You say but I. Don’t. Like. Sales! Stop it. “Sales” doesn’t mean you’re a slimy car salesman drooling over the next quick fix. Yet, even some of these guys are high volume producers.
They have skills.
You sell yourself every day. If you’re joining my team, you’re selling yourself in the interview. Just as I’ll sell my vision to inspire you to join my team. Create enough value for our Skylink family and you’ll be hired.
Sales skills are incredibly important. It’s even more important if it’s your career. Everyday you should be learning and fine tuning your sales skills. The status quo is for mediocre producers.
High value producers know their s***. It’s as simple as that. They spend hours learning and testing.
These are my current, must read sales books to fine tune your skills. Become a high producer and continue to learn.
Jill Konrath does a great job explaining the importance of learning. It’s apart of my learn or be stupid methodology. The backbone of this book is learning new information quickly and picking up new skills fast. A must read for every new sales position. Learning quickly is crucial to landing on your feet.
Here’s some of my favorite highlights:
"We need to be quick, nimble, and responsive to the never-ending volatility we encounter from every direction."
"Agile sellers refuse to let fear, uncertainty, and doubt win. While they don’t like how the resistance makes them feel, they accept that it’s a normal part of the learning process."
"His process involves breaking new info down into discrete chunks, then searching for the “minimum effective dose.” The goal is to find the least amount of work needed to produce outstanding results fast."
"Focus initial learning on crucial “need to know” info."
"Their mind-set is one of continuous improvement. They set getting-better goals. Their “why” is personal; they know what motivates them. They dissect what they’re currently doing to find areas they can strengthen."
If you don’t know GC, get out from under the rock. This book is a go to sales resource. He is in your face, high energy and a complete value bomb. After you learn what you need to sell and the value you’ll create, read this book to fine tune all of your sales skill. Also pick-up each and every one of his books.
Here’s my favorite highlights:
"I find it comical when people tell me, “I could never be a salesperson because I could never work on commission.” I’m like, “What do you mean? Your entire life is a commission. There’s no salary guaranteed in life. The whole world is on commission and the whole world is required to sell!"
"So how do you become one of the greats in your field, one of the masters? The very first step, and the most important one, is to commit all the way! Commit: To devote oneself completely to something."
"The guy who thinks the grass is greener “over there” is the same guy who never commits to taking care of the pasture he already has. He winds up mediocre and miserable. What was he even doing looking at another pasture in the first place?"
"I carried around an “objections” notebook and wrote down every customer objection. Later I would study my notes and start to see that most of my customers were making similar comments."
"The greats can predict, a skill that comes from committing, observing, and preparing solutions. To the degree that you can predict, you can respond appropriately. Prediction is the great trait of the great salespeople."
"In order to become a great salesperson, you have to sell yourself on what you’re selling. Make this the most important sale of your life and continue making that sale over and over to yourself. You have to sell yourself completely!"
"Price is not the buyer’s biggest concern. It’s actually at the bottom of the list of reasons why people don’t buy. Most sales are lost over unspoken objections—not the obvious and apparent objections like price, payments, or budgets, but the ones that the buyer doesn’t voice."
Mike does an awesome job deconstructing sales success. Evert part of this book is valuable in it’s own right. It amazes me how many people avoid the phone, don’t understand the value they create and can't wrap up the deal. Get out a notebook for this one.
Here’s a few of my top highlights:
"I regularly see good people who excel at many aspects of selling (relationship management, customer service, problem solving, or client retention) dramatically underperform when it comes to acquiring net new business."
"People buy from people they like."
"Sometimes salespeople fail to develop new business simply because they lack the perception or relational skills that allow them to adapt to the style of the person they’re calling."
"Repeated calling on the same type of company allows us to become “experts” as we learn the language, nuances, and business issues facing similar prospects."
David Meerman Scott
This book has more of a marketing feel to it. I’m a firm believer that marketing and sales are the same thing. They both must speak the same language, they both must be laser focused on lead generation and conversion and most importantly they both must prove why you’re different.
Here’s a few of my top highlights:
"Salespeople can't hoard information like they used to, because it's all available on the web. So the smart ones have transformed themselves into a sort of information broker, serving up the perfect content to each buyer at the right time."
"Your salespeople should assume that they are the last place a buyer goes, not the first. They must assume that very little of their knowledge is proprietary. They need to facilitate the sale, not control the information."
"Closing the gap between marketing and sales means the marketing staff needs to be the buyer expert, not just the product expert. They need to focus on buyer personas. It's not about posters or pretty slides. It's about having deep and factual clarity about how markets full of buyers think about doing business with the company. That's when marketing is ready to deliver tremendous value to the sales process."
Once you get the sale, it’s not over. Generating positive reviews and referrals is now the next step. People will not buy from people they don't like. Jeb does a great job explaining the importance of this.
Here’s my favorite highlights:
"Every touch point, every time you or someone in your company engages a customer, it creates an experience, something they remember. When people have positive emotional experiences, it anchors them to your brand, your product or service, and to you. When they have a negative experience, they tend to vote with their feet and their wallets and head straight to your competitors."
"Customers are people. They are emotional, irrational, and human."
"Because customers are people, they choose to do things for their reasons—not yours."
"So instead, focus on what you can control—your actions. Your customer pays you for a product, service, or plane ride. Your choices in that exchange are to give them (1) less value than they paid for, (2) exactly the value they paid for, or (3) more value than they paid for. You have complete control over that choice. When you give more, your effort does not go unnoticed because it is in our nature as humans to recognize people who go the extra mile for us."
Prospecting is a big deal. Keep on a look out for his new book, Fanatical Prospecting.
Those are currently my top 5 go to sales books. Continue to learn, continue to sharpen your sales saw and continue to dominate as a sales leader.