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Why You Must Read Sales and Marketing Books

By Tim Hughes | @Timothy_Hughes

The other day I spotted a message from a social media guru where he said that people shouldn’t read sales and marketing books.

Maybe it’s because he hasn’t written one, and I have, that I completely disagree with this.

There are three reasons for this:

  1. At my previous company we did some research on the “A-Players” in the business. What was it that made these people continually over achieve their number year in and year out? One of the factors was the continual investment in personal training.  “B-Players” always said they didn’t have time.  “A-Players” realised they had to continually learn new techniques and for that reason alone, books will teach you new things.
  2. I’m continually reading sales and marketing books and there is always something new. A technique or a new way of working I haven’t thought about before.  Yes, in many of the traditional sales books I’ve heard it all before. How many books on prospecting can you read and expect something new.  But I’m always finding nuggets about staying ahead of your competition.
  3. The feedback from people who have read my book. I have to admit that Matt and I wrote it in a way to be a “how”, rather than a “why”.  So while the first few chapters are about why you need to social sell, we get straight into techniques on how you can change what you do now to meet the way that the modern buyer works.  It is, after all, a buyers’ market.  There are currently (as I write) 32 x 5-star reviews, if you think I’m biased (I am).
Lifelong learning, long-distance thinking

Continual learning and development for all of us is critical if we want to keep up with the ever-changing world, from artificial intelligence to machine leaning to the way we market and sell.  I can guarantee you these techniques are going to change, the same way (but faster) than they have changed over the last 10-20 years.

I’m not saying you need to be an expert. But we should “dip our toes” into a subject so at least we have an understanding and are not scared of a topic.

Here, at home, we have two Amazon Echos that we bought just to see what the fuss is all about.  I’m not a “doubter” that slags something off without trying it.  I’m also not an IOT (Internet of things) Guru who has dancing lights and an iPhone operated front door.

Understanding is the foundation of communication

This approach also helps with customers and helps me during the selling process.  One of the things I learnt from an early age in sales was that prospects and customers want insight.  (I’m not going to use the word “value” as it’s such a cliché).

Showing prospects and clients that you understand their business, as well as having a smattering of general knowledge, goes a long way.  It has certainly helped me manage relationships at the highest levels of a client company.

By the way, I do have LinkedIn articles where I review and recommend books, if you want to check out my LinkedIn profile.

The last one I published is here: 9 Amazing Sales Books for Summer. Take a look!

Digital Leadership Associates: We are Global Social Media Management Consultancy. We do three things: Social Media StrategySocial Selling and Social Media Management. Drop us an email or call one of our founders on 00 44 7823 534 557 and let’s talk about how we can make an impact on your organisation.


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