you. Then you’ll move on to those you’ll need to sell your ideas to: your customers. The book includes more than 100 sales closing scenarios and 700 questions that can lead you to your next sales breakthrough.
Purple Cow – Seth Godin
Author and entrepreneur Seth Godin has penned more than a dozen books. One of his most popular, Purple Cow, contends that your company is either remarkable or invisible. The choice? It’s up to you. Profiling some standout businesses, Godin details a marketing philosophy on how making your business something exciting that stands apart from the rest is the key to success in today’s crowded marketplace.
Predictable Revenue – Aaron Ross, Marylou Tyler
For that all-important top of the funnel, Predictable Revenue offers some great tips for today’s marketplace. Ross helped double Salesforce’s enterprise growth in a few years time with his new outbound sales process. While the book is geared toward SaaS businesses, many of the guide’s tips are universal.
This is just a small sampling of the many great sales books out there to get you thinking, working, and selling better. Many of these books are classics that are worth re-reading at different points in life and business. If I missed your favorite, let me know in the comments.
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