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7 Sales Books for Those Who Hate Selling

Hate Selling? 7 of the Best Books on Sales Just Might Change Your Mind

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You may have heard the quote “Nothing happens until a sale is made.”  If you’re a business owner who has optimized the production side of your business and now wants to start filling your funnel or pipeline with a flood of new customers, then this is the list of the best books on sales is for you.

The first thing you’re going to need if you’re going to increase sales is a flood of new prospects.  

7 of the Best Books on Sales

Best Books on Sales: Fanatical ProspectingFanatical Prospecting: The Ultimate Guide to Opening Sales Conversations and Filling the Pipeline by Leveraging Social Selling, Telephone, Email, Text, and Cold Calling

by Jeb Blount

You do NOT have a business if you aren’t selling.  And the sad fact is that most business owners HATE the idea of selling and they hate the process of selling.  Not only that, but the number one cause of business failure is … lack of new customers.  And new customers come from prospecting.  The problem is that most salespeople have been told that prospecting is “old school” and “dead”.  Author Jeb Blount believes this is complete hogwash.

In his book, Fanatical Prospecting: The Ultimate Guide to Opening Sales Conversations and Filling the Pipeline by Leveraging Social Selling, Telephone, Email, Text, and Cold Calling Blount helps you solve the prospecting puzzle by giving you a process and approach that is based on real people and in the real world — not just folks who beat the odds.  

The good news is that the key to being a “Fanatical Prospector” isn’t in having a special skill that you have to train for.  It’s in disciplining yourself to implement a series of behaviors consistently; day in and day out.  

“Fanatical prospectors carry around a pocket full of business cards.  They talk up strangers in doctors’ offices, at sporting events, in line to get coffee, in elevators, at conferences, on planes, trains and anywhere else they get in contact with potential customers.”

If you’re short on sales because you’re short on prospects and you think you are afraid of selling or prospecting.  This book will show you how to become a “Fanatical Prospector” and win at the game of sales.

Best Books on Sales: The Greatest Prospector in the WorldThe Greatest Prospector in the World: A Historically Accurate Parable on Creating Success in Sales, Business & Life

by Ken Dunn  

Enough of the textbook, guidebook, blueprint sales success reading!  How about something a little more entertaining with a lesson — a sales parable.  That’s what you’ll get with The Greatest Prospector in the World: A Historically Accurate Parable on Creating Success in Sales, Business & Life, by Ken Dunn.

“The Greatest Prospector” takes place in the early 1900’s and follows the adventures of fourth generation gold prospector Laura Dunagan, who moved from Alaska to Chicago to live with her successful uncle after the tragic death of her father. At first, Laura doesn’t like Uncle Joe because he left the gold prospecting business before she was born to go to Chicago where he built a successful insurance company.  But it’s not long before Laura finds the secret to Uncle Joe’s success and finally returns to her beloved Alaska to put his prospecting principles to use — quite literally.

Inside of this entertaining story, you’ll also pick up six golden rules that Uncle Joe learned in prospecting for gold that helped him build a secure and successful insurance company.  If you’ve been dreading the idea of prospecting for new clients — this will touch, move and inspire you.

How to Turn Prospects Into Customers

OK. You know how to get prospects and you’ve got a decent looking pipeline or marketing funnel filled with your ideal, most potentially profitable leads.  Now you have to get those folks converted into customers.

That’s where the following books take off — with the online relationship building and “on the court” task of engaging with those leads and getting them to take the next step.

Best Books on Sales: The Conversion CodeThe Conversion Code: Capture Internet Leads, Create Quality Appointments, Close More Sales

by Chris Smith

The Conversion Code: Capture Internet Leads, Create Quality Appointments, Close More Sales by Chris Smith takes you from the board room to the boiler room.  This is about as scrappy a sales book as you’re going to find written by a guy who has lived and succeeded at the hardest kind of selling there is — cold calling.

Smith has earned his expertise the hard way and isn’t afraid to share what he’s learned.  He’s done inside sales for billionaires Dan Gilbert (Quicken Loans and Cavaliers) and Lou Pearlman (Britney Spears and *NSync).  

In “The Conversion Code” Smith shares the exact process he’s used to sell millions of dollars of products and services over the phone and the process he uses at his company Curaytor, that helps small business owners skyrocket their sales.

What you hate doing is the key to the kingdom.  Smith feels automation is overrated and the silver bullet of automatic shopping cart sales is a myth.  To convert leads to customers, you have to connect.  “The Conversion Code” gives you everything you need to generate more leads, turn them into appointments and close them.  This book is one that you’ll want within arms reach for everything from Facebook posting that gets engagement to how to leverage SMS texting.  It’s a must have for sure.

Best Books on Sales: The Sales Psychology TookitThe Sales Psychology Toolkit: Unlock the Power of Psychology to Boost Your Sales

by Matt Addison

The sales process has evolved tremendously over the years.  And yet, the most successful salespeople weren’t especially trained, they simply had insights into human behavior and psychology that others didn’t.  

