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Recommended Reading

There are some really good books on sales out there.

Here is a selection of good reads that the SFG team and our clients have found really useful.
We’ve made it easy for you to purchase these books through Blackwell’s.

Influence: Science and Practice – Robert Cialdini

This exceptional book explores the science behind the psychology of persuasion. Cialdini provides valuable insights into how people can be influenced, and the book is filled with real-world examples and experiments that demonstrate the power of these techniques. 

 Cialdini outlines six key principles of persuasion, including reciprocation, social proof, and authority, and provides detailed explanations of how they can be used to influence others. He also offers practical strategies for avoiding being influenced by others, making this book a valuable resource for anyone looking to improve their decision-making skills. 

 The book is well-written, engaging, and easy to understand, making it accessible to a wide range of readers. Whether you’re a marketer, salesperson, or simply someone who wants to understand how the world works, “Influence: Science and Practice” offers valuable insights into the psychology of persuasion and how it can be used to achieve success in a variety of situations. 

Lend Me Your Ears – Max Atkinson

If speech-making and persuasive skills are part of your job, then Lend Me Your Ears by Max Atkinson is an excellent book to read. This book provides practical insights and advice on how to become a more effective, influential and inspiring speaker. 

 Atkinson’s approach is based on his analysis of some of the most successful speeches in history, including those by Martin Luther King Jr. and Winston Churchill. He provides insights into the structure, delivery and content of these speeches, and offers practical tips on how to incorporate these techniques into your own speeches. 

 This book offers valuable lessons and strategies for crafting compelling speeches that resonate with your audience. The author has developed a provocative way of looking at speech-making, providing the reader with practical and simple guidelines, exercises and tips to improve performance, including: advice on the use of classical rhetoric; how to write a speech when in a rush; the myths surrounding visual aids; the use of body language; and much more! With expert advice that will appeal to everyone from experienced CEOs to those writing that all-important wedding speech, this is the definitive text in this area. 

Talk Like Ted – Carmine Gallo

Ideas are the currency of the 21st century, and Carmine Gallo’s Talk Like TED gives readers a way to create presentations around the ideas that matter most to them; presentations that will energise their audiences to spread those ideas, launch new initiatives and reach their highest goals.

If you’re looking to improve your public speaking skills and create presentations that captivate and inspire your audience, then this book is a must-read. Gallo provides practical tips and insights into the strategies used by the most successful TED speakers.

The author’s approach is focused on the idea that great speakers connect with their audience on an emotional level and use storytelling to convey their message. He provides actionable advice on how to structure your presentation, use visuals effectively, and deliver your message with confidence. The book is filled with practical examples that demonstrate the power of these principles in action.

Resonate – Nancy Duarte

Presentations should inform, inspire and influence audiences. Why then do so many presentations leave you feeling like you’ve wasted your time?

Resonate by Nancy Duarte shines a light on what makes presentations influential rather than instantly-forgettable. This excellent book is for anyone who wants to improve their presentation skills and make a lasting impact on their audience. Duarte provides valuable insights and practical strategies for crafting presentations that are engaging, memorable and persuasive.

The author’s approach is based on the idea that a presentation should tell a story and evoke emotions in the audience. She provides strategies for creating a compelling narrative, using visual aids effectively, and delivering a presentation with confidence. The book is filled with real-world examples that demonstrate the power of storytelling in presentations.

Coaching for Performance – Sir John Whitmore

Coaching for Performance is the institution of the coaching profession. The founding text of today’s billion dollar coaching industry, Coaching for Performance remains the world’s bestselling coaching book.

If you’re looking to become a better coach or develop coaching skills in yourself or others, then Coaching for Performance by John Whitmore is a highly recommended book. It provides practical and proven methods for enhancing the coaching process and achieving success through coaching.

Whitmore’s approach emphasizes the importance of unlocking potential and helping individuals develop their own abilities. He provides strategies for establishing trust, setting goals, and developing self-awareness. The book is easy to read and offers many real-world examples that illustrate the power of coaching.

Life’s a Pitch – Stephen Bailey & Roger Mavity

A pitch is not a meeting, it’s a drama. A pitch is not about transferring information, it’s about transferring power. It is business, but it is also theatre.

