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Sales Books for Members

I once read a quote that said, “Leaders are readers.” And that really stuck with me.

So, I try to read as often as possible now.

There are at least 25 sales books on my shelf, here in my office. 90% of them I will never read again.

But the others, I reference on a regular basis.

These are the sales books I reference on a regular basis. Some I have read two or three times. While others, I read when a task demands it.

Start with at least one book today.

Note: I use affiliate links below. That way, when you purchase a sales book, I get a small commission to help maintain the Senator Club. People helping people; it’s a beautiful thing.



  • Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill: Think and Grow Rich has been called the “Granddaddy of All Motivational Literature.” It was the first book to boldly ask, “What makes a winner?” The man who asked and listened for the answer, Napoleon Hill, is now counted in the top ranks of the world’s winners himself.



  • Secrets of Closing the Sale by Zig Ziglar: Whether presenting a product or principle, service or idea, we all engage in sales. Zig Ziglar presents winning techniques for getting a positive response and establishing dynamic relationships. Readers discover how to:o project warmth, enthusiasm, and integrity o effectively use 100 creative closes o increase productivity and professionalism o overcome the five basic reasons people will not buy o deal respectfully with challenging prospects.





  • How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie: You can go after the job you want…and get it! You can take the job you have…and improve it! You can take any situation you’re in…and make it work for you!



  • SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham: SPIN Selling is essential reading for anyone involved in selling or managing a sales force. Unquestionably the best-documented account of sales success ever collected and the result of the Huthwaite corporation’s massive 12-year, $1-million dollar research into effective sales performance, this groundbreaking resource details the revolutionary SPIN (Situation, Problem, Implication, Need-payoff) strategy.



  • The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation by Matthew Dixon: What’s the secret to sales success? If you’re like most business leaders, you’d say it’s fundamentally about relationships-and you’d be wrong. The best salespeople don’t just build relationships with customers. They challenge them.





  • The Boron Letters by Gary C. Halbert: A series of letters by history’s greatest copywriter Gary C. Halbert, explaining insider tactics and sage wisdom to his youngest son Bond. Once only available as part of a paid monthly premium, The Boron Letters are unique in the marketing universe and now they are a bonafide cult classic among direct response marketers and copywriters around the world.


  • The Copywriter’s Handbook, Third Edition: A Step-By-Step Guide To Writing Copy That Sells by Robert W. Bly: This is a book for everyone who writes or approves copy: copywriters, account executives, creative directors, freelance writers, advertising managers . . . even entrepreneurs and brand managers. It reveals dozens of copywriting techniques that can help you write ads, commercials, and direct mail that are clear, persuasive, and get more attention–and sell more products.


Next time, I’m going to show you how to automate your sales process with a combination of sales tools.

But first, spend the next couple days reading. Then we’ll pick up where we left off.

Oh, one more thing. I bet you know at least ONE sales book that I should read. Write it down in the comments below.

60 Comments Sales Books

  1. Jim Kim says:

    Great list, Ian!

    I’m a huge fan of Zig Ziglar. “Secrets of Closing the Sale” should be on every professional seller’s desk and marked, highlighted, dog-eared, and abused from all the reading and referencing!

    Another useful sales book to check out is “The Accidental Salesperson” by Chris Lytle. He offers great advice and tips on how to get in front of more decision makers with just a few easy steps any sales rep can add to their process.

    I also really like Art Sobczak’s “Smart Calling: Eliminate the Fear, Failure, and Rejection from Cold Calling” for great cold calling techniques that get you hot leads.

    Another great book for even more useful cold calling technique’s is Stephen Schiffman’s “Cold Calling Techniques (That Really Work!)”.

    Thanks for creating such a helpful and useful blog, Ian! Your knowledge and experience is helping other hustlers climb the ladder of success in The Game.

  2. Iulia Toea says:

    Hi Ian,

    the book that I know and read is “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. Really amazing book, written in the most simple language with the most obvious examples. I will definitely try and make the most of the list you provided here.

    Thank you very much!

    • Ian Adams says:

      Absolutely Iulia. Simple is best for me too. Only two of these books are rather dense: SPIN Selling and Copywriter’s Handbook. But both are still a worthwhile read.

