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I own every one of these books and refer to them regularly.  
My disclaimer: I make a couple of bucks every time you purchase from a link on this page.  I justify this by giving you recommendations only for the best, most useful stuff out there.  As you can imagine, sales and marketing books are a huge market because it's easy to sell something for $20 that promises to make you millions.  I've bought a lot of clunkers and time-wasters - I'll never put them up on my web site.  I hang my reputation on everything I endorse.
Just click on the book cover to find out all about it from amazon.com. Happy browsing!


  Getting Everything You Can Out of All You've Got, by Jay Abraham.

This book is just amazing!  Every chapter contains wonderfully intuitive strategies that most people would never think of in a million years.  The rest of Jay's stuff sells for hundreds to thousands of dollars - he's after a tiny, affluent market that will pay any expense to achieve an edge.  Yet this book contains the germs of all those strategies and techniques.  If you can muster the focus to implement the material in even one single page of this book, you'll notice quantum leaps in your business success.

  Marketing Outrageously, by Jon Spoelstra.

Jon turned the Nets from a last-place NBA team that was losing money from every pore into a last-place NBA team that was making more money than most of the winningest teams. His secrets apply to nearly every business, big or small. A couple of hints: He changed the mission of the business from sports to entertainment (that explains the cover). He believes in measuring all marketing, and in using foolproof formulas to determine the mix of marketing activities and messages. And he has used rubber chickens and aliens to turn around struggling sports franchises. Because Jon implemented a lot of his techniques as a member of a large organization, if you work in such an organization that is stuck in unproductive marketing paradigms, and you feel like a rebel without a leg to stand on, this is the book for you.

  Word-of-Mouth Marketing, by Jerry Wilson.

An inspiring read, especially helpful for retail owners. Everybody wants referrals, but almost nobody has a system in place to get them. Jerry's book is a cafeteria of delicious, inspirational, and fun ideas that will turn your customers into fans with megaphones. From the "No Hassle" chapter, you'll get the urge to buy this book in bulk and drop it from airplanes on the retail businesses in your town.

  Permission Marketing, by Seth Godin.

This is the book that first made me feel good about being a marketer. Half "how-to" manual, half futuristic philosophy, this work will convince you that "interruption" advertising is useless and usually rude. Seth is a former Yahoo marketer who pioneered the formula that pervades the book: "Give value for free before asking for permission to call again." His comparison of marketing to dating is one of the most important paradigm shifts any business can make.

  The Cluetrain Manifesto, by a bunch of guys.

Cluetrain is a phenomenon among web-heads, and is not nearly as well known as it deserves to be among the general population. I was so inspired by this book, that within two hours of reading it my personal effectiveness as a marketer went up by at least 300%. The provocative and often in-your-face philosophy of the authors essentially advises people in business to "get real." To not pretend to be perfect and corporate and polished, but to be themselves and engage in interesting and meaningful conversations with their markets. While the global changes they predict have not and (alas) may never come to pass, the book is still a valuable roadmap for anyone who wants to stand out, way out, in their marketplace. 

  The Power to Get In, by Michael Boylan.

I'm not recommending this book because it's interesting, or inspirational, or even incredibly clever. No, I'm recommending it for one reason: it works. If you need to get in front of a decision-maker, and you're locked out, and the value of that meeting is huge, then you owe it to yourself to read this book. Michael provides a clear, common-sense, and killer-effective strategy for getting the meeting. It requires a fair amount of prep and about $4.25 in supplies. Preview hint: use emotion as well as logic to motivate action. How he engages the "fear buttons" of his targets is just brilliant. And it doesn't even feel unethical (to me, for what it's worth). 

  Selling with Integrity, by Sharon Drew Morgen.

If you are a reluctant salesperson, and you feel that sales is all about lying, cheating, arm-twisting, and flattering to make the sale, this book will present you with a warm and fuzzy alternative that will actually work in consultative situations with multiple buyers, or with sophisticated clients. Some of Sharon Drew's language is stilted and formulaic, but when you understand the concepts, you'll be able to adapt them to your own style. One criticism: her central model, "How people buy," is heavily biased toward rational thought instead of emotion. For me, this system is brilliant, but incomplete without an understanding of the behavioral psychology of buyers.

  Let's Get Real or Let's Not Play, by Mahan Khalsa.

This 6-CD set is phenomenally smart and funny, with the kind of hilarious truths that make you shake your head sadly through your laughter. Mahan's definition of an RFP: "We're not going to tell you our problem, so you have to guess." Therefore, the bigger the proposal, the more we're guessing. This is the best sales "book" out there. It reminds us that sales is all about service and respect. And the best thing about it is the logical process that it teaches. If you're ever involved in complex sales with multiple buyers, or if you just want to stand head and shoulders above your competition, study this course.

  The Psychology of Influence, by Robert Cialdini.

Robert wrote this book to protect people like him from the "compliance professionals," people who make their money getting the rest of us to do things we wouldn't otherwise do. Now, ironically, this book is required reading for those compliance professionals, as a quick-study in how to get the rest of us to do those things. The principles are so universal, so hard-wired into our brains, that you may be tempted to lower your standards a bit to achieve better results. But, of course, you're better off not. You're after a long-term relationship, not a quick one-time sale. And feeling sleazy is not worth any amount of money. You can always earn more money. But it's hard to buy a reputation, with yourself or with others.

  Triggers, by Joe Sugarman.

Basically, it's a guide to our psychological hot buttons, and how to push them in print. One of the chief values of this book is the exhaustive list of triggers, which you can use to identify the key issues of your target market. People don't often act in their rational self-interest. If you are making them an offer that is in their best interest, you had better be able to explain it to the little voice in the back of their head that keeps them up at night. That's the voice that makes their decisions. That's what Joe teaches in this book.

  Advertising Secrets of the Written Word, by Joe Sugarman.

Joe presents an entire course in writing ad copy in this book. And he's one of the masters - the copious examples throughout the book, and the fully laid out ads in the back, with commentary, are worth dozens of times the price.

  How to Write and Publish Your Own eBook in as Little as 7 Days, by Jim Edwards and Joe Vitale.

I recommend this eBook highly if you provide professional services, or are known for educating your customers or being a credible expert on your industry. An eBook is a great lead generator, credibility builder (after all, you "wrote the book" on the subject), and front-end premium, and can be a profitable source of passive income. This eBook teaches you how to write an eBook in a step-by-step manner, dispelling the myths that you need tons of time, a masters degree in creative writing (actually, that will only slow you down!), more expertise than anyone else in the world, or superhuman amounts of self-discipline. It also comes with a money-back guarantee, which is nice.

  eBook Secrets Exposed, by Jim Edwards and David Garfinkel.

Once you've written your eBook, this conversational resource can teach you how to market it. Including recommendations for web site hosting, shopping cart and credit card processing vendors, and other resources that will help you sell digital products online. It's an excellent general introduction to internet marketing as well, and a great example of it's own advice. The book is essentially an edited transcript of a conversation between two great marketers. It took about a weekend to get all the material down. After that, the authors just paid someone to transcribe and edit the text. Order the book just for the autoresponder sequence, which gives several unadvertised bonuses before trying to sell you the next big thing.



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