As I speak to different groups across the US, I am often approached by someone in attendance and asked to give them advice.  The most common question seems to be something along the lines of, “What would be the one thing you would advise me to do to become more successful in sales?”

The longer you have been in sales leadership, the more difficult that one question becomes to answer.  It seems that the more experience you have, the more certain you become that everything you know is important.  You are also convinced that you need to share it with the world. 🙂

Think about it.  Sales people have to become experts in all of the following:

  1. Self-motivation
  2. Lead identification
  3. Lead qualification
  4. Prospecting
  5. Presentation/Conversation skills
  6. Asking the right questions
  7. Follow-up
  8. Problem solving
  9. Closing
  10. Generating referrals

I could name more – but you get the idea.  The list above does not even include family and personal matters that should take priority over your business life.

The question is tough – but I am confident that I have the answer for you.  (Surprise!  I know, I know… every sales leader you have ever known was always totally convinced that they had all the answers, right?)

The answer is… I don’t know everything! 🙂

Neither do you.  Realizing that truth is the single most important piece of advice I will give to each of you.

Since you don’t know everything – you must become a student of your industry and learn.  That involves reading, listening and watching videos of people who have succeeded in sales and sales leadership.  Get to know what they know.  Over the years that I have been in sales, I am certain that I have spent over six-figures in books, recordings and seminars.  Applying the lessons I learned directly impacted my longevity and success.

The following books are “must reads” for anyone who is serious in developing their sales career.

  1. Endless Referrals by Bob Burg – 1 of 2 books I credit with changing the direction of my career
  2. How I Raised Myself From Failure To Success In Selling Insurance by Frank Bettger (An oldie but a goodie)
  3. See You At The Top by Zig Ziglar
  4. The Art of Closing The Sale by Brian Tracy
  5. Secrets of Closing The Sale by Zig Ziglar
  6. Adversaries Into Allies by Bob Burg
  7. The Psychology of Selling by Brian Tracy
  8. The Unexpected Tour Guide by Jeff C. West (You knew I was going to put that in there, didn’t you?  The only question was where. 🙂 )
  9. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R Covey
  10. The Bible (Those who know me well knew I would put that one in there too.  Even if you are not a person of faith, you can learn much from the New Testament.  Jesus sold with stories and parables because they work.  He was also a great recruiter – he even got the apostle Paul from the competition!)

Tomorrow I will give you my top ten books on sales leadership.


What book are you reading right now?