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In honor of Primary Intelligence’s 15th anniversary, we’re sharing 15 of our favorite items across 15 topics.

It’s like 225 thank you gifts for you, from us.

15 Must Read Sales Books

Julia Childs said to “find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” We couldn’t agree more, especially when it comes to the art of selling. As an organization focused on helping sales teams be more effective, we love big ideas and big books about sales. Here are 15 of our favorites.

Selling to Big Companies

By Jill Konrath

Jill Konrath - selling to big companies“Traditional sellers think that customers make decisions based on their product, service, or solution differentiators. … Today’s seller knows that their products, services, or solutions are simply tools—nothing more. They know that their customers could care less about buying new software or training their staff. They realize that customers invest in their offering because of the outcome they get. That’s why their focus is on business improvement.”

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Blue Ocean Strategy

By W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne

Blue Ocean Strategy“To fundamentally shift the strategy canvas of an industry, you must begin by reorienting your strategic focus from competitors to alternatives, and from customers to non-customers of an industry. As you shift your strategic focus from current competition to alternatives and non-consumers, you gain insight into how to redefine the problem the industry focuses on and thereby reconstruct buyer value elements that reside across industry boundaries.”

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Secrets of Closing the Sale

By Zig Ziglar

15-secrets_of_closing_the_sale-zig_ziglar“It is unwise to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money, that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything because the thing you bought was incapable of doing what it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot.”

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The Challenger Sale

By Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson

“The ability to deliver unique insight is arguably the most powerful weapon in the Challenger’s arsenal and the biggest driver of B2B customer loyalty.”

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Spin Selling

By Neil Rackham


“People do not buy from salespeople because they understand their products but because they felt the salesperson understood their problems.”

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How to Master the Art of Selling

By Tom Hopkins

“No one limits your growth but you. If you want to earn more, learn more. That means you’ll work harder for a while; that means you’ll work longer for a while. But you’ll be paid for your extra effort with enhanced earnings down the road.”

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Selling to the C-Suite

By Nicholas A. C. Read and Stephen Bistritz

Selling to the C-Suite“Salespeople of the future have to actually create value, not communicate value.”

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Selling the Invisible

By Harry Beckwith

Selling the Invisible“The more you can spot patterns and better understand people, the more you will succeed.”

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Let’s Get Real or Let’s Not Play

By Mahan Khalsa and Randy Illig

Let's Get Real or Let's Not Play“If our intent is to help clients succeed, we have both the right and the obligation not to guess about the key elements of that success.”

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Mastering the Complex Sale

By Jeff Thull

Mastering the Complex Sale“[Customer] business environments are more competitive than ever, technological advances are radically altering their industries and markets, and their margin for error is always shrinking. The increased complexity of their environment translates directly to increased complexity in the problems they need to solve.”

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The Trusted Advisor

By David H. Maister

The Trusted Advisor“If trust is so important, how does one go about winning it? How do you get somebody to trust you? It is clear that it is not done by saying ‘Trust me!’ Nothing is more likely to get the listener to put up his or her defenses! The key point is that trust must be earned and deserved.”

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To Sell is Human

By Daniel Pink

To Sell is Human“A world of flat organizations and tumultuous business conditions – and that’s our world – punishes fixed skills and prizes elastic ones. What an individual does day to day on the job now must stretch across functional boundaries. Designers analyze. Analysts design. Marketers create. Creators market. And when the next technologies emerge and current business models collapse, those skills will need to stretch again in different directions.”

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Perfect Selling

By Linda Richardson

Perfect Selling“Your opening can be the most human part of the call. It can be the most personal. You can be the most awkward and uncomfortable. It can also be the most gracious and fun. It can be many of these things at once. It is always telling.”

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How to Win Friends and Influence People

By Dale Carnegie

How to Win Friends and Influence People“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

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The Little Red Book of Selling

By Jeffrey Gitomer

Little Red Book of Selling“The more a prospective customer clicks on you and your stuff, the easier it is for them to make a buying decision in your favor.”

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