We’ve all heard the common stats that the average American reads about one book per month, but the average CEO reads 4–5X that amount.

Is it a coincidence? Probably not.  Books can give people knowledge and a new perspective on almost any subject matter they choose.

Warren Buffet, for example, spends 80% of his time reading.  Grant Cardone says that a book may only cost $10–20 but can unlock an idea worth millions.  

When you ask successful people what books they have on their nightstand, the number can frequently jump into the double digits.

Just as important as understanding the value of a book is to choose the right book.  When it comes to sales and marketing, there are certainly books that focus on the skills needed for the job – how to influence people, what to say on an email or phone call, how to prospect and other important skills.

However, I’ve gotten a lot more value from books that may disguise themselves as “personal development” or biographies that can show you how to master your influence of others.  As a mentor of mine says, “Attitude and Mindset are everything.” Another notes that “Hard Work, Attitude & Choices” have changed his life.

With ideas like that, let’s not limit our understanding of sales & marketing to the over-cliched books that are on most peoples’ reading lists.  If you want to become a master, start with the below list:

  1. The Greatest Salesman In The World by Og Mandino. This book serves as a guide to salesmanship and success, told as a parable of a poor camel boy who reaches success & abundance through sales.
  2. Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill. This is the #1 book that teaches you how to set goals and generate success in a step-by-step guide.
  3. Never Split The Difference by Chris Voss. Think that it’s difficult to get a customer to buy? Voss is the former Lead Hostage Negotiator for the FBI and shows you how you can use his strategies to influence others.
  4. Mindset by Carol Dweck. The greatest businesspeople (and athletes, coaches and parents) didn’t earn success only through their natural ability. They have a certain mindset that propels them forward, which Dweck explains in detail here.
  5. 10X Rule by Grant Cardone. The reason that you haven’t hit your sales goals is likely that you’re simply not thinking big enough – or taking enough action. Cardone will show you how to do both.
  6. Start With Why by Simon Sinek. We all know “what” we’re selling. But to understand the “why” behind your goals, product & company can absolutely change the way you sell & market your business.
  7. The Obstacle Is The Way by Ryan Holiday. The 8th customer in a row that said “no.” The quota you don’t think you can hit. Ryan will teach you how to view these obstacles as opportunities to become your best.
  8. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. Learn from perhaps the greatest marketing genius of all time and the process he used to sell the revolutionary ideas of the Mac, iPod, iPhone, and Pixar.
  9. Shoe Dog by Phil Knight. Learn how passion, a vision, and relentlessness led Phil Knight to grow Nike from his college project to one of the largest brands in the world.
  10. Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard. Who says that growing a business has to be harmful to others? Patagonia has become a massive worldwide brand by following their authentic voice and its mission to make the world a better place.

What would you add to the list? Let me know in the below comments.


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