12 of the Best Sales & Marketing Books to Give You a Fresh Perspective on Your Business
As the new year gets into full swing, you may already be thinking that your schedule is far too busy to put time aside to read a good book. However, making time to read will make your life better, not more hectic.
"No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance." ~ Confucius
The more you read the more you learn, and in order to stay ahead and thinking clearly in both your personal and professional life, you need to be a ceaseless learner.
However, it's startling that about a quarter of American adults (24%) say they haven’t read a book in whole or in part in the past year, whether in print, electronic or audio form, according to PEW Research.
As sales and marketing professionals, there’s constant pressure to be creative. For most of us, the problem isn’t that we aren’t reading. The problem is we spend our time reading blogs, tweets, infographics, and other short forms of content.
Sure, that’s great for staying up-to-date with trends and current events, but it doesn’t work our brains the same way. When you read a book, it forces you to focus and eliminate the distractions around you.
It's this focus that acts as a catalyst for the many perks that come from reading books, not the least of which is an increase in creativity.
With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best sales and marketing books to encourage you to step away from the short form, digital content and take hold of the possibilities and perspectives of a new book.
1) The Psychology of SellingAuthor: Brian Tracy
Interdisciplinary study is something you should never shy away from. There is a reason that Steve Jobs placed the restroom of Apple’s offices in the middle of the floor. On one side of the building worked the engineering team, and the creative team on the opposite. With a restroom in the middle, the left brain and right brain of Apple had no choice but to interact and share ideas. There is an incredible amount sellers can learn from other industries. Brian Tracy’s book will motivate your subconscious for sales success, boost your self esteem, and earn your customer's’ trust.
2) Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things DoneAuthor: Lawrence Bossidy and Ram Charan
Everyone has amazing ideas. Unfortunately, most people do not actually follow through and execute their grand plans. When motivation and discipline falter, plans for success fall to the wayside and are often forgotten. Maintaining motivation year round is a constant struggle, everyone could use a little help in this department. This book by Lawrence Bossidy and Ram Charanis delves into what strategies, processes, leadership, and execution drive companies to succeed. Remember, execution; a discipline and integral to strategy, the major job of a business leader, and a necessary core element of an organization’s culture.
3) “Go-Giver, Expanded Edition: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea”Author: Bob Burg
Don’t apply the giving spirit exclusively to loved ones, apply it to your business endeavors as well. This book, written by Bob Burg and John David Mann is a quick read that will add positivity to your personal life as well as your office life. The book centers around an ambitious businessman who hungers only for success, no matter the cost. Despite his ruthlessly hard work, the salesman finds that his goals are further and further from reach. It is not until he meets a series of individuals who put others interests ahead of themselves, a practice that adds more value to their own lives. This book emulates the proverb, “Give and you shall receive.”
4) The Membership Economy: Find Your Super Users, Master the Forever Transaction, and Build Recurring RevenueAuthor: Robbie Kellman Baxter
Membership is a growing trend in today’s economy. Membership economies can be found all around us; Spotify, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Ipsy, Gyms, it’s everywhere! Consumers like to feel as if they a part of an exclusive set of people. The membership economy is all about not just making sales, but keeping clients. Existing clients are a key to your business’s success, because loyalty breeds ROI. Furthermore, it builds a more direct relationship with clients that strengthens your brand and generates an ongoing data stream that can be applied to further sales. This book has been recommended by sales and marketing executives alike.
5) Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social WorldAuthor: Gary Vaynerchuk
A common piece of sales and marketing advice today is to present your business as a compelling personal story or empowering mission. However, we are also inundated with stories and missions from a litany of companies. It is a literal fight to make your company’s story stand out in this climate, which is where the title of this book by Gary Vaynerchuk comes from. Standing out today is about more than just creating masses of digital content, it’s about making it simple, memorable, inviting, and simply fun to read. This book will increase your social currency and is full of useful quotes like, “Twitter is the cocktail party on the Internet, a place where listening well has tremendous benefits.”
6) To Sell is Human
Author: Daniel H. Pink
“Anytime you’re tempted to upsell someone else, stop what you’re doing and upserve instead.” These are the words of author Daniel Pink. The goal of this book is to teach and show you the value of selling in a more honest and sustainable way. Pink shares a wealth of innovative sales tips, such as using the old improv technique of “Yes and..” when talking to prospects or customers. The biggest takeaway from To Sell is Human is to be honest in all your business transactions. Sales should not be a zero-sum game. There shouldn’t be a winner and a loser, it should be win-win. Honest selling leaves your customers feeling good and they’re more likely to refer your business to others. Whether you’re selling a service or selling yourself, this book can benefit everyone!
