Summer reading for sales pros

Flickr user aafromaa

(MoneyWatch) Ah, summertime! Time to curl up on the beach or by the lake with a good Nook. Or Kindle. Traditionalists out there may even pick up one of those old-fashioned books (ink and paper included). In addition to the latest spy thriller or romance novel, consider adding some recent sales advice books to your summer reading pile.

Here are five I recommend:

Go-Givers Sell More (by Bob Burg and John David Mann). A practical guide to powerful and effective sales, this book turns the conventional process of selling on its head. Its approach to business and sales is based on five steps: adding value; touching lives; building networks; being real; and staying open. Punctuated by stories of real-life salespeople who have prospered by giving more, Go-Givers Sell More offers tips and strategies that anyone can start applying right away in their sales career. Also don't miss co-author Burg's critically acclaimed book, Endless Referrals: Network Your Everyday Contacts Into Sales, which has sold over 200,000 copies and remains a great read.

Rules of the Hunt: Real-World Advice for Entrepreneurial and Business Success (by Michael Dalton Johnson). This book is unlike any sales book you'll ever read. You won't find any trendy advice, complex theories, or unrealistic promises. Rather, you'll get the kind of honest, down-to-earth advice from someone who has been in the sales trenches. A successful entrepreneur with more than 30 years of experience, Johnson knows what it takes to build and run a profitable business. In Rules of the Hunt, he provides invaluable insight into everything you need to know, from practical skills such as negotiating, recruiting, and time management to "soft" skills such as mental agility and personal growth.

Shut Up, Stop Whining, and Get a Life: A Kick-Butt Approach to a Better Life (by Larry Winget). Your sales career is your own fault. That is the kind of caustic, no-nonsense and amusing advice the world has come to expect from Winget, the self-proclaimed "Pitbull of Personal Development." He has dubbed himself "the World's Only Irrational Speaker," a phrase he has registered as a trademark. The titles of his best-selling books back up the claim: You Are Broke Because You Want to Be, It's Called Work for a Reason, and People are Idiots and I Can Prove It. In this updated edition, Winget expands on previous principles and toughens up the lessons he originally laid down using new examples, stories, and the wisdom he's gained as a media personality and self-help expert over the past 20 years.

What Great Salespeople Do: The Science of Selling Through Emotional Connection and the Power of Story (by Michael Bosworth and Ben Zoldan). This book offers extraordinary insight into the greatest mystery in sales: how the very best salespeople consistently and successfully influence change in others, inspiring their customers to say "yes." Top-performing salespeople have always had a knack for forging connections and building relationships with buyers. Until now, this has been considered an innate talent. What Great Salespeople Do challenges some of the most widely accepted paradigms in selling in order to prove that influencing change in buyers is a skill that anyone can learn. Bosworth and Zoldan keep things interesting by synthesizing discoveries in neuroscience, psychology, sociology, anthropology, and other disciplines.

Power of Positive Selling: 30 Surefire Techniques to Win New Clients, Boost Commission, and Build the Mindset for Success (by Stephan Schiffman). This is a man who has trained more than half a million sales professionals. In The Power of Positive Selling, he provides instruction, tips, anecdotes, and inspiration that are guaranteed to help you overcome negative thoughts, feel confident in any sales situation, and remain positive no matter what happens. Inside, you'll find 30 techniques for warding off the kind of self-destructive pessimism that we've all experienced in sales.

Image courtesy of Flickr user aafromaa