  3. Mike says:

    Thanks Ian, great list and I’m happy and surprised that I have a couple of those on my shelves already – before I joined the world of sales! A book I have found really useful is:

    New Sales Simplified by Mike Weinberg.

    Love the blog.

  4. […] probably saw my recommendation for the best sales books to read. So you know I’m a firm believer in […]

  5. […] a concept called Outcome Based Thinking by Kevin Hogan, who wrote the book “The Psychology of Persuasion“. It suggests most of us operate in a stimulus/response mode. Something happens; we respond. […]

  6. […] a concept called Outcome Based Thinking by Kevin Hogan, who wrote the book “The Psychology of Persuasion“. It suggests most of us operate in a stimulus/response mode. Something happens; we respond. […]

  7. Hi Ian!

    Here’s a couple I highly recommend:

    You Can’t Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar by the late, great David Sandler, who founded Sandler Training. His selling system is second to none.

    The “I Hate Selling” Book by Allan Boress, a student of David Sandler. Allan was a CPA by training but found out quickly that if he wanted to get to the top of his firm he had to learn to sell.

  8. JB says:

    The way of the dog is great. By Geoff Burch

  9. Nu says:

    I agree with you, Sir. Thanks for your recommendation. There are very useful.

  10. Emilia says:

    Hi there! This blog post couldn’t be written any better!
    Looking through this article reminds me of my previous roommate!

    He continually kept preaching about this.
    I will send this article to him. Fairly certain he’s going to have a great read.
    Thank you for sharing!

  11. Jean Nickerson says:

    Hello Ian,

    I just joined your email distribution list yesterday. I found your Website through one of those fortuitous moments in an online search where you land in a place you weren’t expecting. I especially like your link to read this first where you declare you are not a sales expert and then demonstrate the fundamental rule of sales, which is listen/read and seek to learn from those leaders you respect.

    I love that you have three of my favourites on your list: Napolean Hill that I reread every year, Dale Carnegie and my newfound Sales Bible, Matt Dixon’s “The Challenger Sale”. One sales guru I read is Brian Tracy and you can be forgiven for maybe not be acquainted with his writings as he is a Canadian. Even though he is 70 now, his book “Advanced Selling Strategies” that is over 20 years old still reminds that the fundamentals never change.

    Thanks so much for your enthusiasm for Sales and I look forward to coming across new things such as ‘the salesman’s prayer’, which is a first for me. Have a wonderful Labour Day holiday.

  12. Steve Bohne says:

    You left one off: “How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling” [Frank Bettger]. Any person who sells anything should have read this book. If you haven’t, shame on you.

  13. Mike says:

    Drafting off of Jean’s comment about Brian Tracy; I listened to a lot of Brian Tracy stuck in LA traffic many years ago. He definitely had an influence on my sales approach. I also like The Sales Bible by Jeff Gitomer. I like Gitomer’s no-nonense approach. Great community you’re building here, Ian!

    • Ian Adams says:

      Thanks Mike. Really glad to have you a part of it. I picked up Jeff’s Little Red Book a few years back. And have also enjoyed some of Brian’s youtube videos.

  14. Great list. I”m a huge fan of Geoffrey James. His ‘How to Say’ it book is a great primer on the best of all the sales gurus out there. It’s my go to book.

    I also get his newsletter as he’s a prolific writer and very smart. AND succinct posts and articles.

  15. […] This framework is based on my own personal experience. And likely influenced by these sales books I read. […]

  16. eric says:

    Let’s get real or let’s not play
    Mahan Khalsa.

  17. Holly says:

    Happy New Year Ian, I am a huge fan of Zig Ziglar, i have most of his books, Grant Cardone and Spin Selling along with the workbook and the cds. I have been selling car for the past year but am not overly successful. Any thoughts???

  18. Don’t leave home without it. My dog-eared, yellow-paged, torn-cover 1960 copy that I always keep in my briefcase broke in half at the binding during my annual December re-reading. Had to pull out a back up to finish it!

  19. Carolina Liechtenstein says:

    Excellent list. Copywriter’s Handbook is very highly recommended by me. Learn to write so that you get the reader’s attention within 5 seconds.

