The Top 25 Sales Books of All-Time

booksUncle!!! I give up!

In yesterday’s blog I ended with a challenge. I stated that if the reader would leave a comment, that included their all-time favorite sales book, then I would send them a link to my “Top 25.”  Well between emails, the blog comments, Facebook comments and Linkedin replies, I have struggled to keep up! So I decided to make it the topic of today’s blog. I should let you know that not every book listed below is a “Sales Book.” Several of them are on time and attitude management, but I think these topics are critical for anyone in sales. Perhaps the title of this particular blog should be:

“The All-Time Top 25 Books for Sales People.”

Two Points Before We Scroll Down:

  1. I did not put them in any particular order other than I put “Action Selling: How to Sell Like a Professional, Even if You Think You Are One” first. It is my absolute favorite sales book of all time because Action Selling saved my sales career. I will write a full blog article on why I am so passionate about this book in the near future, but the short version is this: I was sucking at sales. I went to a two-day Action Selling seminar. I stopped sucking at sales. Simple right? If you don’t buy and read any other book on this list, you MUST read Action Selling!
  2. The synopsis you will see beside each book actually came right off of Amazon.com. I think they did a great job capturing the essence of each book.

To get further information on any of the books listed, or to purchase them through Amazon.com, just click on the picture of the book.

“Action Selling: How to Sell Like a Professional, Even if You Think You Are One” is the first book in the Action Selling Book Series. Told in a unique story format, ‘Action Selling’ presents a proven system for managing and conducting the entire sales process – one that applies to any industry and dramatically improves the performance of salespeople with any level of experience. Best part: It does this in 105 pages.

Jeffrey Gitomer’s Sales Bible was listed as one of “The Ten Books Every Salesperson Should Own and Read” by the Dale Carnegie Sales Advantage Program. Now completely revised, this book is available for the first time in paperback. The Sales Bible has helped tens of thousands of salespeople all over the world reach their potential and close the big deal. Gitomer gives sales professionals the right answers to the toughest questions:

  • How to make sales in any economic environment
  • Twenty-five ways to get that most-elusive appointment
  • Top-down selling
  • How to fill the sales pipeline with prospects ready to buy
  • How to use the right questions to make more sales in half the time
  • This book is everything its title claims to be

There has never been a sales book that gives you one-on-one, personal help to catapult your sales career and your personal income to a level that will surprise you and shock your sales manager!

You’ll stop:

  • wasting your precious selling time with ‘non-decision’ makers
  • getting any rejection whatsoever from gatekeepers
  • working your keester off for itsy, bitsy sales
  • losing sales that you thought you were going to win
  • not making your sales quota

You’ll start:

  • making sales that are up to 65 percent bigger
  • cutting your sales cycle in half
  • getting as much as 120 percent more add-on business from your existing customers
  • getting VITO to VITO referrals worth pure gold
  • making the income that you really deserve

Neil Rackham is founder and former president of Huthwaite, Inc. Huthwaite researches, consults, and provides seminars for over 200 leading sales organizations around the world, including Xerox, IBM, and Citicorp. His academic background is in research.

In today’s world, yesterday’s methods just don’t work. In Getting Things Done, veteran coach and management consultant David Allen shares the breakthrough methods for stress-free performance that he has introduced to tens of thousands of people across the country. Allen’s premise is simple: our productivity is directly proportional to our ability to relax. Only when our minds are clear and our thoughts are organized can we achieve effective productivity and unleash our creative potential. In Getting Things Done Allen shows how to:

Apply the “do it, delegate it, defer it, drop it” rule to get your in-box to empty

Reassess goals and stay focused in changing situations

Plan projects as well as get them unstuck

Overcome feelings of confusion, anxiety, and being overwhelmed

Feel fine about what you’re not doing

From core principles to proven tricks, Getting Things Done can transform the way you work, showing you how to pick up the pace without wearing yourself down.

