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June 15, 2018 Sales

Summer Reading List: Top 10 Business, Sales and Marketing Books

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By Sarah Reed

New advancements in technology are having a huge impact on the evolution of the business landscape – particularly in the areas of marketing, selling and processes. And, the pace of change is only getting faster. Often times, just when you start to feel like you’re getting the hang of things, you realize that you actually might be lagging behind. This is why continuous learning is so important to help you keep up – better yet, stay ahead! And while you may not have the time to invest in a multi-week course, reading is a great way to acquire knowledge and new ideas that you can apply within your own business.

Now, you may be thinking to yourself, “when do I have time to sit down and read a book?” The answer is, you may not have time to sit and read a book, but you probably have time – when you’re getting ready in the morning or on your commute to and from work – to listen to a book.

Summer reading

Here at BrainSell, we’ve gotten into the routine of proactively finding and reading books together that have led to true ah-ha moments for us and helped to evolve our business strategy. For example, as part of our employee onboarding program, new colleagues are asked to read Traction by Gino Wickman. This book was the trigger for a shift in our internal operations and processes and a must-read for business leaders looking to successfully grow and scale their companies.

As things start to slow down during the summer months, and you (hopefully) have a little more time to relax, here are our recommendations for books to add to your summer reading list.

BrainSell’s Recommended Summer Reading List

They Ask You Answer by Marcus Sheridan

In a new age of buying, They Ask You Answer is a great mash up of critical new marketing tactics drawn from Inbound Marketing and real life buying behaviors. It applies to B2B and B2C companies, and it’s an easy read/listen. It’s great to hear real life stories of trials, tribulations, and successes from another business leader.

Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

Jocko lead task unit bruiser during the gulf war and is a highly decorated Navy SEAL. In this book Jocko explains in detail how owning actions and making changes to become a better leader can change the course of your life and the people around you for the better. He also talks about leadership and every lesson is tied back to a business use case.

Purple Cow by Seth Godin

This book explains how the key to effective marketing is not necessarily about being first anymore – it’s about setting yourself apart. If people do not see something as intriguing they are less likely to pay attention even if it’s the best product or best service. They use the analogy of a pasture of cows. If you see a field of normal looking cows, you will not really pay attention to them because you’ve seen them so many times before. But, if there was a purple cow in the group people would become extremely intrigued because it’s so different. This concept can be applied to many aspects of your life whether it be from a personal or professional level.

The ONE Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

This book dives deep into how delivering a single clear message will allow businesses to scale and grow. It also teaches you how to cut through the noise, understand what makes you different and the tactics to deliver that message.

Leading with Kindness by William F. Baker and Michael O’Malley

When it comes to business, nice guys often finish first. Old-fashioned images of corporate callousness and greed have been replaced by a gentler, more human conception of great leadership. But how does one define ‘kindness’ in the context of business? And what is the best way to use this deceptively complex notion? This book shows leaders how they can use sincerity, honesty, and respect for the good of their organizations.

Fanatical Prospecting by Jeb Blount

An all-around great read about prospecting and growth hacking. How to find and keep focus, how to trick yourself to not feel beaten down by hang-ups or low conversions.

Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

This is a captivating true-life story about setting goals as a team and then striving to achieve them together through hard work, determination, and the perseverance needed to triumph against all odds.  Just after the depression, nine men come together to form an eight-oar team in a 60-foot shell on the waters of Lake Washington and rise to beat the Germans in the 1936 Berlin Summer Olympics in Nazi Germany.  The athletes must row in precise rhythm, slowing down and speeding up in exact syncopation in order to achieve their ultimate goal.

This metaphor can be applied to a growing business environment where all members must be intrinsically motivated and work together to achieve the company’s growth objectives.  If one person is out of sync or moving at a different speed, the growth of the entire company will be slowed down.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

This book is about recognizing when the Universe responds…or doesn’t…to the wants, hopes, dreams, etc. that we send out. Identifying when an omen comes our way and not ignoring it is also a huge theme. This book has helped shape the culture of our company in a massive way and solidifies our support of each other through annual dream meetings.

80,000 Hours by Benjamin Todd

This book (and excellent website), is inspired by the principals of Effective Altruism, which tells us to use reason and evidence to do the most good. We spend 80,000 hours over our lifetime in our career, so this guide exists to help people who want to contribute to the solving of the worlds most pressing problems. It uses evidence to analyze the impact of popular career choices, and empowers readers to do the same as they research their options.

Do you have a book to add to this summer reading list? Submit your recommendation in the comments section, below. Happy reading and learning!

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Sarah Reed

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Sarah Reed

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