The self-help literature market is valued at over $800 million and growing annually. The result is an endless supply of resources for budding entrepreneurs and productivity hackers. But not all books are made equal and time is precious, so where should you start?
If you’re looking for books to help you grow your business and increase sales, we suggest looking to the experts and reading what they’re reading. After all, they’re successful for a reason.
We chatted to one such expert, Abbie White, founder, and CEO of Sales Redefined with a client list of some of Australia’s leading banks, tech, and telco companies. Before starting Sales Redefined in 2017, Abbie managed a $100 million-plus portfolio with leading tech giant IBM and has since become a leading voice in the sales and marketing community.
As an avid reader, Abbie has done the leg work to scour the best business and sales books for inspiration and fresh techniques. Here are her Top 7 book recommendations to get you started on your sales journey.
1. The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes
Chet Holmes has worked with over 60 of the Fortune 500 companies and is one of the leading teachers in sales and marketing. With a 4.6 rating on Amazon, this is a great book to start with.
“This book offers highly practical sales strategies,” Abbie says. “My favorite concept out of the book is the Dream 100 which identifies who would be your dream 100 clients, and then creates regular touchpoints with those clients. Chet Holmes also talks about needing pig-headed discipline if you are to win with sales.”
2. Sales EQ, by Jeb Blount
‘Emotional intelligence’ is the new buzzword in sales and marketing and what many experts describe as the key to sales success. If improving your ROI is at the core of your mission, this one is for you.
“For a long time, people thought sales was just about relationships and product,” says Abbie. “There’s substantial research these days showing how high-performance salespeople are higher in EQ.”
3. Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne
New York Times bestselling authors W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne are professors of Strategy at INSEAD. If you’re looking to pivot your business in a different direction or shift to a new strategy, there is no better hands to be in.
As Abbie says, Blue Ocean Strategy offers readers a new strategy that moves away from the ‘red ocean’ where everyone is fighting with each other for clients.
“Fighting in the ‘red ocean’ essentially boils down to price,” Abbie says. “If it’s only about price, it’s a race to the bottom. But through carving out a “blue ocean” you are in an uncontested marketplace where you can win.”
4. How to Make Millions With Your Ideas by Dan Kennedy
Who doesn’t love a catchy title? Reminiscent of 90’s self-help books, this is an oldie but a goodie with lots of practical tools and real-life case studies.
Abbie says, “It’s an old-school book although the strategies are easily modernized. A lot of it is about the little things that have a big impact.”
5. Expert Secrets by Russell Brunson
Russell Brunson is the founder of ClickFunnels, a million-dollar company and one of the fastest-growing software companies in the world. Here, Russell shares his secrets to his success, a worthy bible when you’re in need of inspiration.
Abbie says, “In my opinion, Russell Brunson is one of the best thought leaders globally on sales funnels.”
6. Chapter One – You Have the Power to Change Stuff by Daniel Flynn
This is the ultimate playbook for entrepreneurs just starting out. Its raw, grassroots approach is both entertaining and inspiring. If this book doesn’t empower you to start now, nothing will.
“There are just so many lessons in this book,” Abbie says. “It’s about how you make a massive impact, how you cut through the noise, how you get traction on sales but with absolutely no budget and from ground zero. Also, it’s about doing good along the way.”
7. The 4 Disciplines of Execution by Chris McChesney, Jim Huling and Sean Covey
If you’re looking for a tried and tested method, a ‘winning formula’ for success, this is where you start. The 4 disciplines set out in this book, from notable and award-winning authors and business leaders, have been tested and refined by over 100,000 teams from all over the world.
“Often, when mistakes are made, it’s not for lack of strategy or good ideas, but rather an error at the execution stage,” says Abbie. “This book gives you the tools to execute your well-considered strategy to ensure the best possible outcomes”.