Seven books for reluctant sales people

 I’ve always sought out books that have offered a take on sales and selling that is human centered. That accept that we are people first and foremost and then create a way to think and act that helps to encourage useful communication and relationship building. For me these titles offer much. They explore the skills of selling: listening, asking good questions and having something to say. They also explore what’s happening for you, the person doing the selling. Just what is the conversation you are having with yourself?

They would suit you if your role involves building relationships but you cringe at the word ‘sales.’ Or also if you’re a seasoned seller, looking to reflect on your approach to move forward.

To Sell is Human: Daniel Pink This book does what its title suggests, namely to humanise sales and demystify it. It is useful in that it will take the fear and loathing of the process away and replace it with some sound principles and action to move you forward without feeling your toes curling.

Start with Why: Simon Sinek A classic that explores how most companies start from the wrong end of their proposition- namely what they do and then explain how they do it, without really getting to why. Useful if you are looking for a different approach to presenting your purpose as a way to sell your work.

The Inner Game Series: Tim Gallwey Tim Gallwey has written four books on the inner game. This is the interaction we have within ourselves that can make or break any success we are trying to achieve. The books are all called “The Inner Game of….”. There’s tennis, skiing, golf and work. Whether you’re into sport or not, you’ll find these books really useful in understanding your own thinking, how you get in your way and how you can clear a path for yourself to think and act.

Principled Selling: David Tovey An end to end process for approaching selling that starts from the premise that you can sell and hang on to your principles, the values that make you human.

Difficult Conversations: Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton and Sheila Heen If you see selling as a difficult conversation then this could be the book for you. This will give you a framework to understand why selling and a host of other conversations are difficult and with this, the knowledge and confidence to engage in them, with the hope of a better outcome.

Time to Think: Nancy Kline The ultimate book on listening. This will blow your mind and prove that the quality of your listening can improve the quality of the thinking of the person you are listening to. Buy this book. It will make you re-evaluate the way you listen in ways that will benefit you, your relationships and every aspect of your life.

Give and Take: Adam Grant A fresh and relevant approach to human interaction. Based on extensive research, this approach takes the view that in human interaction, giving is the act that gets people to where they want to be, more consistently than taking or trading. But it has its dangers. This book offers great advice on how to give in the right way to succeed.

What do you think? What book on communication and sales has had an impact on you? Get in touch and let me know.

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