Monday, June 06, 2011

 

Summer reading recommendations for sales and marketing pros

By all means, take that trashy novel to the beach with you. What are vacations, long weekends and lazy afternoons in the sun for if not to escape - literally and cognitively?

But in between vampire novels and celebrity gossip magazines, here are six business books I recommend sales & marketing professionals check out before the leaves start to change color.

Trust Based Selling
Of all the excellent sales strategy and methodology books out there, this is one of the first to focus on how to leverage personal and organizational trust as a means of accelerating preference and conversion. Even if you're not in a sales position, this book offers recommendations that will help you in your career growth, networking, intra-company relationships and more. An excellent summary of the key points in the first few chapters can be found here.


Driving Excellence
The CEO of a public bus company in Rochester, New York scaled revenue and profitability while reducing customer fares. And it wasn't easy. He fought bureaucracy, an existing and dangerous internal culture, unions and more. This is a fast read that's full of examples and lessons that can be applied to any business. The back of the book alone, with a summary of his key learnings and business advice, is worth buying a copy.


Def
ining Advertising Goals for Measured Advertising Results
One of my favorite marketing books last years was an old-school direct marketing book written in 1921. This book was also difficult to find but recommended by more than one trusted colleague, and was well worth the read. Solid, fundamental marketing advice that never goes out of style, and applies to every channel - past, present and future.


Gam
e Plan
This book focuses on a blueprint for the changing residential real estate landscape, and was written specifically for real estate brokers and agents, but the lessons therein apply to a myriad changing markets and industries. It's an excellent example of using existing market data to clarity and predict where the market is headed, then translate those headings into specific, actionable tactics to stay ahead. (disclaimer, the co-author is also a client, but it's still a great read)


Digital Body Language
If you know what you're looking for, you can identify and take action on a prospect or customer's interest, intent or needs by simply watching what they do online - what they say, how they respond, where they are, how others interact with them, and so on. This excellent book provides specific examples of what to look for, and how to translate that into an actionable plan for your business. If nothing else, it will change how you approach and derive value from the social networks your customers and prospects are engaged in every day (with or without you).


The 100 Best Business Books of all Time
None of us have time to read as many books as we want. But this single book can help catch you up on many of the classics. Quick summaries of some great management, marketing and strategy books that moves quickly, is a surprisingly fast read, and is well worth the investment.

What's on your business reading list this summer? What have you recently read that you'd add to this list?

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