7 Must-Read Sales Books for Beginners

Chances are, you do it every day in your business: when you listen to what a customer needs, when you demonstrate your product, when you troubleshoot a service issue. Each is an important aspect of that dreaded word—sales. But hold on, “sales” means something else today. And the better you are at it, the more you can grow your business. Want to develop your selling skills? Start with these must-read books.

Unfortunately, most people think sales is the used-car dealer twisting someone’s arm to meet their monthly quota. But today’s sales professionals take a different approach. They know long-term success is about developing relationships with people first, listening to what they need, then working to find a solution.

Take a look at these best-selling books and sharpen you sales skills to fit today’s consumer:


Fanatical Prospecting

Jeb Blount

One of the most difficult parts of selling is finding people to talk to. This is a real-world guide to opening up conversations with new customers using social selling, telephone, email, and text. It also shows you how to manage the process so you always have a list of people you can contact. That makes new customer acquisition a regular part of your business day, eliminating the ups and downs of prospecting.


How to Be A Great Salesperson . . . By Monday Morning!

David Cook

Learn how to present your product in a way that shows how it benefits your customer. It includes tips on asking open-ended questions to learn more, managing the sales cycle, and how to ask for the sale.


Influence: The Power of Persuasion

Robert Cialdini

Instead of providing selling tips, this books provides insights into why people say “yes.” It’s based on the author’s 35 years of research into human behavior. The result is six principles that you can use to influence how people perceive your product or service.


Secrets of Closing the Sale

(Zig Zigler)

A classic from this late legend in the field of sales. He too believed in the importance of building trust. You’ll get advice on the nuts and bolts of sales, including overcoming objections, how to tailor a message even to skeptical people, and how to listen for when it’s time to close the sale. His motivational, sometimes humorous message, makes it easy to get up to speed on sales techniques.


The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea

Bob Burg

Written as a parable rather than a how-to book, this takes you through the fictional story of Joe, the salesman who seeks advice from a sage-old expert. The morale of the story is to put the customer’s interests first and add value to their lives. It’s a quick but inspirational read.


To Sell is Human

Daniel Pink

A practical look at the art and science of sales in today’s world, whether or not you call yourself a salesperson. Topics include: making your message clearer and more persuasive, three rules for understanding another’s perspective, and other researched-based best practices.


Unlock The Sales Game: New Trust-Based Selling Strategies To Finally Create Your Sales Breakthrough

Ari Galper

This is a must-read if you don’t see yourself as the used car salesman type. It challenges the status quo of traditional sales and instead focuses on building authentic relationships. You’ll learn how to develop a language of trust with prospects, then work together to uncover needs and present solutions. Rather than memorizing scripts, he shows you how to just talk with customers.


Use these books to get in touch with how successful salespeople work with today’s consumer. You’ll find it’s a more natural process that you can easily integrate into your small business. You’re likely doing some if it now. That’s welcome news, even if the thought of selling makes you uncomfortable.

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