Each of us is born brilliant. Then we spend the rest of our lives having our brilliance buried by people, circumstances, and experiences. Eventually, we forget that we ever had genius and special talents, and our brilliance is locked away in a vault deep within. So we settle for who we are, instead of striving for who we were meant to be. Release Your Brilliance provides the combination to the vault where your brilliance is kept. After struggling for thirty-two years with disillusion, defeat, and despair, author Simon T. Bailey cracked the code to personal transformation, turning his life around and becoming a highly successful entrepreneur, respected family man and community leader. Using the metaphor that we’re all diamonds in the rough, Simon shares the four key steps to cut and polish the gem that is you in order to reawaken your genius, reignite your internal light, and release your potential. He guides your transformation with interactive tools such as Personal Appraisal exercises, Diamond Polishing action steps, and true stories of Living Diamonds. Join the thousands of individuals and organizations worldwide who’ve sat down with Simon and learned to create lasting change and release their brilliance!

An engaging book that brings new relevance to the old proverb “Give and you shall receive”

The Go-Giver tells the story of an ambitious young man named Joe who yearns for success. Joe is a true go-getter, though sometimes he feels as if the harder and faster he works, the further away his goals seem to be. And so one day, desperate to land a key sale at the end of a bad quarter, he seeks advice from the enigmatic Pindar, a legendary consultant referred to by his many devotees simply as the Chairman.

Over the next week, Pindar introduces Joe to a series of “go-givers:” a restaurateur, a CEO, a financial adviser, a real estate broker, and the “Connector,” who brought them all together. Pindar’s friends share with Joe the Five Laws of Stratospheric Success and teach him how to open himself up to the power of giving.

Joe learns that changing his focus from getting to giving—putting others’ interests first and continually adding value to their lives—ultimately leads to unexpected returns.

Imparted with wit and grace, The Go-Giver is a heartwarming and inspiring tale that brings new relevance to the old proverb “Give and you shall receive.”

With their national bestseller The Go-Giver, Bob Burg and John David Mann took the business world by storm, showing that giving is the most fulfilling and effective path to success. That simple, profound story has inspired hundreds of thousands of readers around the world-but some have wondered how its lessons stand up to the tough challenges of everyday real-world business.

Now Burg and Mann answer that question in Go-Givers Sell More, a practical guide that makes giving the cornerstone of a powerful and effective approach to selling.

Most of us think of sales as convincing potential customers to do something they don’t really want to. This mentality sets up an adversarial relationship and makes the sales process much harder than it has to be.

As Burg and Mann demonstrate, it’s far more productive (and satisfying) when salespeople think like Go-Givers. Cultivate a trusting relationship and focus exclusively on creating value for the other person, say the authors, and great results will follow automatically.

Drawing on a wide range of examples of real-life salespeople who have prospered by giving more, Burg and Mann offer tips and strategies that anyone in sales can start applying right away.

The definitive guide to turning casual contacts into solid sales opportunities
In this fully revised edition, Bob Burg builds on his proven relationship-building principles to bring even more clients to your door and helps you attract only those who are interested in what you sell. He shows how to maximize your daily contacts, utilize your tools both online and off, leverage your relationships, and generate ongoing sales opportunities.

“If you’re serious about your sales career, whether you are selling a product, service, or yourself, master the contents of this book and you will practically guarantee your future success.”
–Tom Hopkins, author of How to Master the Art of Selling

A revised and updated edition of How to master the art of selling, which educates on how to succeed in sales, including new information on using the latest research techniques and using e-mail and online resources to generate deals more quickly and efficiently.

The definitive guide to cold calling success!
For more than thirty years, Stephan Schiffman, America’s #1 corporate sales trainer, has shown millions of salespeople how to close a deal. In this newest edition of Cold Calling Techniques (That Really Work!), he’ll show you why cold calling is still a central element of the sales cycle and where to find the best leads. Updated with new information on e-mail selling, refining voice-mail messages, and online networking, his time-tested advice includes valuable discussion points that you’ll need to cover in order to effectively present your product or service and arrange a meeting. Schiffman teaches you how to use his proven strategies to:

Turn leads into prospects
Learn more about the client’s needs
Convey the ability to meet the client’s demands
Overcome common objections
With Cold Calling Techniques (That Really Work!), 7th Edition, you’ll watch your performance soar as you beat the competition and score a meeting every time!