If you’re looking to improve your selling skills and make a lasting impression on potential clients, then “Life’s a Pitch” by Stephen Bailey and Roger Mavity is a must-read book for you. This book provides valuable insights and practical strategies for crafting and delivering effective pitches that resonate with your audience.

The authors’ approach is focused on creating a personal connection with your audience and tailoring your pitch to meet their needs. They offer practical advice on how to structure your pitch, use visual aids, and overcome nerves. The book is easy to read and filled with real-world examples that make it easy to understand and implement their strategies.

Mastering Virtual Selling – Yuchun Lee, Mark Magnacca, Tony Jeary

The world of sales is changing. Are you prepared to capitalise in this new world, or will you be left behind? 48% of sales professionals say remote selling has made it harder to close deals and 80% of sellers lack virtual presentation skills. However, 90% of selling has moved online and 75% of B2B buyers prefer remote sales. There is a divide between the new reality of selling and the skills salespeople possess to succeed in the current environment.

Mastering Virtual Selling: Orchestrating Sales Success is an essential guide for succeeding in today’s virtual business landscape. This book provides invaluable insights into effectively managing the frontstage and backstage of every virtual sale, and offers proven methodologies, actionable best practices, and relatable anecdotes. By reading this book, you will be motivated, educated, and inspired to elevate your virtual selling skills to achieve greater success in the digital age.

Managing the professional service firm – David Maister

Professional services firms are highly specialised, offering customised, bespoke products. Utilising over a decade of research and consulting to these unique companies, David Maister delves into a wide range of topics, covering everything from marketing and business development to multinational strategies, human resources policies, and profit improvement. He also provides valuable insights into strategic planning and effective leadership.

Originally published in 1993, this book is still as relevant today as it was then. Managing the Professional Service Firm is an essential resource for anyone looking to succeed in this challenging and rewarding industry.

The trusted advisor – David Maister, Charles Green, and Robert Galford

When our customers see us as their trusted advisors the whole relationship changes for the better. In this straightforward guide, Maister, Green and Galford show that the key to professional success goes well beyond technical mastery or expertise. Success is all about the skills of earning the client’s trust and winning the ability to influence them.

In high-risk times, trust is at a premium. With this critical, highly-detailed, and accessible book, you will learn 5 steps for developing, managing and improving client confidence.

The Trusted Advisor offers valuable lessons and strategies for building strong, lasting relationships with clients. The authors’ approach is focused on building relationships based on trust and mutual benefit, and their advice is both insightful and actionable.

Answer Intelligence – Brian Glibkowski

Dr Brian Glibkowski introduces Answer Intelligence (AQ): the ability to provide higher quality answers to emotionally connect, explain and predict, and achieve results. His research was selected by the Association of Human Resource Development as one of ten articles that will shape the 21st century.

For a long time, sales professionals have (quite rightly) concentrated on the questions they ask. Answer Intelligence takes an innovative approach to the other side of the problem – the science of answers. It identifies six different types of answer to address the questions which customers may have. It highlights the skills and techniques of choosing and deploying the right answers in the right way at the right time.

Dr. Glibkowski’s approach is rooted in years of research and practical experience, and his writing style is clear, concise, and easy to understand. Whether you’re an executive, manager, or just starting your career, this book’s insights and advice are practical and applicable not just to sales but to a wide range of professional and personal situations.

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey

In this classic, Stephen Covey provides insights and guidance on how to achieve personal and professional success. The book has been around for a long time but it’s definitely worth a read – or re-read!

The book provides a roadmap for building strong character, improving relationships, and achieving goals. Covey’s seven habits are designed to help improve your performance in every area of your life, from work to business to personal relationships. The book offers strategies for building strong relationships with others, including family, friends, and co-workers. Covey’s habits are designed to help you prioritise your time and focus on the most important tasks. By doing so, you can become more productive and achieve more in less time.

All For One – Andrew Sobel

All For One sets out 10 key strategies for building trusted client partnerships in complex sales situations. This book provides valuable insights and practical strategies for creating and maintaining strong, long-term relationships with customers, and offers a unique approach to customer relationship management.

Andrew Sobel helps us understand the importance of a “one for all” culture; mobilising the right people, resources and ideas; and evolving our client relationships from advisor to partner. With Sobel’s expert guidance, you’ll learn how to implement successful team strategies, create new opportunities, and establish lasting partnerships.

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