Orson De Witt said, “We don’t have to waste our time learning how to make pastry when we can use grandma’s recipes.”
In other words, you can rely solely on your own experiences to gain knowledge– but the path may be unnecessarily bumpy and not quite so fulfilling.
The same can be said about sales and growing your business.
Losing a sale because of lack of strategy will teach you a valuable lesson for the future. In order to bolster your business development strategy, consider picking up a few books to help you with sales and growing your business. Business books can do wonders for your bottom line. Whether you’re looking for new tips and advice to help you in your career or you simply want to challenge yourself, I encourage you to add these classics to your reading list.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Written by Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is about far more than sales strategies and closing deals. Rather, it is a highly transformative book that encourages readers to examine ways to help themselves be more successful in their professional and personal world. Topics include time management, productivity, and shifting life perceptions. It’s important to recognize that this isn’t a quick self-help book, but rather one that asks people to change with intentionally. The book has been around for more than 25 years and has a workbook, audio cassettes, and condensed versions available as well.
Good to Great
Another book that has become a classic, Good to Great by Jim Collins ushers readers through attaining excellence after struggling with mere mediocrity. Built on research from the 1990s about companies that unleashed tremendous success and sustained it for at least 15 years, this book pushes discipline and entrepreneurship. The content is delivered clearly and concisely with enough new suggestions for even the most seasoned veterans in the industry. This book will help understand how to build your organization by attracting the right people and putting them in the right positions.
How to Win Friends & Influence People
Despite having been originally published in 1937, How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie is surprisingly relevant no matter the year. With a keen perspective on social interactions, the author explores ways to persuade others without causing them to feel manipulated. He uses anecdotes from everyday people rather than business leaders, thereby encouraging everyone to see their potential within the chapters of the book. Some of the ideas are repeated several times, and although this could cause frustration, it actually underscores the importance of on-going reinforcement of fundamental principles and continuous learning.
The One Minute Negotiator: Simple Steps to Reach Better Agreements
Strikingly different from the other titles mentioned, The One Minute Negotiator by Don Hutson and George Lucas is clearly aligned with a salesperson’s perspective. The authors juxtapose differing approaches to negotiation. Rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, they conclude that how we handle situations must depend on the circumstances. This can range from a confrontational way of getting what we want or a more nuanced, subtle way of acquiring our wishes.
Another book distinctly geared toward the sales professional, Whale Hunting by Tom Searcy and Barbara Weaver Smith crafts a metaphor using whale hunting as a substitute for snagging whale-sized sales. It urges salespeople to forego the small sales customers and, instead, pursue the big accounts. The author outlines a clear 9-step process for making this happen.
What you’ll find interesting about these books in particular is that they simultaneously capture the essence of sales and the skills of leadership. Glean knowledge from those who have mastered both in order to increase your potential.
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Founder of RedRock Leadership