Whether presenting a product or principle, service or idea, we all engage in sales. Zig Ziglar presents winning techniques for getting a positive response and establishing dynamic relationships. Readers discover how to project warmth, enthusiasm, and integrity to effectively use 100 creative closes to increase productivity and professionalism. And to overcome the five basic reasons people will not buy. How to deal respectfully with challenging prospects.

Double and triple your sales—in any market.

The purpose of this book is to give you a series of ideas, methods, strategies, and techniques that you can use immediately to make more sales, faster and easier than ever before.

It’s a promise of prosperity that sales guru Brian Tracy has seen fulfilled again and again. More sales people have become millionaires as a result of listening to and applying his ideas than from any other sales training process ever developed.

Do you feel like your career exists somewhere between your last sale and your next one? Are you always searching for the way to bridge the gap and create long-term success? Does it seem that somehow your life is only about your ability to perform on the job?

For too long you have bought into the idea that the business you do and the life you lead are completely separate. What Todd Duncan has learned in his twenty-two years of sales is the polar opposite: When you discover how to connect who you are and what you are about in your selling career, the results will be phenomenal and long-lasting.

No matter what industry you work in or what type of sales position you hold, adopting the practical principles in High Trust Selling will open the door to a new way of thinking and a life beyond your wildest expectations.

“Long-term sales success happens when high trust exists—when you are a trustworthy salesperson running a trustworthy sales business, and when it’s clear to your clients that you are a person of integrity who will not only do what you say but who also has the means to deliver.” —Todd Duncan

WHERE DO YOU SPEND YOUR TIME? The answer may shock you. In fact, as much as 75 percent of the time you spend at work is probably a waste of time. That’s right. 75 percent! If you’re looking to the exploding field of time-management tools for answers, you’re only wasting more time. After all, you can’t manage time. The only thing you can truly manage is what you do with your time.

If you’re ready to propel your career and your life to new heights, Time Traps is the book. And now is the time.

Endorsements:

“Time Traps teaches how balancing your time and using it effectively can get you the freedom you seek.” –Dr. Stephen R. Covey, Author of the international bestseller The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

“Todd Duncan knows what it takes to get the most out of a day, and you would be all the wiser for heeding his advice in Time Traps. It’s a career and life-changing book.” –John C. Maxwell, New York Times best-selling author of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership

“Don’t waste another second reading these quotes! Open this book and start learning how to expand your business without sacrificing your life.” –Gary Keller, Author of The Millionaire Real Estate Agent

“Todd Duncan shows you how to use your time rather than abuse it. He’ll teach you to make time an ally to become productive and prosperous. Make time to read this book.” –Mark Sanborn, Author of The Fred Factor and president of Sanborn & Associates, Inc.

There are approximately 12.2 million salespeople in the United States-that’s about 1 out of every 23 people! Salespeople are everywhere, selling everything imaginable. Some are making a killing, but a greater percentage end up victims of the sales industry-and their own mistakes. Some are normal bumps in the road toward success. Others are more damaging. But many are fatal to a career.

Duncan addresses these catastrophic mistakes with clarity and directness. Whether you’re a seasoned sales professional or someone considering sales as a career, Duncan’s wisdom can help you avoid errors in perception, practice, and performance that could not only kill a sale but also your career.

Imbalance is natural. The key is to make it purposeful.

In Life on the Wire, New York Times best-selling author Todd Duncan challenges the status quo in search of a better, smarter way to work and live. He profiles several people striking out to find “balance.” You’ll meet an entrepreneur, a bartender, and an accountant, among others. You’ll hear their stories, their challenges, their insights, and the critical lessons they learned.

