Selling cars is more than just exchanging money for metal. It is understanding people. It is also understanding your own psychology and that of your customer. There are many good books on the topic of sales. While opinions differ as to which books are the most beneficial to sales success, Here is a selection of three books that have stood the test of time and are as relevant today as when they were first published many years ago.
Published in 1936, How to Win Friends and Influence People is considered the bible of building relationships. At its core, this book teaches kindness and empathy for others. Carnegie was masterful at recognizing that nobody is going to do anything they don’t want to do. If you want to influence people to your way of thinking (i.e. sell them a car), you first have to listen to them and make them feel important.
Carnegie discusses fundamental techniques for handling people, ways to make people like you, ways to win people to your way of thinking, and ways to become a leader. All of these topics are based on kindness, and listening and helping the other person feel good about themselves and their ideas, all while moving them toward saying yes to your ideas.
This is an absolute classic and a must-read for any salesperson. It will change the way you look at people and relationships, and will greatly influence your sales success.
A year after Dale Carnegie published his book, Napoleon Hill published Think and Grow Rich in 1937. While the title of this book conjures visions of growing monetary wealth, the principles of the book are applicable to success in any endeavor, not just the amassing of riches.
The idea for Think and Grow Rich came from a 1908 assignment that Hill had been given to interview business magnate Andrew Carnegie (no relation to the aforementioned Dale Carnegie). In that interview, Carnegie challenged Hill to study and interview many successful people to determine their formula for success. Hill did so, and recognized a pattern that all of these successful people had followed.
The pattern that Hill discovered is broken down into 13 steps that can help you achieve anything you wish to accomplish. Hill asserts that desire, faith, suppression of negative thought and a persistence can lead to great success. It is a philosophical foundation on which any salesperson can build a successful career.
Published in 1968, The Greatest Salesman in the World is a philosophical guide to salesmanship and success. It is the story of a poor camel boy named Hafid who achieves a life of abundance. The book promotes repetition of good habits in order to achieve success.
Mandino has broken the book down into 10 “scrolls” or chapters. If read according to his prescription, each roll is to be read repetitively 3 times a day for a month before moving on to the next scroll. It is a short book of 111 pages, so this is not an overwhelming task, but it enforces the books philosophy that success comes from repetition of good habits.
Many have raved about this book, claiming that it has changed their life. It is a must-read for any salesperson.
There are so many sales books that talk more about technique, approach, and other finer details of selling, but when it comes to the fundamentals and philosophy of successful selling, these 3 books are among the very best.