If you already played the guitar but wanted to improve, it would be easy, right?
All you have to do is sign up for an academy or practice with Youtube videos to move forward.
If you want to learn how to paint or grow a bonsai the method would be similar.
However, if you want to be a better salesperson, what could you do to improve?
The trainings are often very basic or expensive or not very actionable. In addition, you have to fit their schedule into your work and family life.
What other way could you choose?
Having a mentor
Someone with a lot of experience in sales, who is qualified and who can transfer his experience and methodologies to you.
If you have access to someone with these characteristics and is willing to share their time with you, stick to it like a limpet and learn as much as you can.
However, you probably don’t have anyone like that on hand.
When I started in this sales business, at least I didn’t have it, and I still got the best possible mentors:
- Aaron Ross, sales director who led a CRM company to 100 million in recurring revenue.
- Jeb Blount, international consultant and speaker.
- Neil Rackham, pioneer in consultative selling and professor at universities such as Harvard.
- Og Madino, psychologist and essayist awarded worldwide.
And these are just my favourites, I have also learned from Jeffrey Gitomer, Brian Tracy or Ralph Roberts to give 3 more examples.
How can you get these mentors?
Through the sales books they have written and published
Luckily for you and me, selling is one of the oldest activities in the world, and from Aristotle’s Rhetoric to Aaron Ross’ Predictable Revenue to dozens of other authors, people smarter than you and me have dedicated their lives to learning how to sell ideas and products to others and left it to us in writing.
And your job as a salesperson is to gather all those teachings and adapt them to your context.
To make your job easier I want to tell you about my 4 favourite sales books:
The author of this best-selling book is Jeb Bount and since his book was published in 2015, Fanatical Prospecting has revolutionized sales.
The starting point of the book is that, although many sales gurus offer shortcuts and foolproof methods, the reality is that there is no hack or foolproof trick that can catapult the company’s sales.
Starting from this premise, the author emphasises that, if there could be an infallible sales hack, that is prospecting, and more specifically, telephone prospecting.
Telephone prospecting is not as glamorous as social selling and is heavier than email prospecting, but its results do give the other methods a boost.
If you want to understand how to keep your pipeline full of potential customers, this is your book.
Spin selling is Neil Rackham’s best selling book and the origin of consultative selling.
The book, published in 1988, is a manifesto against old sales approaches such as ABC (Always Be Closing) and calls for putting the customer really at the centre of the sales process and making the process a win-win.
This approach requires salespeople to be highly skilled in their product, to act as both a salesperson and a consultant, and to focus on solving the customer’s problems.
In return, it offers more efficient sales models that bring in more and better customers.
If you want to focus your sales process on solving your customers’ problems, you have to read this book.
This book by Aaron Ross concentrates everything he learned and the methodology he used to grow the Salesforce sales team to $100 million in annual revenue.
The premise of the book is simple: to sell more you don’t need more salespeople. You need a well-oiled machine.
A well-oiled sales machine has specialised sales teams and a sales methodology that has evolved from cold calling, which the author calls Cold Calling 2.0.
If you are interested in sales in B2B environments or in managing sales teams, you should read this book published in 2011.
The biggest seller in the world
First published in 1968 and re-edited and published again in 1983, it is surprising that a book with more than 50 years of tradition is still in force.
The main reason is that, of the 4 sales books I brought you, this is the only one that was not written by a salesman.
Its author, Og Madino was a psychologist and essayist and in just 128 pages he explains how, to be a better salesman, a good starting point is to strive to be a better person as well.
With this starting premise, the book goes through the areas of your life that you could improve in order to close more sales as well.
If you are interested in personal development and skills, you need to read this book.
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