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April 1, 2016

The 100 Best Business Books of All Time: SALES AND MARKETING

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 3:37 PM – Filed under: Big Ideas & New Perspectives, Marketing & Sales

Peter Drucker said that the singular goal of a company is to create customers. Marketing gathers information, formulates product offerings, and develops messages to attract precious prospects. Sales translates interest and intent into dollars and cents. These books cover approaches and pitfalls in the never-ending process of creating customers.

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini, PhD

Influence, the classic book on persuasion, explains the psychology of why people say "yes"—and how to apply these understandings. Dr. Robert Cialdini is the seminal expert in the rapidly expanding field of influence and persuasion. His thirty-five years of rigorous, evidence-based research along with a three-year program of study on what moves people to change behavior has resulted in this highly acclaimed book.

You'll learn the six universal principles, how to use them to become a skilled persuader—and how to defend yourself against them. Perfect for people in all walks of life, the principles of Influence will move you toward profound personal change and act as a driving force for your success.

Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind by Al Ries & Jack Trout

The first book to deal with the problems of communicating to a skeptical, media-blitzed public, Positioning describes a revolutionary approach to creating a "position" in a prospective customer's mind—one that reflects a company's own strengths and weaknesses as well as those of its competitors. Writing in their trademark witty, fast-paced style, advertising gurus Ries and Trout explain how to:

  • Make and position an industry leader so that its name and message wheedles its way into the collective subconscious of your market-and stays there.
  • Position a follower so that it can occupy a niche not claimed by the leader.
  • Avoid letting a second product ride on the coattails of an established one.

Ries and Trout provide many valuable case histories and penetrating analyses of some of the most phenomenal successes and failures in advertising history. Positioning is required reading for anyone in business today.

A New Brand World by Scott Bedbury, with Stephen Fenichell

What does it really take to succeed in business today? In A New Brand World, Scott Bedbury, who helped make Nike and Starbucks two of the most successful brands of recent years, explains this often mysterious process by setting out the principles that helped these companies become leaders in their respective industries. With illuminating anecdotes from his own in-the-trenches experiences and dozens of case studies of other winning and failed branding efforts (including Harley-Davidson, Guinness, The Gap, and Disney), Bedbury offers practical, battle-tested advice for keeping any business at the top of its game."

Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing by Harry Beckwith

Selling the Invisible is the first book to address the millions of people who work in America's service economy: proprietors, top executives, and sales and marketing professionals who sell the invisible i.e. services rather than products.

Selling the Invisible is a succinct and often entertaining look at the unique characteristics of services and their prospects, and how any service, from a home-based consultancy to a multinational brokerage, can turn more prospects into clients and keep them. Selling the Invisible covers service marketing from start to finish. Filled with wonderful insights and written in a roll-up-your-sleeves, jargon-free, accessible style.

ZAG: The #1 Strategy of High-Performance Brands by Marty Neumeier

"When everybody zigs, zag," says Marty Neumeier in this fresh view of brand strategy. ZAG follows the ultra-clear "whiteboard overview" style of the author’s first book, The Brand Gap, but drills deeper into the question of how brands can harness the power of differentiation. The author argues that in an extremely cluttered marketplace, traditional differentiation is no longer enough—today companies need “radical differentiation” to create lasting value for their shareholders and customers.

In an age of me-too products and instant communications, keeping up with the competition is no longer a winning strategy. Today you have to out-position, out-maneuver, and out-design the competition.

Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling Disruptive Products to Mainstream Customers by Geoffrey A. Moore

The bible for bringing cutting-edge products to larger markets.

In Crossing the Chasm, Geoffrey A. Moore shows that in the Technology Adoption Life Cycle which begins with innovators and moves to early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards there is a vast chasm between the early adopters and the early majority. While early adopters are willing to sacrifice for the advantage of being first, the early majority waits until they know that the technology actually offers improvements in productivity. The challenge for innovators and marketers is to narrow this chasm and ultimately accelerate adoption across every segment.

Secrets of Closing the Sale by Zig Ziglar

What is the best way to persuade someone to take action? Do our customers, clients, or patients believe that we are looking out for their best interests? These are just a couple of questions that successful professionals need to ask every day.

Full of entertaining and real-life illustrations, Secrets of Closing the Sale will give you the strategies and guidelines you need to become proficient in the art of effective persuasion.

Zig Ziglar's principles of success are easy to understand and apply, yet they have a far-reaching impact. By using his proven methods, you will be able to face your prospects with enthusiasm and confidence.

How to Become a Rainmaker: The Rules for Getting and Keeping Customers and Clients by Jeffrey J. Fox

Rainmakers are not born. They are made. And Jeffrey Fox's powerful How to Become a Rainmaker will get you there. Filled with smart tips given in the Fox signature style, counter-intuitive, controversial, and practiced, this hard-hitting collection of sales advice shows readers how to woo, pursue, and finally win any customer. In witty, succinct chapters, Fox offers surprising, daring, and totally practical wisdom that will help readers rise above the competition in any company in any field. A terrific resource for CEOs, as well as anyone looking to distinguish themselves in sales—be it books, cars, or real estate—How to Become a Rainmaker offers the opportunity to rise above the competition in any company, in any field.

Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping: Updated and Revised for the Internet, the Global Consumer, and Beyond by Paco Underhill

Is there a method to our madness when it comes to shopping? In this witty, eye-opening report on our ever-evolving consumer culture, author and researcher Paco underhill answers ith a defining "yes." Why We Buy is based on hard data gleaned from thousands of hours of field research—in shopping malls, department stores, and supermarkets across America. With his team of sleuths tracking our every move, from sweater displays at the mall to the beverage cooler at the drugstore, Paco Underhill lays bare the struggle among merchants, marketers, and increasingly knowledgeable consumers for control.

Why We Buy is a remarkably fresh guide, offering creative and insightful tips on how to adapt to the changing customer.

The Experience Economy by B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore

The Experience Economy offers a creative, highly original, and yet eminently practical strategy for companies to script and stage the experiences that will transform the value of what they produce. The authors draw from a rich and varied mix of examples that showcase businesses in the midst of creating personal experiences for both consumers and businesses. The authors urge managers to look beyond traditional pricing factors like time and cost, and consider charging for the value of the transformation that an experience offers. Goods and services, say Pine and Gilmore, are no longer enough. Experiences and transformations are the basis for future economic growth, and The Experience Economy is the script from which managers can begin to direct their own transformations.

Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable  by Seth Godin

Cows, after you've seen one, or two, or ten, are boring. A Purple Cow, though… now that would be something. Purple Cow describes something phenomenal, something counterintuitive and exciting and flat out unbelievable. Every day, consumers come face to face with a lot of boring stuff—a lot of brown cows—but you can bet they won't forget a Purple Cow. And it's not a marketing function that you can slap on to your product or service. Purple Cow is inherent. It's built right in, or it's not there. Period.

In Purple Cow, Seth Godin urges you to put a Purple Cow into everything you build, and everything you do, to create something truly noticeable. It's a manifesto for marketers who want to help create products that are worth marketing in the first place.

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell

The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a small but precisely targeted push cause a fashion trend, the popularity of a new product, or a drop in the crime rate. This widely acclaimed bestseller, in which Malcolm Gladwell explores and brilliantly illuminates the tipping point phenomenon, changed the way people throughout the world think about selling products and disseminating ideas.