Duncan contends the last thing we need amid life’s inherent imbalance is another attempt at a how-to formula for perfect balance―equal parts work and life. In fact, he argues that such a holy grail does not exist. Instead, he has issued a more pragmatic formula he calls purposeful imbalance: the process of purposefully leaning toward work without sacrificing life and purposefully leaning toward life without damaging your career. It is precisely the way a tight-rope walker makes his way across a one-inch rope without falling.

“I’ve always believed that when you’re at work, you should work hard, and when you’re at home, you should play hard. That’s easy to say, but for a lot of people it’s hard to do. In Life on the Wire, Todd Duncan clears up the myth about the ‘balanced’ life and shows you how to rejoice in the purposeful—and planned— imbalanced life.”

—Dave Ramsey, Best-Selling author and host of The Dave Ramsey Show

A business classic endorsed by Dale Carnegie, How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling is for anyone whose job it is to sell. Whether you are selling houses or mutual funds, advertisements or ideas—or anything else—this book is for you.

When Frank Bettger was twenty-nine he was a failed insurance salesman. By the time he was forty he owned a country estate and could have retired. What are the selling secrets that turned Bettger’s life around from defeat to unparalleled success and fame as one of the highest paid salesmen in America?

The answer is inside How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling. Bettger reveals his personal experiences and explains the foolproof principles that he developed and perfected. He shares instructive anecdotes and step-by-step guidelines on how to develop the style, spirit, and presence of a winning salesperson. No matter what you sell, you will be more efficient and profitable—and more valuable to your company—when you apply Bettger’s keen insights on:

• The power of enthusiasm
• How to conquer fear
• The key word for turning a skeptical client into an enthusiastic buyer
• The quickest way to win confidence
• Seven golden rules for closing a sale

In a world inundated with sales books on getting to yes, this book recommends just the opposite, focusing on how increasing your failure rate can greatly accelerate your movement toward ultimate success. Go for No! chronicles four days in the life of fictional character Eric Bratton, a call reluctant copier salesman who wakes up one morning to find himself in a strange house with no idea of how he got there. But this house doesn t belong to just anyone! It belongs to him… a wildly successful, ten years in the future version of the person he could become if he learns to overcome his self-limiting beliefs and overcome his fear of failure. Through the dialogue of the two main characters the authors have fashioned an entertaining story to present the key concepts essential to sales success. Readers learn… …What it takes to outperform 92% of the world s salespeople …That failing and failure are two very different things … Why it s important to celebrate success and failure … How to get past failures quickly and move on …That the most empowering word in the world is not yes… it s NO! Written to be intentionally short and to the point, Go for No! is a quick, fun read with valuable lessons that can change the way you think, sell, and live!

The new edition of the bestselling business development guide Book Yourself Solid, Second Edition reveals why self-promotion is a critical factor to success, giving you a unique perspective that makes this guide much more than an ordinary “how to” manual for getting more clients and raising a business profile.

Book Yourself Solid, Second Edition enables you to adopt the right promotional perspective and provides the strategies, techniques, and skills necessary to get more clients and increase profits. Through verbal and written exercises, you’ll discover the keys to developing a strong marketing plan and brand image.

Features unique, personalized, updated social media marketing strategies for service professionals
Provides new pricing models and sales strategies for simpler selling
Delivers fresh networking and outreach strategies guaranteed to take only minutes a day
Offers new solid product launch strategies and tactics for creating instant awareness
Author a New York Times bestseller, TV personality, and highly recognized professional speaker
Get the proven tools you can put into effect today with Book Yourself Solid, Second Edition, and watch your business grow exponentially!

#1 New York Times Business Bestseller, #1 Wall Street Journal Business Bestseller. #1 Washington Post bestseller

From the bestselling author of Drive and A Whole New Mind comes a surprising–and surprisingly useful–new book that explores the power of selling in our lives.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, one in nine Americans works in sales. Every day more than fifteen million people earn their keep by persuading someone else to make a purchase.

But dig deeper and a startling truth emerges:

Yes, one in nine Americans works in sales. But so do the other eight.

Whether we’re employees pitching colleagues on a new idea, entrepreneurs enticing funders to invest, or parents and teachers cajoling children to study, we spend our days trying to move others. Like it or not, we’re all in sales now.

