21 Books That Will Change the Way You Sell

Question: What's one must-read book for honing your sales skills?

"Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion" by Robert B. Cialdini

"Whether you think you're in "sales" or not, all entrepreneurs are selling something -- even if it's "just" an idea -- and Robert B. Cialdini's "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion" is a great resource for learning how people think and make decisions in a practical way. At the very least, you'll start to recognize your own decision making patterns and avoid traps."

"Cashvertising" by Drew Eric Whitman

"Want to know the triggers that really convince people to buy your product? "Cashvertising" and its "Life Force 8" is one of the best resources I've ever found for your sales skills, and copywriting skills in particular."


"SPIN Selling" by Neil Rackham

"We're big fans of Neil Rackham's SPIN Selling here at ReTargeter. The book focuses on developing a deep understanding of customer's needs, which meshes well with our consultative sales process. Instead of teaching your sales team how to "win" sales through high-pressure tactics that make your prospects feel uncomfortable, the book conceives of salespeople as solution-finders and trusted partners."

- Arjun Arora | Chairman of the Board & Founder , ReTargeter
"How To Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie

"It's the Bible of people skills for a reason and has sold over 15 million copies. If there is one must read book I mention to anyone working in sales, its Carnegie's classic."

- Josh Weiss | Founder and President, Bluegala
"Words That Sell" by Richard Bayan

"This book is a great copywriting handbook, but it also helps you fine tune your language. The way you speak and write is so important for delivering your message and making the sale, and this book helps you find the right words to do it."

"The Art of War" by Sun Tzu

"I've read at least 30 different versions of this book. The way its fundamentals are applied to different business strategies keeps me on my toes and ready to take on any challenge."

- Roger Bryan | Managing Partner, Enfusen Digital Marketing
"The Secret of Selling Anything" by Harry Browne

"The best sales book I've ever read is The Secret of Selling Anything by Harry Browne. I'm an introvert, and this book showed me how to sell effectively without being too pushy. As you'll discover when you read the book, the true secret of selling anything is to listen carefully and ask the right questions."

- Pete Kennedy | Founder and Chief Marketing Officer, Main Street ROI
"Pitch Anything" by Oren Klaff

"My entire sales strategy is based on the techniques and principles written in "Pitch Anything" by Oren Klaff. I have closed $100K+ deals with the largest cosmetic company in the US, the largest natural and organic foods grocery market in the US, and a 175-unit restaurant franchise. I'm 26 years old and have closed deals with 50+ year-olds. The techniques in the book really do work!"

- Jun Loayza | Chief Marketing Officer, Bunny Inc
"The Wedge" by Randy Schwantz

"This book is a pioneering read for how to "stop selling and start winning." The idea is that before making a sale, you need to create a wedge between your customer and the current alternative for your product or service. It's a fast read, and a fantastic one at that. It will help you hone your sales skills by showing you how to break down the sales process into actionable bits."

- Doreen Bloch | CEO & Founder, Poshly Inc.
"Enchantment" by Guy Kawasaki

"Selling is a part of the bigger whole of marketing, and Kawasaki makes that clear in this book He also sets out clear methods for letting customers sell themselves on the value of your products and services — truly the best way for making a sale."

- Thursday Bram | Content Consultant, Hyper Modern Consulting

"Never Eat Alone" by Keith Ferrazzi

"Keith Ferrazzi's "Never Eat Alone" was immensely helpful because it taught me to view sales as a process of building genuine relationships, and to build relationships outside my field that could be helpful down the line."

- Garrett Neiman | Co-founder and CEO, CollegeSpring
"Purple Cow" by Seth Godin

"I would highly recommend "Purple Cow" by Seth Godin. It provided me with a lot of practical advice that helped me streamline my focus and strategize effectively. Perhaps the most valuable piece of advice it gave me was that when starting a new business, one has to make sure it has at least one element that makes it remarkable and sets it apart from the competition."

- Zach Cutler | Founder and CEO, Cutler Group

"Buyology" by Martin Lindstrom

"Buyology is a really interesting, science based book based on a 3-year, $7 million neuromarketing study of 2000 volunteers. Filled with stories about Marlboro, Corona and American Idol, this insightful book is well worth reading in order to better understand what makes consumers tick, and how we as entrepreneurs can motivate them to take action."

- Matt Mickiewicz | CEO & Co-Founder, Hired

“Selling the Invisible” by Harry Beckwith

"I enjoyed “Selling the Invisible” by Harry Beckwith. It helped me look at the way we sell a bit differently – I learned that the dynamics of making a purchasing decision were not what I thought they were."

"17 Highly Guarded Strategies to Close Every Sale, Guaranteed" by John Di Lemme

"This book by John Di Lemme a good one (http://www.free-ebooks.net/ebook/17-Highly-Guarded-Strategies-to-Close-Open-Every-Sale-Guaranteed-Plus-How-to-Combat-the-Fear-of-Closing). While lots of sales books have cheesy covers (and this one’s no exception), not many of them have real-world sales experience to shed light on the process. This one does – even if you’re terrified of sales calls, this book will show you how to close them successfully."

"Book Yourself Solid" by Michael Port

"This is the greatest detailed book on how to generate more clients than you can handle. It took me a while to finally get around to buying the book, and now I'm kicking myself for the money I've lost. His no-nonsense message, scripts and worksheets are also rooted in relationship, connection, and value creation."


"The Sandler Rules" by David Mattson

"It's a very good book that teaches you how to build a relationship beyond just the sale."

"Major Account Sales Strategy" by Neil Rackham

""Major Account Sales Strategy" is the best sales skills book I know. It has taught me how buyers think, how they make decisions, what kinds of questions to ask, and how to develop the need through language."

- Jullien Gordon | Leader of The Incomes Generation, SideHustla.com
"Getting to Yes" by Roger Fisher and William Ury

"First published in 1981, "Getting to Yes" by Roger Fisher and William Ury shows that a good in-person sale is really nothing more than a negotiation in which everyone comes out ahead."

- Peter Minton | Founder & President, Minton Law Group, P.C.
"The Sales Bible" by Jeffrey Gitomer

""The Sales Bible" is a must-read. It sounds pretty basic, but it’s a good read for developing your sales skills. This book also shows you how to succeed in any economic environment, which is very encouraging today."

"Start With Why" by Simon Sinek

"Simon Sinek's "Start with Why" is a great book for learning how to sell a product or service, or even an idea, to people. It's not a regular book that offers strategies or tactics for sales; however, it is a great guide to what makes people jump on board and want to be a part of what you are selling. It's not about what you are selling, but why you are selling it."

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.

About YEC

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

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