Top 20 Best Sales Books

Reading is a gift that my Mom gave to me as a little guy by reading to me and by watching her read a book or two a week back in “the day”.  The ability to expand my perspective and ideas through the words of others has served me very well  over the years in my sales career and in life.  I am a Kindle advocate and use it (or the Kindle iPhone App) most every day.

I recently came across a post (using my RSS reader by the way) from the SalesHQ site (recommended) that shares their list of the 20 Best Sales Books. Follow the link to read a brief review of each book for those that you have not read.  Here is the list of titles in no particular order:

  1. Little Red Book of Selling – Jeffrey Gitomer
  2. The Game – Neil Strauss
  3. Presentation Zen – Garr Reynolds
  4. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Cold Calling – Keith Rosen
  5. Sales 2.0 for Dummies – David Thompson with Elaine Marmel
  6. How to Master the Art of Selling – Tom Hopkins
  7. Selling the Invisible – Harry Beckwith
  8. The Psychology of Selling – Brian Tracy
  9. Attitude 101 – John C. Maxwell
  10. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff – Richard Carlson
  11. Dog Eat Dog and Vice Versa – Jerry Rossi
  12. Secrets of Closing the Sale – Zig Zigler
  13. Secrets of Question Based Selling – Thomas Freese
  14. The Greatest Salesman in the World – Og Mandino
  15. Selling to Big Companies – Jill Konrath
  16. How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
  17. The Art of War – Sun Tzu
  18. Covert Persuasion – Kevin Hogan
  19. The Definitive Book of Body Language – Allan Pease
  20. Raven – Tim Reiterman

The danger of creating a list like this is that there will inevitably be books left off and an argument over books included.  Which book do you think should be on the list?  Leave your thoughts and recommendations below for all to read.

  • 1.) Spin Selling – Neil Rackham
    2.) The Tipping Point – Malcolm Gladwell
    3.) Selling to V.I.T.O. – Anthony Parinello

  • I am currently reading Small Giants (Businesses that chose to be great instead of big) and I love it. Lots of good stuff on what makes mojo.

  • Ziglar on Selling by Zig Ziglar

  • I have to admit that my all-time favorite is Selling to Big Companies!

  • Many additional all-time favorites are being added here! Selling to V.I.T.O. was a big influence for me. And yes Jill, “Selling to Big Companies” is in my top three as well. My first copy was dog-eared and almost completely covered in yellow highlighter so I bought the Kindle version so that I can read it without all the notes and highlighting!

    Keep your recommended books coming! I added a new one to my reading list recommended by Mary titled: “Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big” by Bo Burlingham. Looks great Mary.

  • kevin

    Good to Great and Lincoln on Leadership are great books. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill dates me but it was (and is) a classic.

  • A particular favourite of mine is Solution Selling: Creating Buyers in Difficult Selling Markets by Michael T. Bosworth

  • 1) The Real Secrets of the Top 20% – Mike Brooks
    2) Power Principles – Jeb Blount
    3) No Bull Selling -Hank Trisler
    4) Selling to Big Companies – Jill Konrath
    5) How to Win Friends and Influence Others – Dale Carnegie
    6) Negotiation Rules – Jeanette Nyden

  • Stan Bowers

    How to Master the Art of Selling by Tom Hopkins has been on my nightstand for 13 years. It was the best $12.95 that I ever spent.

  • Added vote for Selling to V.I.T.O. and the follow-up book – Five Minutes With VITO, Anthony Parinello and David Mattson.

    Selling to Big Companies; but, does Jill really get to vote for her own book? 🙂

    Also, Strategic Selling by Robert Miller and Stephen Heiman.

    But, seriously, how does anyone stop at 20 books?

    • Phil, thanks for the additions to the list. One thing I have learned about Jill is she gets to do whatever she wants 🙂

      Jeb, Looks like you take this sales thing seriously. I recommend SalesMakers visit Jeb’s website for plenty of useful content and ideas: http://www.salesgravy.com

      and Colly, Mr. Bosworth’s book has been extra valuable during our recent challenges.

      Stan’s comments made me think about some of my “old friends”, books that I have not read through for some time. I will be going through some of my old boxes this weekend to see what I find.

  • I have over 200 books on selling (and have given another 50 or so away), and have written a couple myself – but I’d have to say that my favorites are both obvious choices and not so… – for example:
    1. Selling to Big Companies
    2. SPIN Selling
    3. The Power to Get In (Michael Boylan) – a great read on internal leverage
    4. Discover Your Sales Strengths (Smith/Rutigliano) – excellent
    5. Let’s Get Real or Let’s Not Play (Mahan Khalsa)

  • Ali

    I see a lot of people recomending, “Selling to Big Companies” so I think I’m going to purchase that one ASAP!

    Thanks everyone!
    -Ali

  • Kathi

    The Psychology of Persuasion-Dr. Robert Cialdini is one of my favorites.
    So many good books from which to choose!

  • How disappointing it must be for fans of

    Baseline Selling – How to Become a Sales Superstar by Using What You Already Know about the Game of Baseball to not see their favorite book on the list!

    Most of my favorites aren’t actually sales books, like:

    Mastery by George Leonard
    All You Can Do is All You Can Do by Al Williams
    How to Drive Your Competition Crazy by Guy Kawasaki
    Made to Stick by the Shea Brothers
    The Inside Advantage by Bob Bloom

    • Dave, Nicely done pitch! And yes, your book is deserving to be on this list. Please share a few of your key points for our readers to consider.

  • Mike Thornton

    Dave Kurlan’s “Baseline Selling: How to become a Sales Superstar by using what you already know about Baseball” is the best Sales book I’ve ever read. And a great read!

  • JC Alonzo

    Several years ago, while a VAR branch manager, the SVP of Sales asked the management team to find a sales book to get new client sales moving. We were directed to find a book that was motivational, provided a quantifiable methodology and was quick to read, preferably in one sitting. We started with almost all the above mentioned “classics” and several more.

    After a six month evaluation period and eight meetings, we decided upon “Red-Hot Cold Call Selling”, by Paul S. Goldner.

    This book met our criteria and, combined with an incentive program, resulted in significant new business within one quarter. Almost all branches blew out their quotas, and our growth continued until our company was bought out a year later.

    Creating a list of “best” is always difficult. Each of these books fulfills a different type of sales environment and criteria. For warm and cold calling, the Goldner book is still one of my favorites.

    • JC, Thanks for Recommending “Red-Hot Cold Call Selling”. Great point on each book providing guidance on different aspects, stages and types of sales. Great to have you as a Fill the Funnel fan. Help us spread the word with the Tweet and Digg buttons above.

  • Pingback: Twitter Trackbacks for Top 20 Best Sales Books [fillthefunnel.com] on Topsy.com()

  • Arak

    SECRETS OF SELLING by Zig Ziglar is one of the all-times greatest books on Selling!!

    • No argument from me Arak. I have been a fan of Ziglar’s work since my earliest sales days. He gets to the heart of the human element of selling better than most others. A classic for the ages in my opinion.

  • SeanPSalesCoach

    Thats a rogues gallery of sales books if I’ve ever seen one.

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