September 2, 2016


There are hundreds of volumes written on the subject of sales. However, if you were to ask a number of top sales professionals which books they found most useful, you would start to see some titles begin to repeat.

Here is my list of ten must-read books used in top sales training programs and seminars.

How to Become a Rainmaker – by Jeffrey Fox

Definitely on the motivational side, this volume is meant to be read in small installments. Short but sweet chapters tell one story and explain one concept at a time. Written in a direct, easy to understand style and full of colorful hyperbole. (“Show me the money!”)

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People – Dr. Stephen Covey

A classic of the genre with a place on bookshelves across the world. The summary and system of an accomplished man and his common sense ‘habits’ written with empathy and thoughtfulness. Covey’s approach emphasizes shared success and experience and discusses the idea of synergy.

The Power of Positive Thinking – Dr. Norman Vincent Peale

Written by an Episcopalian minister, this book reinforces the idea (one as old as Epictetus) that self-perspective in a situation can change the eventual outcomes of situations. While largely harmless, he was criticized by psychiatrists for relying too heavily on anecdotal evidence for his process.

How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie

Possibly the sales Bible and the prototype of what would later become the self-help movement, Carnegie’s timeless tome is as relevant now as when he first wrote it. Back-to-basics sales techniques paired with an intense focus on active listening and solving problems, the book continues to be used and applied in many different settings.

How to Close Every Sale – Joe Girard

If you’re looking for a top sales training program primer, this is the book for you. Penned by an epic car salesman, his no-nonsense approach to sales is straightforward and a great start for further reading on sales.

Secrets of Closing the Sale – Zig Ziglar

The legendary late Zig Ziglar saw his words and ideas spread by thousands of business professionals for years, and this is his touchstone work. It boils down to act for a prospect instead of acting to manipulate a prospect. A must for all top sales training programs and seminars.

The Trusted Advisor – David Maister

A psychologically trenchant book, Maister approaches sales training by focusing on building trust relationships and gaining full cooperation from others before stepping in to lead and solve problems. A great read for anyone looking to improve their EQ; learning to empathize with co-workers and prospects alike.

Action Selling – Duane Sparks

A slim volume that still packs a punch, this book uses a storytelling format to convey meat and potatoes sale techniques that can be applied to many different situations.

Solution Selling – Michael Bosworth

What must now sound like a familiar concept, this book popularized incorporating unusual pitches for intangible or hard to sell products as well as asking the prospect the right questions and really figuring out if they have a problem you can solve.

The Psychology of Selling – Brian Tracy

An overview of what it takes to enter the mindset of a successful salesperson. Some of the content, while dated, is still full of approachable, entry-level truisms about approaching prospects and how to conduct oneself.

Did I miss a book you’d recommend? Comment below!