Advice on Books.
Of course my favourite is Advanced Selling for Beginners by Alex McMillan. I would like to firstly give advice on how to get the most from books, assuming increased revenues and commissions is the objective. I have recruited many people who start their new job having bought a sales book. Great but in practice I am fearful that they are still in ‘Uni Mode’ and focused on learning. Selling is all about action and the fact remains that most great sales people are not actually great readers of books. Typically they developed though school with a more practical than academic focus and had clear goals to pursue. So they left school and started selling. Experience and feedback in sales are great because how many deals you make is the best feedback there is!
The best learning is from experience, 100 or more phone calls a day and the person at the other end will teach you all that you need to know. That is 100 private tutors per day all free. You need to listen and think in order to learn but they will tell you how best to sell to them. The wise learner will try different approaches and see for themselves which approach has greatest success.
Some of the greatest lessons to make a formidable success in sales are shamefully lacking in sales books. For example most Sales Trainers and Managers will tell you how important listening is, but do they have a training on it? Look at sales books for a chapter on listening? All lacking why?
Another essential talent of being great in sales is a rock solid positive and determined attitude. Every sales recruiter asks for it but again it is sadly lacking how to develop one in books.
Another skill needed to be top at sales is not the communication with the prospect but the communication with oneself. Goals may be touched upon. Yet again sales trainers, managers and recruiters will tell you to deal with rejection but where are the hows in the sales trainings and books.
The latter two are well covered in the personal development area especially NLP. Most sales people look for the wrong things in NLP books. They look for techniques to get the prospect to by. NLP strength in selling is in the communication with yourself. Having that Goal, attitude, focus, bouncing back after setback, never giving up, seeing benefit in adversity, opportunity in failure.
So my book Advanced Selling for Beginners set out to address these above issues. Most books seem to focus on basic sales skills. How to Open, Objection Handle and Close. Great stuff but largely repeated. Sales skills is so much more than the basics.
To get the best from a book, do not read it cover to cover. Too many people do that, which is great if you want to impress people at a sales conference how clever you are. It is better to read even just 1 or two pages. Find a technique then go out and master it. Then move on. Mastery of a technique opens and closes real deals. If you are running training courses design a role play or other exercise around an idea in a book and then get the sales staff to apply your specific market situation to it.