To Sell Is Human offers a fresh look at the art and science of selling. As he did in Drive and A Whole New Mind, Daniel H. Pink draws on a rich trove of social science for his counterintuitive insights. He reveals the new ABCs of moving others (it’s no longer “Always Be Closing”), explains why extraverts don’t make the best salespeople, and shows how giving people an “off-ramp” for their actions can matter more than actually changing their minds.

Along the way, Pink describes the six successors to the elevator pitch, the three rules for understanding another’s perspective, the five frames that can make your message clearer and more persuasive, and much more. The result is a perceptive and practical book–one that will change how you see the world and transform what you do at work, at school, and at home.

Chet Holmes helps his clients blow away both the competition and their own expectations. And his advice starts with one simple concept: focus! Instead of trying to master four thousand strategies to improve your business, zero in on the few essential skill areas that make the big difference.

The Ultimate Sales Machine shows you how to tune up and soup up virtually every part of your business by spending just an hour per week on each impact area you want to improve—sales, marketing, management, and more.

What’s the secret to sales success? If you’re like most business leaders, you’d say it’s fundamentally about relationships-and you’d be wrong. The best salespeople don’t just build relationships with customers. They challenge them.

The need to understand what top-performing reps are doing that their average performing colleagues are not drove Matthew Dixon, Brent Adamson, and their colleagues at Corporate Executive Board to investigate the skills, behaviors, knowledge, and attitudes that matter most for high performance. And what they discovered may be the biggest shock to conventional sales wisdom in decades.

Based on an exhaustive study of thousands of sales reps across multiple industries and geographies, The Challenger Sale argues that classic relationship building is a losing approach, especially when it comes to selling complex, large-scale business-to-business solutions. The authors’ study found that every sales rep in the world falls into one of five distinct profiles, and while all of these types of reps can deliver average sales performance, only one-the Challenger- delivers consistently high performance.

Instead of bludgeoning customers with endless facts and features about their company and products, Challengers approach customers with unique insights about how they can save or make money. They tailor their sales message to the customer’s specific needs and objectives. Rather than acquiescing to the customer’s every demand or objection, they are assertive, pushing back when necessary and taking control of the sale.

The things that make Challengers unique are replicable and teachable to the average sales rep. Once you understand how to identify the Challengers in your organization, you can model their approach and embed it throughout your sales force. The authors explain how almost any average-performing rep, once equipped with the right tools, can successfully reframe customers’ expectations and deliver a distinctive purchase experience that drives higher levels of customer loyalty and, ultimately, greater growth.

What you are today is not important… for in this runaway bestseller you will learn how to change your life by applying the secrets you are about to discover in the ancient scrolls.

In the age of e-mail and instant communication, great sales copy is indispensable to closing a deal. But too many sales letters end up in the junk file or the wastebasket. In this new edition of his top-selling book, author Dan Kennedy explains why some sales letters work and most don’t. And he shows how to write copy that any business can use.

Among other things, he provides:
Completely updated text and examples
Great headline formulas
New exercises to spark creativity
The best way to use graphics
Kennedy is the most successful, highly paid direct-response copywriter in the country. In this book, he shares his step-by-step formula so everyone can write letters that will nail the sale.

Didn’t see your favorite sales book on the list? Leave the title in the comment section below and maybe I’ll add it to the list.

    Tim has spent the last 22 years in the VB sales world. During that time he has recruited and trained over 2,000 agents to get people to do what they should, but wouldn't do if we didn't come along. In addition to his leadership rolls at the two largest VB carriers on the planet, Tim has worked with outside organizations through consulting and sales coaching. His energetic and humorous key note addresses have also inspired and electrified audiences throughout the United States. Currently Tim is also working on his first book "Success Is Voluntary."

    Tim and the lovely Dizzy D reside in Peoria, Arizona. They have been married for 29 years and are the proud parent of two gorgeous grown young women, Brittny 27 and Victoria 25.

    Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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