5 Books Every Sales Professional Needs to Read

bookss sales professionals must read

Great sales books go beyond sales. After all, top sales professionals don’t just “sell”—they solve problems and build meaningful relationships. These five must-read books don’t just focus on tactics—they teach how to create better working (and personal) relationships with everyone around us.

how to win friends influence people

1. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

One of the most important traits of successful salespeople is emotional intelligence. Likability and charisma can determine which salesperson gets the meeting or closes the deal—and this timeless handbook breaks down the basics of creating genuine relationships.

Dale Carnegie—one of the greatest salesmen of all time—shares authentic, insightful, and memorable anecdotes from his own career. Read this book to dust up on the fundamentals of sales or, more importantly, the fundamentals of building meaningful and sincere relationships both professionally and personally.

how i raised myself from failure to success

2. How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling by Frank Bettger

Dale Carnegie called this book “the most helpful and inspiring book on salesmanship that I have ever read.” If that doesn’t grab you, get this: author Frank Bettger was a failed insurance salesman when he was 29, but by the time he turned 40, had become massively successful.

In his memoir, Bettger explains how he turned his sales career around, splicing his story with useful tips you can apply to your job. Two of his best teachings: the importance of making calls and the power of the word “why.” Intrigued? You should be—Bettger’s classic book can make you more persuasive and build stronger relationships with your clients.

difficult conversations book

3. Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most by Douglas Stone 

A career in sales requires you to be comfortable with hard conversations. Eventually, you’ll have to deal with a client’s objections in front of a room full of people, or dole out criticism to your product team. Difficult Conversations takes the perspective of the people you’re talking to and spells out how to take their feelings into account. If you’ve ever had a conversation that didn’t go the way you wanted (and really, who hasn’t?), this book can help you avoid those regrets in the future.

7 habits highly effective people

4. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey

There’s a reason this book has sold more than 20 million copies since it was published 1989. This classic will, quite simply, bring out the best in you as an individual and in your relationships. Timeless tips like “be proactive” will make you work more efficiently. And advice like “seek first to understand, then to be understood” will help you better relate to your clients.

But 7 Habits also goes beyond daily efficiency and communication and delves into ethics. Covey’s tip to “think win-win” will remind you that you shouldn’t just think about your own interests: you should also think about your clients’ interests and what would make both of you happiest.

zig ziglar's secrets of closing the sale

5. Zig Ziglar’s Secrets of Closing the Sale by Zig Ziglar

The title of this revered handbook speaks for itself. But this essential sales guide goes beyond cheap persuasion tricks: it teaches you to how to build long-lasting, symbiotic relationships that are based on honesty and trust.

Most of all, Ziglar emphasizes the importance of integrity. As a salesperson, he writes, you should genuinely want to help your clients and not just profit from them. It’s simple: Show your clients that you really want to help them, and that you believe in the product you’re selling, and everyone will benefit.

 

Which other sales books should we add to this list? Give us a shout at community@closeriq.com.

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Founder & CEO of CloserIQ. Previously Sales Strategy & Management @ZocDoc, Head of Analytics @PayPerks and Trading Strategist @Bridgewater Associates. MIT Bachelor’s & Master’s in Computer Science. CFA Charterholder.