My youngest son has just embarked on a career in Sales and he asked me which books would I recommend that he reads first to brush up on his skills. The answer was easy; Selling 101 by Zig Ziglar.
As the title suggests, this book is a basic introduction to sales. There are plenty of other good books to read later, but I would recommend this book as the starting point for anyone interested in improving sales skills. I say improving sales skills as we all “sell”. As I covered in my previous book of the week To Sell is Human , selling applies to anyone that is in a relationship. Personal relationships, teachers, medical, business; we are all asking people to buy ideas from us or trade their time to listen to us.
Ziglar has written many books and founded his famous training systems. All of these are underpinned by his ethics. “Making a difference in the world depends upon honesty and integrity. Being ethical is not only the right way to live; it is also the most practical way to live. True selling professionals don’t talk about ethics; they live ethically!” If you would sell your “product” to family and friends then don’t sell it to anyone. Go and find a product that you believe in.
I find it perplexing that being a sales professional can have a stigma. Even people in the sales profession can describe a typical salesperson with the attributes of a bad sales person. Using the services of a top sales professional is a wonderful experience. A perfect example of this is when I recently visited a wine shop when I was abroad. I was in a completely different climate to back here in the UK, so I needed some help with choosing wine for the meals that we were about to have. The owner of the wine shop asked me all the right questions, and recommended wines that met my criteria. His passion and knowledge of the wines was joy to behold and I complimented him on being a great salesman. The look on his face told me that he had taken it as an insult. I had to explain that I had walked into his shop wanting to buy wine, that he had helped me enormously with that “chore” and that his passion and knowledge had gained my trust that I was going to buy the right wines. And indeed I had! That’s what selling is about, building trust and enabling people in the market to buy your good to make the right choice. When done correctly the buyer feels excited.
Selling 101 is a great little book. If you have read our previous Book of the Week’s, you will know that at Mustard we love little books. This is little in size – it will fit in your pocket. It is broken down into 13 chapters and only 102 pages, but it doesn’t half pack a punch, enabling everyone to sharpen their sales skills.