SALES

5 Best Sales Books of 2013

2013 was a banner year for great sales books. Here are my picks for the best of the best.
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Last month, I posted the 5 Most Inspirational Books of 2013.  Those books provide a foundation for success but (as most of you already realize), it's your ability to sell that will determine if you're truly success.

With that in mind, here are the best of the best sales books that were published last year.  All of them are "must reads" for anyone serious about making serious money in business.

5. To Sell Is Human

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Subtitle: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others

Author: Daniel H. Pink

Why You Should Read It: While the sample "pitches" Pink gives are fairly dreadful, the main point of this book is that everyone is selling all the time.  This observation is crucial to understanding both business specifically and human beings in general.

Best Quote: "Selling in all its dimensions--whether pushing Buicks on a car lot or pitching ideas in a meeting--has changed more in the last ten years than it did over the previous hundred."

4. Pick Up the Damn Phone!

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Subtitle: How People, Not Technology, Seal the Deal

Author: Joanne Black

Why You Should Read It: In this easy read, referral-selling expert Black explains how to transcend technology and make connections with real people.

Best Quote: "Even with whisper-light computing power and immediate, 140-character Twitter posts, we are a face-to-face species, one that thrives on interpersonal communication and being in the presence of like-minded individuals."

3. The Customer Rules

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Subtitle: The 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Service

Author: Lee Cockerell

Why You Should Read It: The reason that most customers give for buying elsewhere is that they got bad customer service.  This book explains how to turn service into something that creates new customers, rather than driving away existing ones.  It's also an absurdly easy read.

Best Quote: "At the end of the day, everything a business leader does is in the service of customer service."

2. 80/20 Sales and Marketing

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Subtitle: : The Definitive Guide to Working Less and Making More

Author: Perry Marshall

Why You Should Read It: This is a definitive guide to the way that that the Pareto principle plays itself out in sales and in time management.  I've posted about this in the past, but this book really drives the point home.

Best Quote: "If you have 30 customers, you're tempted to treat them all the same.  Well, they're not really the same at all.  Odds are [that] 20 percent of your business comes from just one of them."

1. The 21.5 Unbreakable Laws of Selling

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Subtitle: Proven Actions You Must Take to Make Easier, Faster, Bigger Sales....Now and Forever

Author: Jeffrey Gitomer

Why You Should Read It: When it comes to selling, anything by Gitomer is worth reading.  This book contains the essence of his current thinking and therefore should be in every sales library.

Best Quote: "Figure out where your value message is with respect to your customer perception of it and their willingness to receive it.  Then do the one thing that 95% of salespeople will not do: work your ass off.  Today."

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IMAGE: Getty
Last updated: Dec 10, 2013

GEOFFREY JAMES | Columnist

Geoffrey James is an author, speaker, and award-winning blogger. Originally a system architect, brand manager, and industry analyst inside two Fortune 100 companies, he's interviewed over a thousand successful executives, managers, entrepreneurs, and gurus to discover how business really works. His most recent book is Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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