5 Books that Every Electrical Distributor Salesperson Should Read

As the old saying goes – readers are leaders.

If you have a sales role at an electrical distributor and you’re committed to improvement, you likely realize the importance of developing your skill set to be more effective. Books are one of the best knowledge resources to hone your craft. While new titles are constantly emerging, there are some sales books that are simply timeless. Whether you’re new to sales, trying to get out of a rut, or looking to take your sales results to the next level, here are some of our picks to help you be more effective in your sales role:’

1. SPIN Selling – Neil Rackham

“People do not buy from salespeople because they understand their products but because they felt the salesperson understood their problems.”

This book is an absolute must-read for salespeople. Rackham and his company analyzed over 35,000 sales calls, and found that, in most successful sales calls, the buyer actually does most of the talking. But in order for the process to work, the salesperson needs to ask the right questions. SPIN Selling revolves around the four types of questions as its foundation:

  • Situation questions
  • Problem questions
  • Implication questions
  • Need-Payoff questions

Understanding each of these types of questions along with the strategy behind them helps salespeople have more effective conversations with their prospects.

2. Little Red Book of Selling – Jeffrey Gitomer

“If they like you, and they believe you, and they trust you, and they have confidence in you…then they MAY buy from you.”

This book is filled with “12.5” principles of sales greatness, as well as attack plans for dealing with difficult customers. Gitomer’s style is both inspirational and motivational. He dishes out wisdom on how to break out of a sales slump and teaches readers how to deliver value throughout the entire sales process.

Whether you’re cold calling, selling in person, or just outright negotiating, this book is a great asset.

3. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion – Dr. Robert Cialdini

“The truly gifted negotiator is one whose initial position is exaggerated enough to allow for a series of concessions that will yield a desirable final offer from the opponent — yet is not so outlandish as to be seen as illegitimate from the start.”

In Cialdini’s renowned book, you learn the psychology behind why people say “yes”, and how to use this understanding in your own sales attempts. The author takes you through situations from his own life, as well as other relatable examples, to show the power of these persuasive techniques in action.

Looking through a scientific lens, Cialdini reveals and explains his six principles of influence and persuasion: Reciprocation, Commitment and Consistency, Social Proof, Liking, Authority, and Scarcity.

4. The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation – Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson

“This is an excellent book, with provocative insights and useful information for salespeople looking for ways to break out of the pack.”

According to a study of thousands of sales reps across multiple industries and geographies, the most successful put their energy toward delivering valuable insights — not becoming their prospect’s friend. Join the ranks of the top performers with Adamson and Dixon’s signature Teach, Tailor, and Take Control methodology.

If you’ve read this one and found it valuable, read the follow-up: “The Challenger Customer: Selling to the Hidden Influencer Who Can Multiply Your Results”

5. Go-Giver, Expanded Edition: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea – Bob Burg and John David Mann

“Most people just laugh when they hear that the secret to success is giving… Then again, most people are nowhere near as successful as they wish they were.”

This quick read reveals the importance that giving plays in having success in business. Not only will you walk away convinced that giving leads to receiving, you’ll also learn how to give to achieve your desired results. Go Giver is clear, entertaining, and immediately practical. This book will evolve your approach to business — and life. It highlights the success of salespeople going through each day focusing on how to give and be open to receiving. This book will help you build stronger customer relationships and increase success on multiple levels.

Please chime in! What are your picks for the top books on selling? Which ones have influenced your sales technique the most? Submit us a list of your favorites to marketing@distributorwire.com.