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Great Reads: 5 of the Best Sales Books Ever

5 best sales booksTop sales professionals are committed to learning. Reading books is one of the easiest, and best ways to continually develop and hone your craft, with minimal investment needed.

New titles are constantly emerging, but some sales books are simply timeless. And all sales pros should have them on their radar.

Whether you’re first learning to sell, need to get out of a rut, or are looking to take your sales game to the top, here are some of our picks for the best sales books, ever…

1. Cashvertising – Drew Eric Whitman

Cashvertising“People buy because of emotion and justify with logic. Force an emotional response by touching on a basic want or need.”

When crafting a pitch for ANY product, you can’t go wrong by referencing Whitman’s “Life Force 8”, which are the 8 things that people REALLY want. They are:

  1. Survival, enjoyment of life, life extension.
  2. Enjoyment of food and beverages.
  3. Freedom from fear, pain, and danger.
  4. Sexual companionship.
  5. Comfortable living conditions.
  6. To be superior, winning, keeping up with the Jones.
  7. Care and protection of loved ones.
  8. Social approval.

Cashvertising is a powerhouse collection of “ad-agency pyschology” secrets that reveal exactly why people buy – and how to craft your message so that they do.

Yes, there’s definitely a focus on advertising within these pages, but there are tremendous takeaways that every salesperson on the planet can benefit from.

2. SPIN Selling – Neil Rackham

Spin Selling“People do not buy from salespeople because they understand their products but because they felt the salesperson understood their problems.”

This sales book is an absolute must-read for salespeople. Rackham and his company analyzed over 35,000 sales calls, and found that, in most successful sales calls, the buyer actually does most of the talking. But in order for the process to work, the salesperson needs to ask the right questions. SPIN selling revolves around the four types of questions as its foundation:

  •      Situation questions
  •      Problem questions
  •      Implication questions
  •      Need-Payoff questions

3. The Greatest Salesman in the World – Og Mandino

greatest salesman book“Obstacles are necessary for success because in selling, as in all careers of importance, victory comes only after many struggles and countless defeats. Yet each struggle, each defeat, sharpens your skills and strengths, your courage and your endurance, your ability and your confidence and thus each obstacle is a comrade-in-arms forcing you to become better… or quit. Each rebuff is an opportunity to move forward; turn away from them, avoid them, and you throw away your future.”

This book will help you with more than just selling. You’ll learn how to live a more fulfilling life and build powerful habits that stick. But you’ll also learn some of the “inner-game” that selling requires. In this parable, Mandino stresses the importance of persisting until you succeed in all matters, especially selling.

4. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion – Dr. Robert Cialdini

psychology of persuasion book“The truly gifted negotiator, then, is one whose initial position is exaggerated enough to allow for a series of concessions that will yield a desirable final offer from the opponent, yet is not so outlandish as to be seen as illegitimate from the start.”

In Cialdini’s renowned book, you learn the psychology behind why people say “yes”, and how to use this understanding in your own sales attempts.

He takes you through situations from his own life, as well as other relatable examples, to show the power of these persuasion techniques in action.

Looking through a scientific lens, Cialdini reveals and explains six principles of influence and persuasion: Reciprocation, Commitment and Consistency, Social Proof, Liking, Authority, and Scarcity.

5. Little Red Book of Selling – Jeffrey Gitomer

Little red book of sellingIf they like you, and they believe you, and they trust you, and they have confidence in you…then they MAY buy from you.”

This book is filled with “12.5” principles of sales greatness, as well as attack plans for dealing with difficult customers. Gitomer’s style is inspirational and motivational. He dishes out wisdom on how to break out of a sales slump, and teaches you how to deliver value throughout the entire sales process.

Whether you’re cold calling, selling in person, or just outright negotiating, this book is a great asset.

Chime in! What are your picks for the top books on selling? Which have influenced your technique the most? Add a list of your favorites in the comments below…