The new year has just started, but you are already working full speed and you risk being swept away by your usual routine?
If you have followed the tradition and have made a list of good intentions, but you are afraid that after a few week everything will be back exactly as before, do not fear, it is not a matter of ability but of choosing the right tools!
To help you kick start the year, we have chosen for you 11 books on sales (and beyond…) that will help you keep your resolutions for the new year.
Through these books, experts on marketing, team management, personal growth and more will be your coaches, supporting you in improving your business results, your personal relationships and even your life. They will help you look at things from a totally new point of view, opening you new worlds and offering you practical tips you could put immediately into play!
Depending on what your good intentions are, choose the books you need the most and read them immediately, even before resuming your work for the New Year. Enjoy the reading!
1. Getting a brand new you approach to sales.
If this year you don’t want to settle on just being “good” at selling, but you want to find that “something more” that really rocks, then this is the book you need to get started on the right foot. Frank Bettger will tell you the “big idea” that allowed him to go from being a loser who could not close a single sale, to have an unparalleled success! As we all know, there are no magic formulas to sell, but in this book Bettger illustrates the principles he elaborated on the field and tested on his work, to help every business man achieve more and gain people’s trust. Useful for noticing mistakes to be avoided and to see the details that could make you more efficient and profitable!
2. Better understanding your customers
The psychology of selling – Brian Tracy
It had been in your check-list for years: you would like to be able to read the minds of your customers, to understand them better, to sell more and satisfy them fully.
But how do customers think and what do motivate them to buy? Brain Tracy, considered one of the world gurus of professional selling, helps you get into people’s heads, discovering the decision-making mechanisms, the fears and the doubts that come into play when considering a purchase (and not only). Through his methods and strategies, which are very practical and you can apply right away, Tracy helps you boost your sales skills, even helping you improving relationships with people in everyday life. A must read for every professional seller!
3. Offer a better product and service to your customers
This year, would you like to offer your customers the best possible service, instead of a standard one? Some people do it by vocation, such as Fred the mail carrier, who is always going the extra mile handling the mail in the best way for each person – and sometimes even watching their house! When Sanborn, a motivational expert, noticed what his mail carrier was doing, he was so impressed that he started to study how a single person can actually make positive changes on the business he/she is working for and on the entire society. In this book he explains how the “Freds” are all those people who strive daily to give their best in their work, puzzling to do something positive for their customers and improving their life. Thanks to this book, you will develop a Fred factor, discovering how to make the everyday life an “extraordinary experience”.
4. Give value to your existing clients
Do you feel that the contacts in your CRM are a gold mine that you’re not digging up, and do you think that the new year is an opportunity to finally value them? More, I bet you would not like to always striving to find new customers, but you would rather ensure that existing customers become recurring ones, who buy from you each month.
Warrillow explains how today is even more possible to retain “automated clients.” From Netflix and Spotify, to Amazon Fresh and Dollar Shave Club, people are used to start subscriptions that last over time, regardless of the industry. The author explains nine methods to create subscriptions that work, which are quickly adaptable to your company thanks to its handy guide!
5. Boost the marketing of your company
Do you want to take out more from the marketing budget of your company? Last year was good, but do you feel that it would be possible to reach more people exploiting the right channels and not throwing away money on the wrong ones? Then forget traditional marketing (no press releases, no TV commercials, no billboards) and try a new strategy: growth hacking. Megabrands like Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox and Airbnb reached their gigantic public through new channels and tools that are testable, trackable and scalable. Plus, they require modest marketing budget, that increase when the results does. Ryan Holiday, bestselling author, explains the new rules and provides case studies to help you become a growth hacker. A must read if you are responsible for building awareness and buzz for a product or service, regardless of the size of the company!
6. Being more productive and waste less time
Are you sick of working over the clock, throwing away unnecessary time on trivial activities and at the end of the day feeling you did not arrive where you wanted to? If one of your new year’s resolutions is to be more productive, this book is a must read. David Allen is the author of the famous GTD method, or Get Things Done, which helps you to complete any task successfully from work to personal life. Our time is limited and we can not do everything: we have to decide which task has the priority and then focus to do it at best. The problem, then, is the ability to organise your day correctly! Allen teaches you to do just that. You will learn to manage every effort in the right way, getting more done in less time and finally taking back your life, not feeling drown in your tasks.
