Four books every salesperson should read in 2019

2019-01-17 | BY Proven Recruiting's Editorial Team | IN Recruiting

Four books every salesperson should read in 2019

When a former president gives you leadership advice, you sit down with your pen and paper and take notes. Harry S. Truman observed “not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers” – and he was right.

Case in point:

Warren Buffet claims that 500+ pages a day are necessary to hone your expertise and expand your mind. Buffet reports, “I do more reading and thinking, and make less impulse decisions than most people in business.”

Mark Cuban reads 3 hours a day to keep himself accountable and confident in his business decisions.

Bill Gates reads 50 books a year – his preferred method of continued education.

And on top of the obvious benefits to intelligence and vocabulary, just six minutes of reading can lower your stress levels by 68%.

Start 2019 with a bang – and you may just get a promotion out of it, too. Here’s what you’ll want to read this year, straight from our CEO:

1. Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People by Vanessa Van Edwards

Why are we made to learn the laws of physics and math, but not the laws of interpersonal relations? Without a doubt, knowing how to work a room, read facial expressions, and quickly build connections are among the most valuable – and marketable – skills in the workplace and beyond.

In Captivate, Vanessa Van Edwards breaks down the science behind human interactions. Referencing science-backed studies, she cracks the code to successful relationships and is more than willing to share her wealth of knowledge. You’ll leave with a clearer sense of the world and the invisible forces at play that bring people together – and keep them apart.

2. I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons by Kevin Hart

Perhaps a strange addition to our list, Kevin Hart’s tale of survival, hardship, and ultimate success is not only uplifting – it’s chock full of excellent advice applicable to both your life and business.

He’s not your everyday businessman. But he does know how to climb the ladder against seemingly insurmountable odds; his father a crack addict in and out of jail and his mother abusively strict. Yet despite hardship, Hart was able to build a life for himself – one that includes sold out shows grossing over $3.5 billion. Learn from his mistakes, breath in his wisdom, and enjoy this out-of-the-box approach to self-made leadership.

3. The Challenger Sale by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson

Few are natural born salespeople – most of us have to learn, and The Challenger Sale is the place to do it. It delves deep into what separates the best salespeople from the mediocre, and breaks down the qualities necessary for continued success.

Dixon and Adamson put forward a provocative thesis; that the best salespeople are not those who provide ample information on their product or bend to the will of their client. No, those are average sales people. The best salespeople are Challengers – those who tailor their pitch to each client, highlight a few key points regarding savings and value, and are willing to push back if necessary.

Want to learn their ways? It’s easier than you think.

4. Barking Up the Wrong Tree: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You know Is (Mostly) Wrong by Eric Barker

Most people – especially people who read – rely on logic and rationality to determine the right decision. Barker is here to tell us that that’s wrong.

Often, the way to succeed in life is through a series of seemingly illogical actions. Right off the bat, he lays out why valedictorians are rarely millionaires, and why pirates and convicts may be the best models of cooperation.

He peels back the biases and foregone conclusions on which we too often rely, and sets out a formula for success that has been tried and tested. And it’s probably not what you think.

An intensely engaging read, full of quotable experiments that are sure to make you sound smart at your next meeting.

Don’t think of these books as homework; think of them as fun. You’ll notice that we haven’t included any hardcore, step-by-step sales manifestos. Every book has been carefully selected to help you better understand yourself, your capabilities, and your limits. Plus, they’ll make you sound smart.

If you’re putting this much work into your professional development, make sure you’re working at the right company. We’ve connected thousands of professionals with meaningful work; send us your resume at to get started.

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