Must-Read Books for Sharpening Your Sales Skills

What's one must-read book for honing your sales skills?The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. The YEC recently published #FixYoungAmerica: How to Rebuild Our Economy and Put Young Americans Back to Work (for Good), a book of 30+ proven solutions to help end youth unemployment. Email your questions about best practices for starting up and/or managing a small business to

No. 1: "Major Account Sales Strategy" by Neil Rackham From Jullien Gordon of New Higher

"Major Account Sales Strategy" is the best sales skills book I know. It has taught me how buyers think, how they make decisions, what kinds of questions to ask, and how to develop the need through language.

No. 2: "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion" by Robert B. Cialdini From Alexis Wolfer of The Beauty Bean

Whether you think you're in "sales" or not, all entrepreneurs are selling something -- even if it's just an idea -- and Robert B. Cialdini's "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion" is a great resource for learning how people think and make decisions in a practical way. At the very least, you'll start to recognize your own decision making patterns and avoid traps.

No. 3: "Cashvertising" by Drew Eric Whitman From Sean Ogle of Location 180, LLC

Want to know the triggers that really convince people to buy your product? "Cashvertising" and its "Life Force 8" is one of the best resources I've ever found for your sales skills, and copywriting skills in particular.

No. 4: "SPIN Selling" by Neil Rackham From Arjun Arora of ReTargeter

We're big fans of Neil Rackham's SPIN Selling here at ReTargeter. The book focuses on developing a deep understanding of customer's needs, which meshes well with our consultative sales process. Instead of teaching your sales team how to "win" sales through high-pressure tactics that make your prospects feel uncomfortable, the book conceives of salespeople as solution-finders and trusted partners.

No. 5: "How To Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie From Josh Weiss of Bluegala

It's the Bible of people skills for a reason and has sold over 15 million copies. If there is one must-read book I mention to anyone working in sales, its Carnegie's classic.

No. 6: "Words That Sell" by Richard Bayan From Nathalie Lussier of Nathalie Lussier Media

This book is a great copywriting handbook, but it also helps you fine tune your language. The way you speak and write is so important for delivering your message and making the sale, and this book helps you find the right words to do it.

No. 7: "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu From Roger Bryan of RCBryan & Associates

I've read at least 30 different versions of this book. The way its fundamentals are applied to different business strategies keeps me on my toes and ready to take on any challenge.

No. 8: "The Secret of Selling Anything" by Harry Browne

From Pete Kennedy of Main Street ROI

The best sales book I've ever read is “The Secret of Selling Anything” by Harry Browne. I'm an introvert, and this book showed me how to sell effectively without being too pushy. As you'll discover when you read the book, the true secret of selling anything is to listen carefully and ask the right questions.

No. 9: "Pitch Anything" by Oren Klaff From Jun Loayza of RewardMe

My entire sales strategy is based on the techniques and principles written in "Pitch Anything" by Oren Klaff. I have closed $100,000+ deals with the largest cosmetic company in the U.S., the largest natural and organic foods grocery market in the U.S., and a 175-unit restaurant franchise. I'm 26-years-old and have closed deals with those older than 50. The techniques in the book really do work!

No. 10: "The Wedge" by Randy Schwantz From Doreen Bloch of Poshly Inc.

This book is a pioneering read for how to "stop selling and start winning." The idea is that before making a sale, you need to create a wedge between your customer and the current alternative for your product or service. It's a fast read, and a fantastic one at that. It will help you hone your sales skills by showing you how to break down the sales process into actionable bits.