Summer Sales Reading, 2012 Edition.

by Doug Weaver on July 10, 2012 at 12:58AM

It’s halfway through your two weeks at the beach house and maybe the thrillers you’re reading are not so thrilling anymore.  Or perhaps you’re just not completely letting go of that second half number that you’re still going to need to hit when you’re back at it.  Well, fear not!  Set up your umbrella and beach chair and spend a few hours feeding your sales mojo with a great idea book.  Without further ado, here are The 2012 Drift Summer Sales Reading Picks.

Anyone who’s been in a workshop with me over the past few months will be familiar with “The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation.” For my money, this is the best sales book of the past 15 years, and particularly relevant for the asymmetrical, dynamic world of online marketing.  An efficient and engaging read over its first 100 pages, “The Challenger Sale” exposes the failings of “solution selling” and butchers many of the sacred cows of sales theory.

The Drift is proudly underwritten this week by PubMatic, which helps premium publishers take control by giving them a real-time media selling platform for managing revenue and brand strategy.

While not technically a sales book, “A Whole New Mind: Why Right Brainers Will Rule the Future” just may be the most important thing a digital seller reads this summer.  We’re all drowning in statistics and throwing data at one another with savage regularity:  but where’s the meaning?  It turns out that – just like Dorothy – we had the power all along.  By tapping into your inner artist, you learn to synthesize, fuse ideas, interpret and make the numbers start to sing.  And you can finally show your Dad that the painting class you took senior year wasn’t a waste of tuition after all.

Yet another antidote to the noise, confusion and indifference we all face every day is….quiet.  Actually, that’s the title of the book:  “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking.” This is a book that I’ve only skimmed so far, but which I’ll be digging into in the days ahead.  The importance of not only quiet but also the concept of “open space” within the sales process is fascinating.  Too many sellers habitually fill up every pause or quiet moment with ever more words and data, thereby choking off the chances for their customer to actually participate in the discussion.  This concept is also covered in “In Pursuit of Elegance: Why the Best Ideas Have Something Missing.” If you’ve ever heard me talk about bringing “Half an Idea” to a customer, this is brilliant reinforcement and explanation of that concept.

Finally, I never miss a chance to recommend “The One Thing You Need to Know” by Marcus Buckingham.  A sharp and engaging business writer, Buckingham distills the most important things we each need to know about Leadership, Management (quite different from Leadership, thank you) and sustained personal success.   One of the very best, and a perennial read for me.

Have a recommendation of your own?  Fire away.  Happy Summer!

Reader Comments (5)

You can follow any follow up comments to this entry through the RSS feed.

  1. Dave Smith July 10, 2012 at 9:37 am

    What about the Harvard Business Review recent study that those who read novels are actually more creative thinkers in business than those who read business books!

  2. Richy G July 10, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Doug,

    Thanks for the reading reco’s. Agree with you 100% on The Challenger Sale. great book. trying the others out rest of the summer.

    Best

  3. Scott Bender July 10, 2012 at 11:57 am

    Have been waiting for this post! Thanks Doug. Have already read “The Challenger Sale”. Absolute must read for anyone in Digital Sales Management.

  4. Scot July 10, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    DW,

    Thx, some great new reads!

    Like your one thing book I have to reco my go to -how to win friends and influence people. We can all benefit from a few listening and conversationalreminders, this book is still filled with them

    Cheers!

  5. Perry Allison July 10, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    Hey Doug,
    I couldn’t resist a good summer reading recommendation. Here’s one that I have just heard about and is supposed to be really powerful- The Power of Habit- Why we do what we do in business and in life.
    It’s on my list and in my never-ending quest for more productivity and organization, I’m hoping it is as helpful as advertised. Happy Summer !

Leave a Reply

By submitting a comment here you grant The Drift from Upstream a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution. Inappropriate or irrelevant comments will be removed at an admin's discretion.