Episode 144: Top 10 Sales Books to Buy on Cyber Monday
Resident hosts Brynne Tillman and Bob Woods share the top 10 sales books that they believe should be on every sales professional’s bookshelf. These are books that have greatly influenced them most, so make sure you check them out and gain newfound knowledge that can help you with your business.
- The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson
- The Little Black Book of Connections: 6.5 Assets for Networking Your Way to Rich Relationships by Jeffrey Gitomer
- Endless Referrals by Bob Burg
- The Go-Giver, Expanded Edition: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea by Bob Burg and John David Mann
- Whale Hunting: How to Land Big Sales and Transform Your Company by Barbara Weaver Smith
- Masters of Scale: Surprising Truths from the World’s Most Successful Entrepreneurs by Reid Hoffman
- Uncopyable Sales Secrets: How to Create an Unfair Advantage and Outsell Your Competition by Kay Miller
- Gap Selling: Getting the Customer to Yes: How Problem-Centric Selling Increases Sales by Changing Everything You Know About Relationships, Overcoming Objections, Closing and Price by Keenan
- Everybody Writes: Your New and Improved Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content by Ann Handley
- Cigars, Whiskey and Winning: Leadership Lessons from General Ulysses S. Grant by Al Kaltman
There were also other books mentioned that you may also want to look up:
- BusinessOutside: Discover Your Path Forward by Bart Foster
- DISCOVER Questions Get You Connected: for professional sellers by Deb Calvert
- Do It! Marketing: 77 Instant-Action Ideas to Boost Sales, Maximize Profits, and Crush Your Competition by David Newman
- Small List, Big Results: Launch a Successful Offer No Matter the Size of Your Email List by Robbie Samuels
Welcome, everyone, to Making Sales Social Live! Brought to you by Social Sales Link. I’m Bob Woods, and I’m joined by co-host and fellow LinkedIn and social selling professional Brynne Tillman. How are you doing, Brynne?
Brynne Tillman 00:13
I’m great, Bob, how are you?
Bob Woods 00:15
I’m doing good except for my voice a little bit. I spent Saturday afternoon, an ultimately frustrating game with a lot of cheering going on. So my voice and stuff is a little bit, so I’m going to try to mute if I have to cough, but we are going to go on because we have an important topic to talk about today.
Welcome to Making Sales Social Live! As we share LinkedIn and social selling training strategies and tips that will have an immediate impact on your business. Join Brynne Tillman and me, Bob Woods, every week, Making Sales Social Live!
Bob Woods 00:52
So if you’re with us live right now, today is Cyber Monday, the day when tons of people are shopping online, literally like right now, for their holiday giving. So if you’re joining us on the podcast, this has been obviously recorded, and it’s past Cyber Monday, but what we’re about to discuss still pertains to anyone who is listening to this podcast.
As sales professionals, we’re all looking or ideally should be looking to beef up our personal libraries with resources and books to help us with our jobs. I love reading books, and I know Brynne does too, absolutely, whether it’s on tape or podcast or actually just sitting down and just reading the sucker.
So today, we’re going to discuss the top 10 sales books we think should be on any salesperson or sales manager’s bookshelf. So not all of these are new books, but they are the ones that have influenced us the most. And speaking of influence, we are going to be starting off with the one that Brynne and I should probably be building creepy little altars to essentially. It’s The Challenger Sale by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson, okay? Yes. Yes, what happens?
So we say this because this is the basis, this and two other books are the basis for everything that we do here at Social Sales Link. It informs our mindset, it informs our process, it informs how we teach things and what we teach. I mean, just everything. It’s like, you know, we’re not worthy. We’re not worthy. So tell us a little bit more about how it’s influenced us here, specifically, Brynne?
Brynne Tillman 02:38
Yeah, I love this. So The Challenger Sale came out pretty long ago now. And I first heard about it when I was on a prospecting call with Aramark. I sat in with the decision makers on LinkedIn training, and they said, we have just gone through The Challenger Sale Training, and we asked the trainers, what’s next? And they said, get some LinkedIn training. So here you are. And I was very fortunate to get the gig, and they handed me the book, The Challenger Sale, and said, “Can you create a course for LinkedIn around this book?” And I said, “Sure.” And then when they said, “how much?” I said, “well, for that price, do I get to keep the course?” And they said, “Absolutely!”
So we sat down, and we really took a deep dive into the Challenge Sale. and we built a program around that, but it wasn’t quite enough. It was a great start, but we needed to bring in a couple of other concepts and philosophies. So two other books. So that was our first book, The Challenger Sale. The next book that I brought in that I had read quite a few years before was The Little Black Book of Connections by Jeffrey Gitomer. Now, he has an enormous library of amazing books, including the little black book, The Little Red Book of Selling. This one, however, had the largest impact on how we went to market.
So the reason this was so important when we talk about Connections is a few things. One of them is not about who knows who you know, it’s about who knows you. So that was really very important. And you know, I just want to go back really quickly to the Challenger Sale because I never really talked about why it was so pivotal, but the bottom line in the Challenger Sale is it really talked about providing value first and earning the right. Providing insights, reframing their problem and challenge in a way, and bringing insight.
