Best Books on Sales and Selling

best sales booksI believe books are still one of the greatest values available when it comes to learning new business thinking. There’s certainly a place for courses and videos and workshops, but for about $20 and the time to read, you can gain access to another person’s ideas, systems, processes and tools that may have taken a lifetime of experience to craft.

I’ve been doing a lot of extra reading and writing around the topic of sales and selling in advance of the launch of my new book Duct Tape Selling, so I thought I would ask my followers to suggest their favorite books of all time on topic. The list below is the start of that request.

The only thing missing are your suggestions.

Feel free to vote books up and down and add your favorites to the list.
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John Jantsch

John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and author of Duct Tape Marketing, Duct Tape Selling, The Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine and the founder of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network.
  • Tyler Banfield

    I voted for Influence. Not only is it a classic, but it’s one you can pick up time after time and always learn something new.

  • nedelsha


    I’d add Jill Konrath’s first book “Selling to Big Companies”. Fortune rated it 1 of 8 “must read” sales books of all time. Much the same for Inc.

    I love “SNAP Selling” too but “Selling to Big Companies” has a special place in my sales book list.


  • Patrick

    Totally agree on “Influence” too. Not only a great read for sales and marketing professionals but also more broadly as a way to understand human psychology.

  • Daphne Cohn

    thanks for this – it’s amazing how few of them I’ve read. Really appreciate a good book list especially on such an important topic.

  • merrywater

    This looks like a great list! I’d be interested in reading “Influence” since it has been recommended twice already. I am new to marketing….and from what it sounds, this would be a perfect first book?

  • Stephen Lahey

    Great list – thanks for sharing this. Another great sales book is “Same Side Selling” by Ian Altman and Jack Quarles. Altman is a sales maven and Quarles trains professional corporate buyers. They knock down a lot of the old, manipulative sales techniques and replace them with an approach that works with how buyers actually think. It’s a fascinating book.

  • Emmanuel

    Decades of selling anything and everything has taught me the following: 1) You must believe in, LOVE, and be PASSIONATE about what you sell. 2) You must Build a RAPPORT with the client or guest. Make a “Friend”. If the customer doesn’t like you, or trust you, GOOD LUCK selling her. You only have a 20% chance of success assuming you have what they need. 3) YOU MUST INTERVIEW YOUR GUEST, CLIENT, OR CUSTOMER. LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN, and UNDERSTAND VERY WELL CUSTOMERS’ ISSUES, or PROBLEMS before making recommendations. Put the customer’s interest before your wallet’s. Build CREDIBILITY. 5) Find out why customer likes, or dislikes ANYTHING no matter how trivial. 6) IF YOU GIVE THE CUSTOMERS WHAT THEY WANT, YOU WILL IN TURN GET RICH. Sell with INTEGRITY; Never, Never, Never, LIE or Misrepresent anything to your customer. Remember, they must TRUST & LIKE you before they buy from you. All the aforegoing is SALES in a nutshell. F-ck all the gimmicks and Psychological BS to manipulate customers. That is so 60s & 70s. Learn how to be a better human being, and your nature will be sensed by those you come across. Most customers know when you are being phony. Best Wishes selling. It’s Showtime, get money!!!

  • Emmanuel

    My advice on books: You can read all the books in the world on selling if you like. The #1 key is in your ATTITUDE. ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING. If you have personal issues at home, or socially, when you go to work put all your personal issues in a “Brown Bag” and Leave it at the Curb, outside of work. When the day is over, pick it up on your way home. GO TO WORK TO WORK. GO TO WORK TO WORK AND WORK SMART. Product Knowledge- Become an Authority in your field of sales, that means you must constantly educate yourself, and be very current to be perceived as an “Expert” by your customer. iN OTHER WORDS, KNOW YOUR
    SH-T COLD!!! Do these things well will boost your professionalism, and improve sales. BTW, you must set realistic and achievable goals, that is sine qua non. Revisit your goals every 3-6 months and adjust accordingly. I have the “Library of Congress” on Selling in my house, and while I have knowledge, what I just enumerated herein and below, has by far enabled me to be successful than all the theoretical knowledge. You must be comfortable with yourself, and genuine with people in general. Practice how to be affable as much as possible. Practice, Practice, and Practice.

  • Emmanuel

    Don’t be pushy. Lead the customer, NOT DRAG the customer to the sale. After the sale, how you follow up, and maintain your CSR, will decide if your new “Sold” client will be a “Promoter” or just another average “Maybe Satisfied” customer who occasionally recommends your service if and when they remember. Always keep whatever promises you made, and over- deliver. Rember this, SELLING A CUSTOMER ONE TIME IS NOT A CHALLENGER AS MUCH AS SELLING THE SAME CUSTOMER REPEATEDLY. THAT IS THE MARK OF A GREAT SALESPERSON. SLAMMING A CUSTOMER INTO A PRODUCT MIGHT WORK ONE TIME, BUT SHE WON’T BE BACK FOR MORE SALES even if she doesn’t bad mouth you to other potential customers. YOUR REPEAT CUSTOMERS WILL KEEP YOU IN BUSINESS.

  • Nancy Bleeke

    All great books! Each June I put together a list of current sales books – here’s a link for those who want more options.

    The key is to find what YOU need to develop your ability to sale: It might be negotiations, pre-sale activities, the sales conversation skills themselves (recommend Conversations That Sell), lead gen, communication, etc. Then find the right books for it.

    • ducttape

      Thanks Nancy – great list and I agree, there’s no one thing or book or technique – it’s just keep getting better every day.