Whether you’re lounging at a pool or in an RV, you can find some prime opportunities for low-stress professional development in summer. As a sales professional, all it takes is the right words from a master or two to energize your efforts and keep you motivated to succeed.
Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of resources that can give you tangible results almost immediately. From classics to cutting edge sales science, these are the books that can turn this year in to your best sales year ever.
- How to Win Friends and Influence People (Dale Carnegie)Despite dating back to 1936, this text is still one of the most relevant sales books on the market. Carnegie’s classic about how to foster genuine interest in others and make more personal connections has sold over 15 million copies since its first printing. In this book, he shares some key concepts of influence and interaction through numerous historical references. Although it is focused on a sales perspective, it supports a fantastic lifetime perspective of respect, generosity, kindness, and trust.Favorite Quote: “It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.”
- To Sell is Human (Daniel H. Pink)
A New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal bestseller, this book redefines sales through a series of connections with science, business, and sociology. Pink explains the transition of our society from one of consuming to one of selling. Through the use of technology, perspective, and persuasive techniques, Pink explains how sales professionals (and everyone else) can frame a product as a service. He specifically highlights the need for attunement, buoyancy, and clarity in pursuit of success.Favorite Quote: “Those who move others aren’t manipulators, but servants. They serve first and sell later.”
- Little Red Book of Selling (Jeffrey Gitomer)
Juggernaut salesman Jeffrey Gitomer brings his matter-of-fact attitude to the task of teaching people how to sell. In this small book, Gitomer provides tangible, actionable plans to become a more effective salesperson. From his self-evaluation quiz to his “Dos and Don’ts of Selling,” every chapter provides a new insight that can be immediately implemented into your sales routine. As one of the shortest and funniest books on our list, it’s a must-have for every sales library.Favorite Quote: “Remember, you can’t just waltz in and sell something-first you’ve got to lick his face for a few minutes.”
- The Greatest Salesman in the World (Og Mandino)
Although this book is only 110 pages long, almost every one of those pages holds fantastic insights about life, love, and selling. Not a hard-and-fast sales technique book, The Greatest Salesman in the World uses a parabolic narrative about a successful salesman named Hafid who is attempting to share his sacred sales knowledge with a young acolyte. With very Christian-centric themes, the book combines morality, spirituality, and salesmanship to provide a read that is personally uplifting and professionally motivating.Favorite Quote: “Your desire to succeed has to be greater than your fear of failure.”
- How to Master the Art of Selling (Tom Hopkins)
This early-80s sales reference tome explains that sales success is not about luck, but persistence, education, and self-mastery. In the most recent edition, Hopkins also includes sections covering how technological elements such as email and online research can assist you in making more personal connections with potential clients. His hands-on techniques and scripts are perfect for sales professionals at every experience level. This book can bolster daily motivation and provide tricks for eliminating miscommunication and helping more people.Favorite Quote: “In this profession, no one limits your income but you. There are no income ceilings.”
- Secrets of Closing the Sale (Zig Ziglar)
From housewives to CEOs, Ziglar’s “Bible of Persuasion” makes it clear that each of us deals with selling constantly. As a man who has sold everything from cookware to cars, Ziglar became one of the most well-loved motivational sales speakers in the world. This book is a culmination of his unique perspective on the selling process, and provides a framework of sales excellence based on honestly, service, integrity, and communication. Written to be accessible to anyone, it is a quick, fun read that is motivating and informative.Favorite Quote: “The critical step in the world of selling is this step of honesty, which is your total conviction, your complete belief that the product or service you sell is the best buy for the prospect.”
- How to Become a Rainmaker (Jeffery J. Fox)
This simple, quick read is perfect for individuals looking for a way to provide more value in their product and reach more people with their pitch. In this book, Fox explains how to “dollarize” a products features, and help a customer differentiate between the value and cost of a product. He also provides excellent daily wisdom for sales professionals such as, “You’re not out to lunch to eat lunch,” “Customers don’t care about you,” and “Good manners count – a lot.” This text serves as a great source for memorable, actionable tools you can use immediately to improve your conversion rate.Favorite Quote: “The Rainmaker puts himself or herself in the customer’s shoes and answers the question ‘If I were the customer, how would this product benefit me?’”
Links, Resources, and Ideas
No matter where you decide to do your relaxing this summer, make sure you bring along one of these fantastic sales books to help you get prepared for a more productive, happier year of selling. Consider enhancing your new-found knowledge by browsing our list of sales websites, books, and other resources. And, if you enjoyed this list, you might also love the time-saving tips in our post 6 Tasks That Top Sales Agents Delegate.
What are your favorite sales technique and motivational books? Do you think there’s one we missed? Let us know what you think in the comments below!