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My Favorite 10 Sales Books of All Time

Leaders are Readers, Top 10 Sales Books

Hey guys,

Today was my first week at my new sales job…

We’re going through the typical on boarding/orientation stuff…

And while I’m going through some training videos…

I had a thought,

“They have a 6 week training period for this new job, but I’ve been reading almost everyday for the last 5-6 years… and I wonder how big of a difference would that make if everyone adopted a life-long training program for themselves through reading?

How big of an impact would it make on their lives or their careers if they developed a personal habit of continuous learning?

Instead of just training when they started a new job…

Or stopped learning after they finished school…

With that said,

I’ve decided to share my list of Top 10 Sales Books that have made the biggest impact on my selling career, along with a brief explanation attached:

YouTube video
  1. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

While not a sales book, I put this one at the top of the list for a reason.

Sales is hard.

It’s not a cookie cutter, ice-cream n rainbows kind of job… At least not most jobs, and it certainly isn’t long term…

I think as far as day jobs go… sales is probably the hardest out there.

With that said…

Think and Grow Rich got me out of a many tough spots, and days of discouragement when I first started my real B2B career in sales selling to professional negotiators. I’m talking 9 month ramp times to close a 5k deal.

Yeah, crazy lol.

If you every feel discouraged, or need some inspiration, crack this book open, and any page you read will guarantee to give you a spark to help keep you going.

Napoleon Hill is one of the greatest authors of all time in my opinion, has probably created more millionaires throughout history only second to Tony Robbins, and you’ll definitely see him pop up on this list again…

       2. SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham & SPIN Selling Field Manual

This is actually 2 books, but one is the workbook version so I just grouped them together.

SPIN Selling was written in the late 80’s after they did a huge study on top salespeople across industries and found that a common thread was that they asked certain types of questions.

I won’t spoil it for you,

But they discovered that average reps asked these types of questions very little, if at all…

I put this as #2 on the list because, right after mindset, comes strategy.

Probably like many of you, I used to think sales was about slick talking, presenting, and being pushy.

After years of learning the craft…

I learned the truth.

And the truth is that sales is more about asking questions and listening than it is about talking.

And great salespeople ask great questions. This book will help you understand what types of questions great salespeople ask.

      3. Influence by Robert Cialdini

One of the most pivotal books on the subject of influence, this book contains the 6 primary principles of influence that stand true regardless of what industry or business you work in.

In fact, it doesn’t have to be within a business – these 6 principles are hard wired into our human conditioning.

The 6 influences here are:

1. Reciprocity

2. Scarcity

3. Social Proof

4. Liking

5. Authority

6. Commitment & Consistency

Recommended by everyone from Tony Robbins to Peter Thiel… this book is a must read.

And having worked in sales for years… these principles are absolutely true. Master them. Learn how they apply to your unique situation.

      4. Mastering Influence [Audio Program] by Tony Robbins

This isn’t a book per se, but it’s just too good to not include on this list.

Originally created in the 1980’s I believe, Tony, while he was starting out in his career, decided to interview the top salespeople across industries…

Those who were making over $250,000/year at that time…

Which is probably closer to over $1M/year in today’s dollars…

He compiled this thoroughly comprehensive audio program on every aspect of influence and sales imaginable.

Look,

Whether you’re a mom or a sales executive… this program is a MUST have for EVERYONE who comes in contact with people *cough cough*

You can hear the difference in Tony’s younger voice here, before 3 decades straight of speaking on stages…

The principles of influence and sales stand timeless.

    5. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Ah, the book that “started it all” for me…

You see,

I used to feel lots of pain around my interpersonal and influence skills…

So much so that I used to be scared to even ask for ketchup at a restaurant! Whoa!

I got fed up one day, decided to buy this book, and start applying it.

I lived in a small frat house at the time (2010), and whenever we threw parties, the neighbors would ALWAYS call the cops on us…

Until I decided to read and apply this book…

I would read a chapter, and literally go over to our neighbor’s house and apply these tactics, and try to get them to not call the cops on us!

It sounds funny now,

But I would practice things like like “agree with the other person, and never argue” until they felt completely understood and were disarmed…

And guess what? It worked!

A book for constant refresh, this is just as timely today as when it was written, as human nature will always be human nature.

    6. How to Sell Network Marketing Without Fear by Michael Oliver

Despite the name of the book – this book has really nothing to do with selling network marketing…

It’s more a book on listening and asking questions.

I mentioned SPIN SELLING above…

And SPIN Selling is a great book on the types of questions to ask…

However,

What I notice for a lot of beginners is that although they know what type of questions to ask… they often don’t know how to ask those questions.

I often find that they have a list of questions, and are rather robotic in going down the line in asking those questions…

No one wants to deal with a robot… certainly not your customers…

This book shows you how to ask those questions effectively, through listening and responding accordingly.

    7. How to Sell Your Way Through Life by Napoleon Hill

Napoleon Hill makes it on this list for a second time with his influence/sales specific book, How to Sell Your Way Through Life.

As the title alludes, sales is life, and life is sales…

If you have to deal with people, you’re selling.

Period.

There are countless nuggets of wisdom and dispel the myths of sales that are taught in movies.

I won’t spoil them for you here, but is a must read.

Jeffrey Gitomer, sales teacher & “guru,” says this book is the “best sales book written of all time.

    8. Compensation by Ralph Waldo Emerson

This is also not a book per se, but an essay written by the immortal Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Emerson talks about the universal law of compensation.

Also known as “What you sow, you shall reap

Also known as “What you do unto others, you do unto yourself

Also known as “After every dark night comes a brighter day

Look,

Emerson talks about a few different laws, highlighting how there will always be work required before there is fruit to bear…

And that if you do the work, provide the service, there will always be fruit to bear…

And so is true in nature, as is in sales….

An absolutely classic and must read for anyone committed to developing oneself.

    9. Sell or Be Sold by Grant Cardone

Having read a bunch of books by Grant, I had to put Uncle G in here!

When I was honing my skills, selling market intelligence to procurement professionals…

There was a stretch of time where the sales department was led by a VP without sales experience (eye roll)

In that stretch of time,

The organization was heavily focused on adhering to a very strict sales process… that prevented the disclosing of pricing unless the customer jumped through several (often difficult) hurdles.

This consequently actually KILLED a lot of deals.

It was from listening to this audiobook that I heard Uncle G say something along the lines of…

“Fuck your management’s sales process… if the customer is asking for price because they want to buy… give them the price! You can’t sell something without your customer knowing the price!”

I’m paraphrasing,

But it was like truth ringing down from the hills…

Always trust your gut, and common sense…

But fuck your sales process, if it’s not customer focused and serving your customers.

It taught me that there’s definitely a time to adhere to the sales process…

And there’s a time when you must say, “fuck the sales process.”

    10. The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino

I read this book years ago, when I was initially starting out in my sales career, and when I still wasn’t so sure about what made a good salesperson good, and whether I should believe “are good salespeople liars or people who applying lots of pressure?”

Bottom line,

This book probably should be due for another refresh for me but I got 1 main takeaway from this book…


It was that the Greatest Salesman in the World is the
person who Loves.

Aka Caring.

And I believed that when I first started out, just as I believe that today.

If you care, if you love, you will win. Full stop.