Action Catalyst Blog

The First 20 Books You Should Read as a Servant Seller


Not counting the 2 books that I’ve written, and the Bible, which I would genuinely recommend as fabulous resources, here are the first 20 books I think all Servant Sellers should have to read, the order I’d suggest reading them in, and why…

  1. The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino – Sales is an emotional roller coaster and I don’t know how salesperson could possibly survive without the timeless wisdom and encouragement of this book. “The Scrolls” that are presented will change your entire life. If you are in sales, you absolutely must read this.


  1. The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann – Never before has a book so closely captured the core central theme of “Servant Selling” as this short paradigm shifting read. One of my absolute favorite books of all-time. Hard to list this as #2 on any list because it’s so magnificent.


  1. The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy – Simply put, sales is a numbers game and the person who talks to the most qualified number of prospects in the shortest amount of time wins. Darren explains why and takes “the extra mile” to a whole new level. This is another book that will change your life.


  1. The Travelers Gift by Andy Andrews – This book is similar in nature to #1 in that it’s fun to read, encouraging, and a fable of sorts that delivers timeless truths that will keep you inspired. Andy Andrews is one of the greatest story tellers of all time.


  1. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale CarnegieSales is always and only about your skill with people – and I don’t know how anyone could survive in that role without having read the world’s seminal work on dealing with people.


  1. Navigate 2.0 by Dustin Hillis and Steve Reiner – Think of DISC but for salespeople and that’s what you have all wrapped up into this a neat package here. This easy to read book is a practical guide for how to understand, relate with, and specifically sell to the basic human behavior profiles. With it’s immediately actionable tactics and strategies, it’s essential to a new sales library.


  1. Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi Sales is all about relationships and this book eloquently captures the why and the how of developing meaningful and lasting relationships in all areas of your life. A wonderful gem and mandatory reading for anyone in sales.


  1. What’s the Secret? by John DiJulius – This is technically a customer service book, but John’s philosophy about providing “Secret Service” is one of the most powerful and practical concepts that has shaped my entire life. If you can learn to incorporate these principles into your business it will change you forever.


  1. YouTility by Jay BaerThis is technically a content marketing book but has permanently shaped my view for how to relay your expertise to prospects to drive sales. This book is one that will forever define a large part of how the future of sales is done.


  1. The Trust Edge by David HorsagerThis book is just an absolutely solid universal read on the foundational principles of success. It should be mandatory reading not just for every salesperson, but for every human who goes through high school. And understanding what creates and destroys trust is central in developing your ability to influence other people.


  1. Start With Why by Simon Sinek – “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” That is one of just a few signature lines from this book that will change the way you sell forever. Ultimately, selling is a transference of emotion and this book our generation’s seminal work on inspiring others.


  1. Fascinate by Sally HogsheadThis is a powerful read on understanding what makes us attracted to brands and people. Sally’s 49 archetypes are well researched, scientific, and critical to understand if you want to attract more people to doing business with you.


  1. Go For No by Andrea Waltz and Richard FentonThe title pretty well sums up the message, but you can’t hear it enough because this mental shift is something you can attach your lifeline to if you’re in sales. A delightful short read that will program your brain for sales success.


  1. Mastering the Complex Sale by Jeff ThullThis one is a bit more “technical” than the others listed here but it has some powerful concepts you need to know such as “the myth of the decision maker.” It’s one of the best “how to” books on sales ever written. If you’re in complex selling, this will be your bible, but all salespeople should give it a read.


  1. Every Good Endeavor by Timothy KellerAnother one that you might not expect to be on a list like this since it’s a Christian book. However, this book will radically change the way you view and think about “work” which is an absolute necessity if you are going to go from selling to serving.


  1. Men Are From Mars Women Are From Venus by John GrayUnless you’re selling to all people who are the same gender as you, you will need to understand how the mind of the opposite sex thinks.


  1. 5 Love Languages by Gary ChapmanThis book is fundamental to being able to understand, communicate with, and influence people. Technically, this is a book about romantic relationships, but don’t underestimate it’s power as a sales necessity.


  1. To Sell is Human by Daniel Pink – This is a thought provoking read about how we’re all in sales, and sales is a part of life. Dan Pink is one of the smartest people on the planet and having his social scientist view on sales is helpful to round out your own thinking of what it means to sell.


  1. Influence by Robert Cialdini – Another timeless classic about the psychology of what moves people to make decisions. Almost feels like mandatory reading for sales 101.


  1. Failing Forward by John Maxwell – Sales is littered with rejection. John Maxwell is one of the all-time greats and in this book specifically he will help you constructive a positive paradigm around handling things that don’t go your way.

 I don’t personally see how anyone could reach their true sales potential without reading these 20. If nothing else, it’s a tremendously powerful start on your way to becoming a true servant seller!


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