The only things that will help you improve your performance are enhancing your knowledge of sales theory and practicing what you learn. If you can’t find a good sales training course then you’ll be dependent on more accessible resources. Luckily, there are a variety of affordable resources that can help you begin improving on theory and practice.
Following is the reading list I recommend beginning with. Unlike the majority of sales books out there these are useful and proven.
(BTW, 95% of sales books are a waste of time. They’re either fluff or based on an individual stars personal method…typically very rooted in that persons individual personality style rather than a replicable technique. Moreover, I have found that most sales books that aren’t a complete waste of time are usually derivative of the ones I list below).
What makes these great are that they’re either based on research or contain lessons that are applicable in the modern real world of selling.
1. SPIN Selling:
Research based and amazing. This is the bible of sales technique, when it comes to the practical application of open and closed questions for the purpose of pain discovery and needs assessment. It gives you a very practical formula for persuasion and taking control of your conversations.
It comes in an audio book too, but I WOULD NOT buy it. The reader is awful.
An excellent guide that offers a variety of practical sales techniques and theories. It is more of a general book on sales rather one that focuses on a specific element of selling, like SPIN. One of the beauties of this book is that all of the lessons are delivered very concisely with a learning emphasis that tests your knowledge after each portion.
Another fantastic research based sales book, with a forward by Neil Rackham, author of SPIN Selling. This is a great guide to understanding the top personas in the modern high value sales game and how to emulate its top performers.
Last, but not least is this great book by Jeffrey Gitomer. In my experience, there is no sales expert whose material is more regurgitated or plagiarized than Jeffrey Gitomer. I’ve sat in entire sales training sessions completely lifted from Gitomer’s materials. This book is great in terms of overall sales theory and philosophy. It covers everything from sales technique to attitude, from personal productivity to motivation. All of his books are worth buying, but this one in particular is particularly valuable.
All of his audio books are worth buying.
Now as great as these are, you have to combine theory with practice. If you don’t implement what you learn here then it’s not going to have any effect in the short or long run. Most important of all, don’t stop with these…keep learning and finding new resources. Don’t consider anything the definitive or final guide in selling.
Keep sharpening the saw.
Now, go and do likewise!