In a constantly evolving environment of modern sales, it seems many top performing sales organizations share one commonality: continuous learning. From understanding industry trends affecting their clients to books on self-development, there is an unlimited source of information available.
Despite the abundance of information, the challenge that arises is distilling the noise into focus of valuable knowledge. This involves deciding what resources are best for you and in what modality. In this week’s review, we’ll dive deeper into the value of reading books, which books to read and how salespeople can transfer their knowledge to clients.
Information Equals Knowledge
Books hold merit as one of the most valuable sources for knowledge. In Anthony Iannarino’s blog this week on Why You Absolutely Must Read Books, he explores the how reading books can help shorten the learning curve and accelerate mastery.
As Iannarino mentions, “Part of that learning can and will be codified in the form of a book. Reading helps you understand your experience and provides context.”
Some concepts cannot be fully learned through reading such as swimming which require hours of experience. However, the action of reading about swimming can accelerate your knowledge of how to swim. The experiences, trials and tribulations captured within books can save you a lifetime of effort. The absence of reading books is a neglect on learning.
12 Books To Read
On the continued topic of books for sales, Aja Frost outlines 12 must-read sales books filled with classics such as “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” to moder recent staples like “The Challenger Sales.”
Within this collection of books, you’ll find years worth of experience distilled down to arguably the best sales books written. Some key standouts include:
- The Little Red Book of Selling by Jeffrey Gitomer
- The Sales Acceleration Formula by Mark Roberge
- Secrets of Closing The Sales by Zig Ziglar
There are enough books in this collection for you to read one a month for a year. A tale of caution though, once you start this list of books your journey of continuous learning won’t ever stop.
To Sell Is to Teach
Ironically, the role of sales is also teaching instead of learning. The responsibility to teach is different for a sales leader and a salesperson. As Stephanie Downs discusses in her article Sales Is About Teaching, the role of the sales leader is to develop, train and coach their sales team.
As a salesperson, teaching is inherent in your relationships with clients. From teaching innovative ideas and to how your solution addresses specific business challenges, the transfer of value is apart of teaching.
As Down mentions, “But whether you are teaching a sales staff as a manager or teaching a client as a salesperson, you cannot be successful in teaching unless you have a willing pupil who wants to hear what you have to say.” The responsibility of the salesperson is to provide value, become a credible resource and offer a compelling proposition.
Question for you as you wrap up your week: What are you and your sales team doing to continuous learn? As mentioned earlier, having access to information isn’t difficult. The difficult part of getting started and finding the resources that are applicable to you in your role.