In The Sales Psychology Toolkit: Unlock the Power of Psychology to Boost Your Sales, author Matt Addison delves into the often hidden side of human psychology to uncover subtle changes in behavior or messaging that can literally transform your success in sales.

This is a super short (and affordable) ebook that is broken up into bite-sized chapters that you can digest quickly and easily.  None of the psychological tools in this kit are earth-shattering.  In fact, you will recognize yourself having used some of them in your more successful selling situations.  The key to this book is taking the time to learn each psychological tool, finding a place in your sales process to implement it and using the tools you’ve selected consistently.

It turns out Addison is a lot like you.  He’s a business owner with lots of experience selling everything from cars to couches.  His goal in writing this book was to share what worked for him with other small business owners who may be losing sales and not know why.

How to Overcome Sales Obstacles

If you’ve done any amount of selling, you already know that obstacles, challenges and general hate and discontent with the whole enterprise is inevitable.  Here are a few books that will get you back on track.

Best Books on Sales: Love and SellingLove and Selling: Suck Less at Selling

by Dan Smaida

In Love and Selling: Suck Less at Selling, author and sales expert Dan Smaida makes a simple comparison that selling is a lot like a romantic relationship.  And when you think about it a little longer, you’ll see that he has a point.

Smaida likes to say that there are only three steps in getting to a successful sale; building a relationship, finding the need and meeting that need.  In this book, Smaida uses his experience as a sales trainer to offer up dozens of alternatives to what so many feel are tacky and cringe-worthy sales tactics.

Most small business owners and new salespeople feel uncomfortable because the focus feels like it’s on “pushing”, when in fact, it’s much more of a “pulling” process.  The real job of the salesperson is to help the prospect find a solution to their problem.  The best way to do this is to find areas of commonality, establish trust and be of service to your customer.  Smaida frames all of these inside of relationship building and maintaining skills you’ve already mastered and that make selling fun and easy.

Best Books on Sales: Sales GrowthSales Growth: Five Proven Strategies from the World’s Sales Leaders

by Thomas Baumgartner, Homayoun Hatami and Maria Valdivieso de Uster

Sales Growth: Five Proven Strategies from the World’s Sales Leaders by Thomas Baumgartner,  Homayoun Hatami and Maria Valdivieso de Uster is based on more than 200 hundred interviews with the world’s top sales executives who share how they overcome their biggest challenges, especially finding continuous growth.  

You’ll love how the book is organized.  There are five “finding growth” strategies or sections which answer the question “HOW to find growth?” Each of those sections is supported by chapters that dig into the “WHAT to do” inside of that strategy.  For example, inside strategy one “Find Growth Before Your Competitors Do” there are chapters such as “Look Ten Quarters Ahead” and “Mine Growth Beneath the Surface”.  Each section and chapter contains interviews by sales executives from a variety of companies and from all over the world.

If you’re a small business owner who feels like your top line revenue is tapped out and you don’t have any idea of where to get more new sales, this is a book that will give you some ideas based on proven strategies.

HELP — I Still Hate Selling!

Best Books on Sales: Speak to SellSpeak To Sell: Persuade, Influence, And Establish Authority & Promote Your Products, Services, Practice, Business, or Cause

by Dan Kennedy

So, you still want to own a business but can’t STAND the idea of prospecting or selling.  Now what? Well, how about Speak To Sell: Persuade, Influence, And Establish Authority & Promote Your Products, Services, Practice, Business, or Cause  by legendary direct marketer Dan Kennedy?

While there are dozens of coaches and consultants out there who can teach you how to speak and sell, few have the credentials and quantifiable results that Kennedy has delivered (and has taught others to generate).  In fact, the “required reading” introduction goes into quite a bit of credibility building detail to prove that point.  

“Speak to Sell” is eighteen chapters of hard-hitting speaker marketing advice.  Speaking is a valid strategy for any business, but it isn’t without commensurate work toward reward.  You will have to have something to sell, you will have to have credibility and you will have to have a stage and an audience.  All of those things require a good amount of work.  But if this is work you love doing — then this is a must read.

Don’t Sell – Help People Instead

If you view sales in a negative light —  no book can help you overcome this.  If you don’t like the idea of selling — don’t sell.  Instead, be in the business of helping people.  Then go out looking for people who need your help and help them.  These books are guaranteed to help you find people to help and make money at the same time.

Books Photo via Shutterstock

Ivana Taylor Ivana Taylor is the Book Editor for Small Business Trends. She is responsible for directing the site’s book review program and manages the team of professional book reviewers. She also spearheads the annual Small Business Book Awards. Ivana publishes DIYMarketers, where she shares daily do-it-yourself marketing tips, and is co-author of "Excel for Marketing Managers."

2 Reactions
  1. Ivana,

    As a former purchaser, I have an issue with selling! 😉 I will check out this list of books for my personal development.

  2. Ivana – Excellent list. The Sales Psychology is my favorite.

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