  20. Pau Ferret says:

    Great list Ian,

    I read some of them and I will put the others on my list. The one I will strongly recommend is “Pitch Anything”, from OREN KLAFF. He turns the pitch adding situational elements to put you in the position of “You know, everybody wants my solution so I have to choose to whom do I sell”.

  21. maithili says:

    thank you will go ahead definitely

  22. James Dick says:

    For something completely different….

    The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino….picked it up when I sold educational books door-to-door in Pennsylvania some 20 years ago (I’m English from London now living in Hong Kong). I’m not religious so didn’t connect with some of the stories undertones, but for creating great habits and mastering emotion (The Legend Of The Ten Scrolls) is GOLD

    • Ian Adams says:

      You’re right James. That is good stuff. I actually own the paperback copy. Great fundamentals.

    • Colin Sansom says:

      James,a great choice. Ironically that book is on my to buy list for June 2014. Personally, I am not affiliated to any religious denomination, instead, my own belief system is based on that we are spiritual beings living in a physical body and that we all connected to the great cosmos, known as the universe. P.S. I am English too living in New Zealand.

  23. Nice interactions here.

    Have lined up 3 of these books for the next few months as I transition to a job where I’ll need to be more sales-oriented than ever before. To be honest, I’ve always had an aversion to “sales” because of the pushy/greedy/alpha label that it’s somewhat fairly, somewhat unfairly earned. Like anything else, it’s the way a tool is used that counts, not necessarily the tool or the art itself.

    I have a feeling that, in the end, the saleman & women that are most successful are the ones that listen, understand value & can communicate that well so as to truly benefit their clients… basically what you put so simply as “people helping people. it’s a beautiful thing”.

    I look forward to learning how to use my strengths as a listener & empathizer & combine them with sales strategies that are win win for my future clients. Thanks for the help along the path, Ian, & will keep you posted.

  24. Taylor says:

    As a Man Thinketh by James Allen. It’s a short, quick read but its extremely powerful. I’ve read it many times.

  25. Bipin says:

    Thank you so much for sharing.

  26. Awesome list Ian !
    I’ve read 2 from the list (From N. Hill and D. Carnegie), and will make room for others. One book I would like to suggest is Mastering Technical Sales by John Care and Aron Bohlig. I think it is worth a one time read.

    Cheers !

  27. Bob Steele says:

    Hi Ian,
    I sure could have used your sage advice and several of these books 20 years ago. I retired from the business world after a 31 year career in engineering & technology/business management. I am now thoroughly enjoying my new found career as a writer, primarily screenplays and novels. I still have to pitch to producers, publishers, editors, et al. It’s just a different type of product.

    Back when I started calling on Fortune 500 execs and senior Gov’t officials, I found Anthony Parinello’s book “Selling to VITO the Very Important Top Officer” very helpful. Thought it may be helpful to some of your readers.

    Keep up the good work!

  28. Dara says:

    Thanks for all the recommendation! It is very interesting.

  29. Lucky me. I found out about your website and the Senator Club. Definitely now about Carnegie and Hill.
    Though not directly involved with the selling process, Sun Tzu’s Art of War and Sword in the Boardroom both by yours truly.
    Will definitely get hold of Cashvertising.
    Thanksw again, and gee whiz, this is only the first day..

  30. Bastian Johnston says:

    Question Based Selling by Thomas Freese!! Basic premise of the book is the one who is asking the questions is in control and in the stronger position. Also, you can’t challenge a question. How much is the cost? What features are the most important to you? Top sales book out of the many that I have ever read and a very deep resource you can continually pull from. Love the chapter on mismatching. Very powerful psychology that works to get the sale.

  31. umar says:

    Great Job Ian! I was looking for books recommended by Sales people. Your first email is straight on the target. Thanks!

  32. Windy says:

    Great Reference for me, I have a couple of them already, I’ll get the others this weekend and let you know how it goes.
    Thank you for being so generous with your knowledge.

  33. Moses T. says:

    Thanks Ian,
    Awesome start into a new me..

  34. Lucky Ajabor says:

    Ian, I have the first five books you listed in my library. I hope to get the rest immediately. How about trying some of Brian Tracy books? He is a great teacher

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