4 years ago

If you think you don’t need sales training, think again. In an opinion piece for Forbes, Les McKeown, coauthor of The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation, writes,

“we live in a world of predictable change, where the way we sell has changed more in the past five years than in the previous 50.”

That statement should capture your attention if you are a recruiter, because you’re a salesperson too.

But picking the right sales books is hard. There are so many out there that the stack on your bedside table just keeps growing. If, like me, you want to read them all, the importance of picking the right ones for you is even more significant. So here are two tips.

Two Tips For Picking Sales Books

Tip 1: Look for Sales Books with a Bite.

McKeown notes the biggest sales book misses happen when the authors fail to challenge and provoke readers. “For book written on the topic of selling, surprisingly few authors actually sell you their message,” he writes. “Instead of (or in addition to) teaching readers how to sell, the good ones pull out a satirical blade and make their points by showing how other people or companies fail.”

As someone who has committed his life to the profession, he knows what it takes to be successful in sales. He also knows the biggest book fails.

Those that apply the most practically to your life and the field of recruitment will be the most valuable to you. One of my favorite examples of this is Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson’s The Challenger Sale. This book gives enormous weight to recruitment salesmanship.

Its step-by-step approach to maximizing your sales results is both effective and challenging. Dixon and Adamson’s book has stuck with me every day of my sales career.

Tip 2: Go to the Source.

How do you know who the best sales books are? McKeown recommends looking at sales book awards lists. “Best Selling Books lists from Amazon, The Bookseller and others typically contain books about selling that have been on the American best seller list,” he writes. “Top 10 lists from business magazines outside of the sales space (like Inc.) generally contain the same books.”

So what are the best sales books for recruiters? Look out for the following:

The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation

The Little Red Book of Selling

Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

Hiring In the New Normal: Strategies for Recruitment and Retention in Uncertain Times

The Science of Selling

The Now Habit: A Strategic Plan for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play

If you are looking for winners, these are your best bets. All were recognized by one or more of the above publications for their excellence (The Challenger Sale, The Little Red Book of Selling and Writing the Winning Outcome).

The Outcome

So how do you unwind after a hard day of trying to fill top positions? You unwind by keeping your sales skills top notch and you do that by reading proven sales books.

In my own life, I’ve kept my sales wits sharp by reading great books. And through that process, I’ve discovered how to structure an interview by developing a vivacious process and finding better candidates.

What works for you? How do you keep your sales skills sharp for filling top positions?

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