7. Throwing away less time on meeting
This year, did you commit on not wasting so much time in team meetings as you did the last year? Meetings are well known for being productivity killers. Hours lost without any results and… who does really feel motivated and jumps to work after a 6 hours meeting? Well, there has to be a better way. According to Dick and Emily Axelrod, leading consultants, there is. They takes meetings into the new millennium applying the principles of video games engagement and of the dynamic shop floors, outlining a flexible and adaptable system that could be used in any kind of organization. Following their guidelines about each aspect of a meeting – from how you greet people at the beginning to how you sum up at the end – you will incredibly achieve concrete plans, build new connections, make projects jump forward. Those who have adopted this system will never go back. Neither will you.
8. Better manage your team
Do you realize that in your team something is not working as it should and would you like to change it for good? The first step is to be able to go beyond appearances. Usually, people fail to discern the real dynamics that are taking place behind a team, the reasons that lead your colleagues to behave in a certain way and to achieve certain results. Manfred Kets de Vries guides you in searching the underlying factors that cause the behaviours and emotions of the group as an entity, and therefore determine its proper functioning. According to the author, the good manager must be able to create balance between the attention to the individual and to the group as a whole. The leader should not just value the few personalities that seem to produce better results, but rather think about making the team cohesive and successful through mutual understanding, communicative immediacy, and so on. So, after reading this book you will never look at your team in the same way!
9. Think in an innovative way
This book is the answer to the king of the new year good resolutions: to be more innovative, to stop doing everything as you always did. Adam Grant, defined one of the most provocative and stimulating minds of his generation, drives you to ask yourself if you’re working out of habit, doing what you have always done, or if you can be original, rejecting conformism and bringing your company to success. You’re very good at selling your product, but are you good at selling your ideas as well? More, when your collaborators propose an innovative idea, are you ready to listen and implement it? Through scientific studies and examples from business, politics, entertainment and sport, Grant shows how not only leaders could be innovative: indeed, anyone can be able to identify opportunities for change, recognizing a good idea and promoting it! An unprecedented guide that helps leaders to facilitate and capture the original ideas among their employees, also discovering how to put them into practice effectively and sustainably. But also a manual for employees to learn to be more “original”, pulling out their potential.
10. Be ready for everything
Apart from being innovative, would you know how to implement change and even how to take advantage from it? Then, read “The Black Swan”, which will also allow you to better understand the world and why things happen. In fact, human history is governed by so-called “blacks swans”, high-impact rare events that were not foreseeable before they occurred. When Europeans arrived in Australia, they saw a black swan for the first time: until then, it was thought that swans could only be white! This shows how sometimes an evidence that had been considered valid for centuries can be discredited in a few seconds ahead of new evidence that contradict it. Other examples are the invention of the wheel, the 9/11 attack, the collapse of Wall Street and even the success of Google. Once that these events happened they seem obvious, but who would have expected them? In this beautiful book, Taleb teaches you to identify blacks swans and gives you the tools to deal with them, especially in learning how to avoid the negative consequences and even benefit from them!
11. Having more time for yourself
Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You – John Warrilow
If you have spent the last year working 7 days of the week at least 12 hours a day and you are fed up, then this book is for you! In fact, your first purpose for the new year is to better combine work and private life, so as to be able to see your family and spend at least some hours a week on your favorite hobby. Warrillow will help you do just that, helping you understand that success is not directly correlated to the hours you work, and that you do not need to do everything yourself. Planning the workflow of your company in the right way and knowing how to delegate the right tasks to the right people is the key to make your company succeed… even if you’re relaxing under the Maldives sun!
And finally … two little “bonus” tips:
- Invite your employees to read books that are important for you, to grow your team and ask them to suggest their favorite texts… it will help you to know them better and to draw inspiration from their tips.
- Do not forget to install and use Sellf to improve the performance of your sales team 😉