Are you new to sales? So what now? Start reading! Selling can be a challenging profession, but the good news is that there are a variety of great books about selling that can help you become more successful.
I recommend the following 10 sales books. While this list might not be your typical recommended reading list, these books can help you build a solid foundation for your sales career.
You are unlikely to find this book on any other reading list. Author Florence Littaurer says successful salespeople “read” other people quickly and accurately. They understand the cues customers give and what they mean to a customer. Personality Plus provides an easy-to-understand way for you to understand other people so you can help them make good purchasing decisions.
In this book you will learn more about customer instructions that you must observe when selling. If you follow these guidelines, you can build rapport and trust with your customers. You will learn how the words you use affect the sales process and how to choose the right words to improve your sales. Sue Knight is so thorough that after reading the book, I almost felt like I had just attended college.
The sales strategy is a key component for a successful sale. Strategic selling gives you a great understanding of the key players who make and influence buying decisions. You can develop a successful sales strategy if you understand who these people are and what their roles are in the buying process.
The tools of a salesman's trade are words. You need to understand how to use words to influence and persuade. Influence: Science and practice have been my bible for understanding the influence on sales. I have used his principles in my sales strategy throughout my career to achieve great results. You might think that influence is manipulation and coercion. It is not! Influence is ethical belief. Using influence shortens your sales cycle so your prospect can make a good buying decision. Robert Cialdini shows you how to help your customers buy.
Other items from AllBusiness.com:
I tell people that the most important skill in selling is listening, but at some point you have to speak – then your questions count. You need to ask strategic questions that uncover the reasons your customer should buy. The SPIN (Situation, Problem, Implication, Demand Payoff) strategy is the best model I've seen for uncovering customer problems, needs, and wants. Use this method and I expect it will be easier for customers to understand why they should buy.
Negotiations are a key component of sales and business. Winning by Negotiation offers you valuable tools to develop your negotiation strategy. You will learn how to read people, evaluate what you are negotiating, and how to choose your negotiation tactics.
Why do I have two books on negotiations on this list? I think you should read every book about negotiation! You will learn from everyone. You need to know how to negotiate to be successful in sales. Passing by No: Negotiating from confrontation to cooperation offers a simple approach to negotiation. From preparing for negotiations, setting expectations, using powerful words, and evaluating alternatives, this book has everything you need to become a better negotiator.
This is another book that is unlikely to be on other recommended reading lists. However, I think it's too important to stop. A key component of sales is generating innovative solutions to customer challenges and problems – this is where your thinking comes in. Roger von Oech's book shows you how you can develop creative solutions. I use the ideas a lot and they help me find better solutions.
Edward de Bono's method of solving group problems includes the metaphorical six-colored hats. Each represents a way of thinking to come to a solution quickly when a group (or an individual) is involved. Too often people make decisions without proper evaluation, both emotionally and strategically. De Bono's method deals with these situations in Six Thinking Hats in order to find better, faster solutions that are exactly what you need to sell.
I couldn't finish the list without recommending one of my books! Selling requires all of the skills I mentioned: people reading, negotiating, and asking questions. You also need to stay motivated and deal with disappointment. The Monday Morning Selling Tips will help improve all of your sales skills so you can be successful.
You may think you don't have to read to be successful in sales. That would be wrong As Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Mary Schmich says: "Reading is a discounted ticket to anywhere." Sellers who read have a discount ticket for sales success.
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