So instead of just Just asking discovery questions and then going in for the sale, it was about bringing them value, and the more value we can bring them, the more we’re leading to our solution, right? So that’s where our big concept from “don’t lead with your solution, lead to your solution” really came from. So I just wanted to clarify that.
The Little Black Book of Connections is a really phenomenal book about truly connecting, also bringing value. The third book is Endless referrals by my mentor at Bob Burg, whom I absolutely adore, Jeffrey Gitomer and Brent Adamson. So I’ve been fortunate to build relationships with these authors over time, which has been amazing. Now, most people know Bob Burg for the Go-Giver. This, however, was the book that really helped to influence the way that we go to market with LinkedIn, how we teach LinkedIn, because LinkedIn’s magic, and there’s so many things, and Bob will talk about content and things around that, that are amazing.
But when I was a sales trainer, and I was creating this curriculum with The Challenger Sale, The Little Black Book of Connections, there was still one more gap. Not to jump on one of your books, but there was a gap in there, which was the huge value of LinkedIn is the ability to search and filter your connection’s connections. To see your social proximity to your buyers and Endless Referrals was absolutely positively one of the most influential books. I’m gonna just finish off my three left, and then Bob will hop into yours.
Bob Woods 06:58
Before we do that, just really quick, and this is a great idea. I wish I would have thought of mentioning this before, but anyone’s joining us right now if you want to throw in some of your books that you like in the chat. That’s fantastic. We’ve already got one from Stephen Farber– Discover Questions by Deb Calvert. Lisa lemonion, I apologize if I missed your name, Business Outside by Bart Foster. I haven’t heard of that one, but that one, it sounds like it’s a good one. I like it just from the title itself, and Gunnar just added that he’s gonna add Endless Referrals to his reading list, “I think that that’s a great one.”
Brynne Tillman 07:36
Okay, so Go-Givers also by Bob Burg and David Mann. Most everyone in sales knows about the Go-Giver. And it’s a phenomenal book. And it’s really about– it’s a fable of a man moving from being a go-getter, where I’m out there going to get to a Go-Giver, and how that really influences his business. This particular book and he has a few: The Go-Giver Leader and The Go-Giver Influencer. So he’s got a few versions. This particular version, I think, is incredibly powerful because it’s directly related to growing business and how to be a Go-Giver, and still close business. So it’s really an amazing book. I have two more.
The next one is someone we actually took her course as a company some time back, which is Barbara Weaver Smith, Whale Hunting. What an incredible book. And the reason I love it so much is about how we work as a team to go after big accounts. And it’s the story of the Inuit Eskimos in Alaska, and how they only need to kill one whale for the entire year to feed and clothe and everything that they need for their village and how the entire village comes together to do that and the lesson really is how does your entire company come together to close really big business?
By the way, I listen to this podcast, I engage in their group. This is a book called Masters of Scale by Reid Hoffman, Reid Hoffman, you may know, is the founder of LinkedIn, and he is now an investor at Greylock. So he’s investing in tech companies, but what I love about this book and the podcast, and they even have some courses on apps, is that you get the inside scoop of Airbnb founders and Uber founders and people that have these huge companies now, but they talk about when they were almost bankrupt in the beginning, and this is the things they had to do to just get the first couple of customers And then what they had to do beyond that. And their stories are so fascinating, and they give you their journey to scale. And it’s just an amazing compilation of these huge CEOs that started off like us. And I just absolutely love that. So those are my books. Let’s talk about yours.
Bob Woods 10:21
So before we go on to mine, Gunnar has put another one in there, too, Gunnar Hood, his one of his favorite books is They Ask You Answer by Marcus Sheridan. So that’s another book for you to check out as well. I’m assuming all these are going to be available on Amazon. So you can go get all of the deets there and read reviews and everything else there as well.
So my first book is one that I actually interviewed her for a podcast episode earlier this year. So if you want to look up the Kay Miller podcast episode and really listen to that, we had a great time talking about her book and what it is that she teaches. The actual book is called Uncopyable Sales Secrets, again, that is by Kay Miller and for Patrick Morrison, who just suggested Gap Selling by Keenan. This book is really amazing as it goes through so much.
First of all, her story is that she went into two very male-oriented types of sales. One was essentially lumber, and then the next one was mufflers, of all things. And she, and by using everything that she teaches in this book, she just owned those industries and won major awards, did very well, and just an amazing, incredible story. And it also really goes to what we teach and believe here, it’s all about true Win-Win sales, defining what she calls your “moose,” which is your ideal client. In other words, don’t sell to everyone, sell to your ideal clients. Has to do with effective follow-up and fulfilling promises.
She’s very big on sharing stories that truly help the customer with their needs, and as you can tell, someone who has been in those male-dominated industries, and yet she was very successful. She is very, very much about personal branding, which is becoming just huge in today’s world of social selling and using social networks, especially LinkedIn, to sell. So this is a tremendous book, I think, for everyone to have on their bookshelf. And again, I actually had her earlier this year, if you want to look up that podcast edition, you can go ahead and do that.