7) Endless ReferralsAuthor: Bob Burg
This book is such a hit you'll likely end up referring it to someone you know. Bob Burg is not only an author, but also a motivational speaker and consultant. His cardinal rule in business? Creating and growing meaningful and mutually beneficial relationships. His methods help you attract other go-getters and customers who are interested in what you have to sell. “All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust.” This book is guaranteed to take your networking to the next level.
8) The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and BusinessAuthor: Charles Duhigg
This book breaks down the science behind you're good (and let’s face it sometimes bad) habits. How are they established? How do they affect our day to say lives? How can breaking bad habits utterly change our lives? This book teaches you all of this and more in a fun and engaging way. Cover to cover, the pages are filled with anecdotes that back up claims. The more often we perform habits, the deeper they becomes embedded in our brains. Therefore, you better ensure that your habits are beneficial ones. The author’s golden rule for habit breaking is; switch the negative habit for a positive one but keep the rest of the routine intact. This selection is a fantastic read no matter what industry you're in. By changing our habits, we can change our destiny.
9) Smart Calling
Author: Art Sobczak
As the title claims, this book will help you eliminate the fear, failure, and rejection that comes with cold calling. The first step is to acknowledge that traditional cold calling is dead, and it’s time to re-imagine your approach. You can’t just eliminate cold calling from your sales arsenal completely, you still need a way to reach out to possible new consumers. Try smart calling instead! It’s not just a numbers game, it’s a value game as well. One tactic is to get the prospect talking about themselves, their needs, and their pain points. This selection will boost your confidence and help you find your sales groove!
10.) Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers into Friends and Friends into Customers
Author: Seth Godin
In Permission Marketing, Seth Godin introduces a marketing concept that will resonate with you no matter your business or profession. He discusses how traditional marketing attempts to draw our attention by incessantly ‘interrupting’ us. These interruptions are rarely ever relevant or personalized. Interruption marketing essentially claims the right to market to a consumer. On the other hand, permission marketing approaches marketing with a different strategy. It asks for permission to market to a consumer. Once permission is received, the marketer treats it as a privilege. Permission Marketing is a process that requires a ‘time’ investment but the returns are definitely worth it. When the customer receives an anticipated relevant message, they are more likely to be a loyal repeat customer.
11.) Everybody Writes
Author: Ann Handley
In today’s internet and social media-saturated world, every one of us is marketing ourselves through our words, whether we realize it or not. Instead of fighting this trend, Ann Handley strives for everyone to embrace their inner writer. She uses her knowledge as a marketing veteran to guide readers through the entire process of content creation — from hard and fast grammar rules to nebulous elements of storytelling to the science of publishing. By the end of this book, even the most wordplay-averse among us will be expert content creators.
12.) Top of Mind
Author: John Hall
In this insightful, personable, and straightforward book, Hall explains how he built both his brand and his business relationships through helpful and engaging content. In the rapidly changing digital landscape that marketers are navigating right now, the need to foster authentic business relationships built on trust is even more important — and Hall’s book gives CMOs the tools to stay top of mind with their networks and their industry. Hailed as “an absolute must-read for any professional or company seeking to build influence and lead their industry,” John Hall’s “Top of Mind” sheds light on just that: how you can become top of mind with your audience and lead your industry.
Reading can change everything. It can change your mind, it can change your surroundings, and it can change your career into an even more successful journey.
Challenge yourself to read more. It may just open your eyes to a world of new ideas and perspectives. Ultimately, enhancing your personal and professional life.
Get a head start and treat yourself right now to our free eBook and gain even more sales and marketing tips for your business.
About Molly D Protosow
Molly Protosow is the COO and Training Strategist for DMTraining. She manages the day-to-day business and training operations while helping research and develop new training programs as well as refreshing signature programs to reflect the newest sales trends, technology, and best practices. Molly utilizes her wide-range of skills to create sales and marketing assets focused on delivering value to DMT’s clients. Molly has a passion for learning and leveraging new knowledge and experiences. Outside of DMTraining, Molly is a hard core Pittsburgh sports fan, enjoys staying active by running and golfing, and unwinds by reading and playing the piano.