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Best Sales and Business Books of 2010

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Written by Erica Stritch
Vice President, RAIN Group

This post started out as one about the best sales books of the year. However as I was looking through my bookshelf I couldn’t help but add a few of my favorite new business books too. So without further ado, here are my top reads of 2010 (in no particular order):

SNAP Selling by Jill Konrath

In this book, Konrath shows you how to get appointments, speed up decisions, and win sales with today’s crazy busy buyers. Packed with practical insights and examples, she offers four SNAP rules for selling.

People Buy You by Jeb Blount

People buy from people who solve their problems. When you solve problems, your job is done, and the sale is made. In this book, Blount provides a common sense system based in sales psychology to help you build strong emotional connections, trust, and rapport with buyers.

Top Dog Recession Busting Secrets by Michael Johnson and various contributors

This book offers advice and inspiration from 50 of America’s leading sales experts sharing sales lessons and proven ways to sell more in a weak economy. If you’re looking for short, useful tips from a variety of experts, this book is for you.

Shift by Craig Elias and Tibor Shanto

Selling, like life, is all about timing. This book is about mastering the art and science of getting in front of the right people at the right time using trigger events to identify prospects and needs.

Smart Calling by Art Sobczak

For tips on effective cold calling, Smart Calling is the go-to book. Sobczak shares a straightforward approach all salespeople can use to increase their success on the phone.

Make What You Say Pay by Anne Miller

In this book, Miller unlocks the power of metaphors demonstrating how they can be used to persuade and explain anything to anyone.  It includes more than 50 business stories of how metaphors can be used to melt resistance, simplify complexity, build loyalty, and close deals.

Bust Your Slump by Paul McCord

If you’re struggling to work your way out of a sales slump, check out this book where McCord lays out 12 strategies to get your pipeline filled, quickly. Whether you’re new to sales or a seasoned pro, there’s something for everyone in this book.

The Referral Engine by John Jantsch

If referrals are the best way to generate leads and grow business, then why don’t more companies do this well? It all starts with being referable and trustworthy. This book is packed with real-world examples, practical information, and techniques to building relationships, getting referrals, and developing a referral generation engine.

Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh

Happiness as a business model – you might doubt its effectiveness, but Zappos is proving that it helps drive profit and growth. Hsieh shares the lessons he’s learned from business and life and presents an inspirational story. A good read for both inside and outside the office.

The Little Big Things by Tom Peters

Peters has done it again. Written in a blogging style, Peters shares simple, implementable ideas that can have a big impact on any business. The subtitle on this one says it all, “163 ways to pursue excellence.”

Linchpin by Seth Godin

"There are no longer any great jobs where someone else tells you precisely what to do." In Linchpin, Godin shares what it takes to become indispensable in the workplace. You must chart your own path and add value where others do not. You must take initiative, and you can start by reading this book.

Switch by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Backed by real world anecdotes, this book offers specific steps on how to make change happen. The Heath brothers provide an excellent model with examples and techniques you can use to modify your behaviors and your business.

Mojo by Marshall Goldsmith

“Mojo is the moment when we do something that's purposeful, powerful, and positive and the rest of the world recognizes it. This book is about that moment—and how we can create it in our lives, maintain it, and recapture it when we need it.”

Fascinate by Sally Hogshead

In this book Hogshead shares 7 triggers to influencing decisions and relationships. Whether you are trying to win a new deal or get a cranky toddler into bed, you can use these 7 triggers to help influence the reaction of people around you.

Drive by Daniel Pink

Ok, so this one was published on December 29 of 2009, but it’s so good that I decided to add it to the 2010 list. If you think you know what motivates people, think again. In this book, Pink shares study after study that demonstrate the power of intrinsic motivation, and how monetary rewards can have a negative effect.

Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

A quick read, this book is for entrepreneurs (or starters as Fried and Hansson like to call you) and small business owners. Fried and Hansson share the philosophies that have been the core of 37signals’ success. This is no ordinary business book. It will make you rethink the way you approach business.

And, be on the look for our latest book coming out March 2011, Rainmaking Conversations: Influence Persuade and Sell in Any Situation by Mike Schultz and John Doerr – it’s sure to top your list in 2011.