3 Sales and Marketing Books That You Should Pick Up Today

A book that is open, lying on grass

By Tricia McKinnon

Never Eat Alone, Perennial Seller, and Influence, The Psychology of Persuasion are three sales and marketing books that can help you to not only meet but to exceed your sales objectives.

Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz is a book about how to build relationships.  It provides detailed insight into how to develop deeper relationships with people within your network as well as with people you do not know but would like to get to know better.  Ferrazzi, a former Chief Marketing Officer at Deloitte Consulting and Starwood Hotels and Resorts, sheds light into the nitty gritty of relationship building including how to turn a business acquaintance into a friend, how to use social media to connect with more people and how to more effectively network at conferences.  This book can help you to make the most out of your existing network. Ferrazzi says that people do not realize how vast and widespread their existing network already is. My favourite quote from this book is: “I learned that real networking was about finding ways to make other people successful.”

My key takeaway for organizations is: relationship building is a skill that can be developed and refined like any other skill with the help of books like this.

Perennial Seller by Ryan Holiday is a book about how to create perennial sellers – products and services that last forever.  The book provides a frank look into the creative process and what it really takes to create a hit. According to Holiday great creative insight does not appear like a lightning bolt, instead the creative process is non-linear with many detours along the way. One of the key pieces of advice Holiday offers for marketing a product in way that will guarantee its success is to invest in building an email list.  According to Holiday, what if suddenly you had no access to social media, publishers, retailers, investors or distributors?  If this were to happen the only way to survive would be to go directly to your customers.  To do this you need an email list. Holiday also provides lots of great strategies for how to build a large email list and how to successfully launch a new product or service.

My favourite quote in the book is: “building an email list is a move toward self-sufficiency for any creator.  By forming a direct and regular line of communication with your supporters, you avoid ever being disintermediated.” 

My key takeaway for organizations is that it is important to own and nurture assets such as email even as newer channels such social media grow in popularity.

The book Influence, The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini is about human behaviour.  It discusses six principles that provide great insight into what motivates us to make the decisions that we make on a daily basis.  One of the six principles he discusses is the principle of liking.  Not surprisingly we prefer to say yes to requests from people we know and like. One of my favourite quotes from this book is when the author says: “the strength of..[the] social bond is twice as likely to determine product purchase as is preference for the product itself”.  The author provides this insight as he discusses the success of Tupperware parties.  Tupperware parties became extremely successful by arranging for a friend to introduce the product to potential customers rather than using an unknown salesperson.   


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