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Do you want to become a master salesperson? How can you gain knowledge in sales?
If you want to beat out the competition in your respective market, you need to become an expert in sales. Thankfully, renowned marketing and sales experts have plenty of advice to hand out on the sales process. After reading these books, you’ll have a better chance of becoming one of the world’s top sales leaders.
Learn how to improve your sales game with the top sales books to read right now.
Becoming the Ultimate Salesperson
The world of sales is always changing, so it’s important to keep up with the latest trends so you better understand your customers. Luckily, you probably already know how to sell, even if you don’t realize it—selling is an innate human skill that helps us negotiate and debate with others. You just need to learn how to harness this skill to make more money and boost your business.
Below, we’ve rounded up the top sales books to help you transform your skills into a money-making career.
You don’t have to attend an elite institution to learn how to turn words into money, says multimillionaire entrepreneur Dan Kennedy in The Ultimate Sales Letter. Whether you’re a new business owner or just interested in writing persuasively, you can use Kennedy’s tips and strategies to craft powerful sales letters that will capture customers’ attention and make them want to buy what you’re selling.
Kennedy is a direct-response marketing consultant, speaker, and author of dozens of business books, including 10 in the popular No B.S. business book series. Originally published in 1990 and updated in 2011, The Ultimate Sales Letter provides time-tested foundational strategies in the art of persuasive writing that translate across media in the ever-evolving world of sales and marketing.
If you ask someone what they think of your business idea, they’ll almost always lie to your face to spare your feelings. However, if you ask the right questions, you can strip away these lies and receive brutal honesty from anyone—even your mom.
The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick is a practical guide on how to get meaningful feedback about your business or product. In this book, Fitzpatrick shows how to use the author’s “Mom Test” to gather objective feedback about your business idea and develop that idea into a successful product or company. He discusses how to choose the right customer segment, how to arrange conversations with customers, and how to extract the most important information from feedback conversations.
SPIN Selling by professor and consultant Neil Rackham is a practical how-to guide for making big sales. First published over 30 years ago, the book has become a sales classic. Based on pioneering research, Rackham’s sales method of questioning customers about their needs challenged 60 years of traditional sales training in hard-sell techniques. SPIN selling—asking a series of questions about the Situation, Problem, Implication, and Need-Payoff—has proven to be a durable, effective process any sales rep can learn to boost sales success.
Too often, when we pitch an idea, product, or project, we pitch it incorrectly. We use too much detail and analysis as we try to make our target’s neocortex (the analytical part of the human brain) fall in love with our concept.
Unfortunately, it’s the “croc brain,” not the neocortex, that causes falling in love. The croc brain is the more primitive part of the brain, highly attuned to recognizing danger and driven by emotions and “gut” responses. When a person encounters new information—including your pitch—she listens to it first with her croc brain, not her neocortex. If her croc brain filters it out, your message is ignored. The key to making a successful pitch is to figure out what the croc brain wants to hear.
Pitch Anything teaches you how to appeal to your target’s croc brain by understanding what makes it tick and working with its primitive instincts. The process starts by establishing your agenda and your perspective as dominant over your target’s, through what we’ll call “frame control.”
It’s long been conventional wisdom that the key to sales success is building strong relationships with customers. But the results of a huge research study of sales reps in the wake of the 2008-09 recession upended that thinking and led to a new model for business-to-business, or B2B, sales.
During the recession, business dried up for most sales reps. Yet a handful succeeded in selling despite the downturn. Researchers with the business advisory firm CEB set out to learn these reps’ secrets to selling in bad times by surveying thousands of sales reps in companies around the world.
As it turned out, the reps’ success had nothing to do with the economy and everything to do with the fact that they responded to customers’ needs in a new way: they pushed customers to think and act differently. In The Challenger Sale, authors Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson of CEB’s research arm explain this new sales approach, how to replicate it in your sales force, and why sales success today—whether in a good or bad economy—depends on it.
Martin Scorsese made Jordan Belfort famous for excess of all kinds in The Wolf of Wall Street. But behind the parties, the drugs, and the women, was a sales system that allowed Belfort to rise to the top of his industry. Now, in his own words, Belfort explains the Straight Line System that made him rich. It involves moving prospective customers directly down a line from uncertainty to certainty—that the product you’re selling is high quality, that you’re trustworthy, and that they will improve their life by working with you. The system has been used to transform the lives of salespeople, and here Belfort lays out its secrets.
People who succeed in sales have high incomes and job security. However, while many people enter the profession, only a few succeed. In fact, of every 100 salespeople, just four of them will earn as much as all the rest combined. In The Psychology of Selling, bestselling author and management consultant Brian Tracy explains how you can become one of those top salespeople by understanding how your customers think. He walks you through basic and advanced selling techniques, demonstrating how you can dramatically increase your sales success by improving your skills just a little bit consistently.
Generating new business is vital to a company’s success and to a sales career. Yet many sales reps are intimidated by having to make “cold calls”—first-time calls to potential customers to ask for their business. So, they make only half-hearted attempts to win new accounts, or they don’t try at all.
But acquiring new business—or “prospecting”—isn’t difficult. In New Sales. Simplified., veteran salesman and sales coach Mike Weinberg demystifies prospecting for both veterans and rookies. He provides a step-by-step plan for strategically selecting targets, developing sales “weapons” such as a sales story and effective cold calling, and creating an action plan for consistently generating new sales. He argues that with his plan, any salesperson can become a successful “sales hunter.”
Are you a salesperson? You might be surprised to learn that the answer to that question is, in fact, “Yes.” Hate it or love it, in the modern world, we’re all salespeople, and the value of sales skills has never been higher.
To Sell Is Human explains the history, evolution, and significance of sales. It challenges commonly held assumptions by redefining the meaning of sales, re-evaluating the purpose of the salesperson, and showing you how to effectively harness sales skills to create purpose, growth, or “movement” in your life (whether it be for personal or professional gain).
Whether we’d like to be Top Salesperson of the Month, finish writing that novel, or lose 15 pounds, we all have goals we want to attain. But doing it can be daunting. Part self-help techniques, part sales manual, and part Christian allegory, The Greatest Salesman in the World addresses ways we can establish daily habits to strengthen our resolve and character, which will help us achieve our goals. The book’s 10 principles provide a framework centered around positive thinking and self-discipline, the building blocks of any kind of self-improvement.
Mastering the art of sales doesn’t just teach you how to make more money—it teaches you how to converse with people and appeal to their desires. Sales is one of the most important interpersonal skills you can learn, and reading the top sales books is a great way to learn sales strategies that will be useful in future negotiations.
Did we miss any of the top sales books? If so, leave them in the comments below!
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