So the next one, which Patrick has already mentioned, Gap Selling by Keenan. So first off, I always like mononyms. So Keenan, I wish I could just go by Bob, but that one’s a little too generic. But so first, he drops, and this is a warning. Spoiler alert. He’s a swear monster. So he does like to swear, if you can get past that, though, there is just so much incredible information, a lot of really good stuff to take away in GAP Selling. His main principle is that sales isn’t about pitching products and services. It’s about solving problems that make people’s lives easier. And I’m going to read just a really short thing from the book here. His book is in direct conflict to what we’ve been taught to believe for years like relationships really don’t matter. We all know that’s not the case. People will really buy from people they don’t like, we all know that that’s not the case. There is no such thing as closing, even with what we teach here. Yeah, yeah, you gotta close. But so I mean, it’s a really great mindset book, and there’s actually tactics and things like that in here too, but I think it’s a very, very important one that everyone should have their shelves out there.
My last two are actually going to be more related to sales without being about sales. But this one, especially here, Everybody Writes by Ann Handley. So this one, as you could tell, is about writing, and I’ve got the first edition from 2014, which I still think is fantastic and lives up to everything that’s happening today. I just found out she put out a second edition just a couple of months ago. So if you do want to add to your bookshelf, make sure it’s the second edition. I literally ordered the second edition 20 minutes ago. So if that doesn’t tell you how much I liked the book, I don’t tell you what does.
So this one is great for salespeople who use LinkedIn and social selling because it really drives home the fact that anyone can produce great content. Again, everybody writes. So this book gives you the mindset and also gives you frameworks to use, and it does it in a really fun, witty way. And like it I wish I had the second edition because she says that she’s updated it with even newer frameworks and how to use specific things to really push your content out there, but as we all know, a lot about social selling is about content and about and in LinkedIn, it’s about content. And everyone can do this, this book will definitely get you very, very well on your way towards achieving that.
So because I’m always looking for those oddball things but things that work really well, my last book is something that you probably haven’t heard of. It’s called Cigars, Whiskey and Winning: Leadership Lessons from General Ulysses S. Grant, and this one’s published by Alt Kaltman. This is an incredible book, it’s not a sales book, per se. It’s more about general business in business leadership, but there are a lot of really great lessons about business. In fact, there are 250 lessons that I can literally just go through this book and just stop and just have everything in here, the value of symbols is number 227. So that can be taken in a wide variety of ways. And this is how good this book is.
There’s a Princeton University history professional professor who said that historians and entrepreneurs alike will find this book invaluable. I don’t know if there would ever be a sentence where you would have both historians and entrepreneurs in the same sentence. But if those two diverse groups can get a lot out of it, then I think everyone could get a lot out of this. And the funny story behind this is that I got this on my birthday from my dad, my birthday is the same day as Ulysses S Grant. And my dad didn’t even know that I actually had to tell him that. So there was a lot of serendipity, I think, involved in that, too. So I definitely crank through this book, and I pick it up all the time, and just, you know, page through it, pick out a page and just read that individual lesson from it. It’s really a tremendous book.
And we have a bonus for you as well. So we’re talking more about resources, we just wanted to remind you about our own library that we have here, Social Sales Link, it’s full of so many resources that are dedicated to LinkedIn and social selling, and unlike Cyber Monday, it’s free. So socialsaleslink.com/library is how you can sign up for it, socialsaleslink.com/library once you sign up, you get access to so many things that can help you with LinkedIn and social selling.
Brynne Tillman 17:45
You know what, as I’m doing this, there are two more books I’m going to throw in. Because all these books, there are a couple more that I just really, really love.I feel that… So
Do It! Marketing, by David Newman. Bonus, right? (Bob: Yes! Absolutely!) Really powerful, and he does one on speaking also. So if you’re a speaker, what’s great about these are they’re really clever, fast, like things that you can implement in a 77 instant action ideas, and man are they good. And the other one, which is a little tiny book that’s incredibly powerful, is by my friend Robbie Samuels, and it’s called Small List, Big Results. So if you don’t have, you have only a few 100 people on an email list. How do you still convert that to business? You don’t need 1000s and 1000s. And same with LinkedIn like if you have a few. So those are my two bonus books. I had to throw him in.
Bob Woods 18:46
Yeah, we are all about over-delivering here, and we did So yet again. And I love it. That’s fantastic. So you got all kinds of things for gift giving, for giving yourself when you get those Amazon cards at Christmas Day, and you’re wondering just what the heck you can do with them. You’ve got a big list of books that you can add to your bookshelves.
So thanks again for joining us on Making Sales Social Live! If you’re with us, live right now on LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook or Twitter. We do this every week, so keep an eye out for our live sessions. If you’re already listening to us on our podcast and you haven’t subscribed yet, go ahead and hit that subscribe or follow button. If you’d like more info on the podcast, go to socialsaleslink.com/podcast again that’s socialsaleslink.com/podcast We do two shows weekly. We do this one and then our Making Sales Social interview series, which I talked about a little earlier, where we talked with leaders and experts in sales, marketing, business, and many more areas.
So when you’re out and about, even during this holiday season, be sure to make your sales social. Bye guys, Thank you, everybody, have a great one.
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