One of the most crucial sales books written in the last fifty plus years. This book is a great illustration on not just sales best practices but also getting the most of your everyday life interactions with other people. In this all time best seller, Carnegie demonstrates the universal techniques you can use to help you make small talk a bit easier and get along better with more people.
Key takeaway: Focus on other peoples interests and positive thins will start to occur in your life.
Quote of the book: “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
Chris Voss, a former international FBI hostage negotiator, teaches how to gain the edge in any conversation. Voss goes on to explain that ones sole focus should be on the other party and what they have to say whether it’s a hostage negotiation or a sales call.
Key takeaway: Mirroring is magic on calls. Repeat the last three words (or the critical word from the last statement) of what someone said because it encourages the other party to keep people talking, empathize with you, and elaborate to further understand their position.
Quote of the book: “If you want to increase your neural resonance skills, take a moment right now and practice. Turn your attention to someone who’s talking near you, or watch a person being interviewed on TV. As they talk, imagine that you are that person. Visualize yourself in the position they describe and put in as much detail as you can, as if you were actually there.”
3. The Ultimate Sales Machine: Turbocharge Your Business with Relentless Focus on 12 Key Strategies
Chet Holmes, a rock star in the sales space is well known for his success on working for a Charlie Munger company, lays out the 12 step strategy for every company to be a well oiled sales, marketing and service based organization. Most strategies taught in this book are sound and straightforward, ideas you may have even heard of. The difference? Most are not applying these principles.
Key takeaway: Create a list of the six most important things you need to accomplish that day. Then do them. Go about your day with unbridled determination to finish those six goals which will mark a successful day.
Quote of the book: “About half of the salespeople I’ve worked with over the years gave up after a single rejection. They would call a client, the client would say no, and the salesperson would never call that person back. Very few, perhaps only 4 percent to 5 percent, keep trying after four rejections. Yet, as you learned in the previous chapter, I’ve found that it takes about 8.4 rejections to get a meeting. And what makes the difference between people who will face that rejection one time and quit or 40 times and never quit is determined purely by the strength of their ego.”
Although this is technically not a ‘sales’ book, every seller knows that the difference between an average rep and a top one is their discipline and grit. This book teaches you the core skills Jocko learned as a seal and in the business world that apply fantastically into sales.
Key takeaway: When something goes wrong take a good look at yourself first. Don’t find excuses or blame others, put aside your ego and look inward to find out what he must do differently as a leader to create success.
Quote of the book: “Implementing Extreme Ownership requires checking your ego and operating with a high degree of humility. Admitting mistakes, taking ownership, and developing a plan to overcome challenges are integral to any successful team.”
Jordan Belfort, well known from Leo’s portrayal in Wolf of Wall Street, started the firm Stratton Oakmont and enabled his sellers to bring in wild revenue. Belfort accredits this to teaching persuasiveness. He teaches that every sale must have 3 different tenets: 1. Sellers confidence in the product they are selling 2. Degree to which the prospect trusts the salesperson 3. Client’s confidence in a salesperson’s company
Key takeaway: People don’t buy on logic rather they buy on emotion. Then justify their decision with logic.
Quote fo the book: “Act as if you have unmatched confidence, and people will have confidence in you. Act as if you have all the answers, and the answers will come to you.”
Daniel Pink believes that in all walks of life we are spending a majority of our time in “non-sales selling” aka moving others somehow. High tech startups may not have as many dedicated “sales reps” as legacy companies however, all employees must now add a sales mindset to their role. Whether you are in sales or not this book will help you see the world clearer and navigate a better way to get what you need done.
Key takeaway: To keep the audience / prospects in a good mood, agree with their ideas and add to them to see how you can further move the conversation along.
Quote of the book: “To sell well is to convince someone else to part with resources—not to deprive that person, but to leave him better off in the end.”
When working through a sales process Ziglar teaches the age old lesson of the importance to learn as much as you can about your prospect and take action on that information. Ask questions to identify the problem and guide the prospect to a decision. Even if you know the answer, get them to admit it! It sounds less salesey once they say it. Find out their pain, and show them how your product can solve it. Simple as that.
Key takeaway: if you feel the sales process is something you are doing for the prospect, then you will reap the rewards because you are truly investing in benefiting the prospect.
Quote of the book: “Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.”
8. Fanatical Prospecting: The Ultimate Guide to Opening Sales Conversations and Filling the Pipeline by Leveraging Social Selling, Telephone, Email, Text, and Cold Calling (Jeb Blount)
In Fanatical Prospecting Blount tells the tale of the sales guru who markets their e-book with an easy promotion, “sales is easy if you follow my methods”. Great marketing, not usually true. If a sales shortcut was real it would become standard in the marketplace. Focus on the tried and true techniques that work and fine tune those (think, bench press and barbell rows). One technique that should be perfected is the phone call. Although not fun, it is the best way to book a meeting and 80% of a newer reps days should be spent doing so.
Key takeaway: Numbers are the be all and end all in sales. 2 more calls per day can be the difference between a good year and a bad year. Keep your focus on the numbers.
Quote of the book: “There is no easy button in sales. Prospecting is hard, emotionally draining work, and it is the price you have to pay to earn a high income.”
Ariely calls out the human irrationality stemming from his unusual upbringing. Humans think they’re rational but act in the contrary especially when making purchasing decisions. This irrationality is predictable and therefore can be used to your advantage.
Key takeaway: When you to sell to a prospect don’t close down their options, rather position your brand as opening doors and opening up new opportunities.
Quote of the book: “Tom had discovered a great law of human action, namely, that in order to make a man covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to attain.”
Persuasion is one thing we can all use a little bit more of. There are 6 key principles, according to Richard Cialdini, of persuasion which can lead people to say “yes” ranging from reciprocity to scarcity.
Key takeaway: Humans perceive something to be more valuable when it’s limited in quantity. We value something more if we see its quantity reduced especially if there is competition around it (think broker making up a story around another family also “looking” at the home)
Quote of the book: “A well-known principle of human behavior says that when we ask someone to do us a favor we will be more successful if we provide a reason. People simply like to have reasons for what they do.”