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The Sales Review

Learn about emerging best practices, strategies and insights on B2B sales today dedicated for the modern sales organization.

4 Must-Have Books Every Salesperson Should Read

Posted by Dave Howe on May 29, 2016 7:13:43 PM

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you need to constantly consume content to stay at the top of your game. Consuming content helps you get the latest industry information, learn from your peers, and add more tools and concepts to your tool belt.

There are many great books on the market. But these four books are at the top of my list for successful sales professionals. Full disclosure: I listened to some of these books via audiobook rather than reading the hard copy. But that’s OK! I’m a big advocate of audiobooks, and they can be a huge time saver.

Here’s my list.

Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World's Top Minds by Carmine Gallo

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Talk Like TED is the ultimate book on presentations.  Author Carmine Gallo analyzes the top 500 TED Talk performers. He looks at who has the best performances, the most views, and analyzes their presentation skills and what sets them apart from their peers. He goes deep into how these TED Talk presenters really capture their audience, and how they come across with conviction in an enjoyable way for the participants.

This analytical book is broken down into nine key takeaways for anyone doing presentations. I highly recommend it.

#AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneur's Take on Leadership, Social Media, and Self-Awareness by Gary Vaynerchuk

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Gary Vaynerchuk is a guru in the sales and marketing field. He also introduced me to Periscope—a new live streaming social media tool I wasn’t previously familiar with. 

This book is the latest instalment of Gary’s entrepreneurial and success brilliance.  It’s a compilation of the most interesting, useful and compelling questions from his TV show. The premise of the book is all about making things happen. Gary coined the term “Crush It,” which was the title of a previous book.

#AskGaryVee is a perfect resource for entrepreneurs and modern sales and/or marketing pros that are looking to leverage social media more effectively in their day-to-day operations.

To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel Pink

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This book explores the fundamental science behind interaction. 

To Sell Is Human begins with an interesting statistic: 1 in 9 Americans holds a job in sales. But in reality, every one of us is a sales person. From a mother trying to convince her children to brush their teeth in the morning or night, or a discussion between friends where one is trying to sell their friend on which movie they should see this evening—we all engage in persuasion, and all of us look to move other individuals in certain directions whether we’re aware of it or not.

Pink breaks down the science behind persuasion, and creates awareness that we all sell whether it’s part of our employment or not. And he provides useful techniques on how to make persuasion more effective.

Let's Get Real or Let's Not Play: Transforming the Buyer/Seller Relationship by Mahan Khalsa and Randy Illig, with the introduction written by Stephen R. Covey.

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Let’s Get Real or Let’s Not Play takes a modern approach to the classic sales book Spin Selling. This book takes up where Spin Selling leaves off and modernizes selling into a consultative selling approach.

It does an excellent job of providing lots of examples and visuals and step-by-step workflows. It also introduces sales professionals to some sometimes hard-to-swallow and controversial (but beneficial) topics—such as if you’re going to get a red light, get it as soon as possible. This means that if a deal is going to fall through due to budget, timing, etc., make it fall off as soon as possible. Sales professionals are often timid to have those uncomfortable discussions and wait until the 11th hour. They spend so much time on proposals, legal, and other items in the process, only to get a roadblock and have the deal fall off at the 11th hour. This book says you need to hit that red light as soon as possible so you can move onto the next prospect.

These four books will help you move to the next level in your sales practice, and I highly recommend them if you want to be a successful sales professional.

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Dave Howe

About the Author

Dave is a gifted salesman with a passion for training. Having started from humble roots as a doorknocker in Australia, Dave quickly excelled over his decade long sales and marketing career to hold several VP and Director level positions. Prior to joining the Sales for Life team, Dave was involved with start-ups; building and training their sales teams from the ground up.