The Best Books for Modern Sales Professionals and How to Read Them All in the Next 6 Months

If you search for sales books on Amazon, over 100,000 titles come up. I’m a big believer in education, and books are the best way to develop your craft. But where should you start?

I only know of one highly successful CEO that doesn’t read at all, but he’s quite the exception to the rule. All other highly successful founders, CEOs and sales leaders are voracious readers. They all attribute their success to reading, from Warren Buffett to Elon Musk, from Peter Thiel to Mark Cuban.

To help you get started and navigate the plethora of books on the sales topic, I’ve put together a list of my top sales books for modern sales, and broken them out into categories.

More important than the list itself is taking action, picking up one of the books and reading it!  That’s why the second part of this post explains how I read 50+ books per year. I’ll share with you valuable tips on how you can read every book on my list in the next 6-12 months.

Let’s dive in!

Sales Process and Pipeline Generation:

 

fanatical prospecting jeb blount
Fanatical Prospecting
Author: Jeb Blount
Amazon Rating: 4.8 (from 169 reviews) Best Seller
Hardcover: 304 pages
Date Published: October 5, 2015

Why You Need To Read This Book

I had the pleasure of interviewing Jeb for the podcast that we host with Datanyze, and he was one of my favorite guests. He also happens to have one of the best books I’ve read recently for sales reps who need to prospect more effectively and generate more pipeline.

What This Book Covers

In this book, Jeb covers how to leverage the Law of Familiarity to reduce prospecting friction and avoid rejection, how to use social selling to build relationships with prospects, a more effective script for cold calling, how to get more replies with cold emails, and some of the hottest new tools in the space.

Read this book if you’re a sales rep responsible for creating your own pipeline or an SDR looking to up your game.

amp up your sales andy paul

Amp Up Your Sales
Author: Andy Paul
Amazon Rating: 4.9 (from 39 reviews)
Paperback: 240 pages
Date Published: November 26, 2014

Why You Need To Read This Book

This is another highly tactical sales book for reps who want an edge in selling, or for entrepreneurs setting up their own sales process. Andy, another good friend of PersistIQ and a guest on our podcast, explains that in order to get the edge in sales today, it’s not about what you sell. It’s about how you sell. Another sales veteran with years in the trenches, he uses his own experience to illustrate some of the points in the book.

What This Book Covers

Andy breaks his book into 8 parts: 1) simplifying your sales 2) accelerating your responsiveness 3) maximizing value 4) growing through follow up 5) amp up your prospecting 6) Qualification: doing more with less 7) mastering stories that sell 8) selling through customer service;

This is another must read if you’re looking to create more qualified pipeline or refining your own sales process. It’s also a good read for SDRs.

new sales simplified Mike Weinberg
New Sales. Simplified
Author: Mike Weinberg
Amazon Rating: 4.8 (from 173 reviews)
Paperback: 220 pages
Date Published: September 4, 2012

Why You Need To Read This Book

Much like his book Sales Management. Simplified., Mike’s writing is very easy to read, and the concepts are further illustrated with stories and examples. I put this book in the same camp as Fanatical Prospecting and Amp Up Your Sales in terms of the problem it’s helping solve. The main differences are Mike provides more compelling stories (in my opinion) but covers less on social selling and tools/technology (a lot has changed in the 4 years since this was published).

What This Book Covers

This is a great education on strategies for finding more and better prospects, creating your “sales story”, honing your cold calling skills, perception management, building rapport, managing your day, getting more meetings and having more productive and effective conversations.

Buy this book if you’re a rep looking for ways to differentiate in starting more conversation and closing more deals. SDRs will find value in this book too.

shift craig elias and Tibor Shanto
SHiFT Selling
Authors: Craig Elias and Tibor Shanto
Amazon Rating: 4.7 (from 12 reviews)
Paperback: 256 pages
Date Published: June 28, 2010

Why You Need To Read This Book

If you’ve been at any sales conferences and seen a guy wearing a bright orange shirt, that’s most likely Craig! His book is dressed in the same bright orange. This book is all about using Trigger Events to close more deals. I was really impressed with the level of thought that the authors put on defining, identifying, and leveraging trigger events. Selling is all about timing, and this book breaks down everything you need to know about timing around major events.

What This Book Covers

Craig and Tibor cover everything from conducting a Won Sales Analysis, to identifying trigger events that cause people to enter the window of dissatisfaction, how to become the emotional favorite to buyers, how to get more referrals, and how to gain more credibility.

Pick up this book if you’re on the front lines and need to break into larger accounts.

 

Sales Strategy and Frameworks

spin selling neil rackham
SPIN Selling
Author: Neil Rackham
Amazon Rating: 4.2 (from 289 reviews) Best Seller
Hardcover: 216 pages
Date Published: May 1, 1988

Why You Need To Read This Book

This may be the oldest book on this list, but that speaks to its timelessness. Personally, I believe this book should be the cornerstone of all sales reps training. Yet perhaps that’s because I was mentored by a Huthwaite SPIN Selling trainer :). Huthwaite and Dr. Rackham’s research was the first real in-depth scientific look into the non-scientific art of selling, which forever changed the way we sell. Every sales rep must memorize chapter 4 of this book, then start to build out their own methodology as they take bits and pieces from other books and frameworks.

What This Book Covers

By investing in this book, you’ll learn the stages of a sales call, a breakdown of classic closing techniques and their effectiveness, the right way to obtain commitment from buyers, how to uncover and develop needs, the SPIN framework (Situation, Problem, Implication and Needs-Payoff), and handling objections.

You MUST read this book if you are in sales. Period!

the challenger sale by Matthew Dixon Brent Adamson
The Challenger Sale
Author: Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson
Amazon Rating: 4.4 (from 394 reviews)
Hardcover: 240 pages
Date Published: November 10, 2011

Why You Need To Read This Book

All good salespeople are aware of the consultative sale, but this takes it to the next level, adding a little more data and another layer of sophistication. The sales is not just about building a relationship and getting a buyer to like you. The most successful sales reps -- the challengers --  are able to push their prospects to think (usually contrary to their normal beliefs, hence the challenger) in a new way and teach them something new.

What This Book Covers

The Challenger Sale will teach you the different types of sales reps, how Challengers will teach, taylor and take control in a sales situation, how to lead with your strengths while tactfully challenging the prospect’s assumptions, and how managers can be better coaches.

This is the perfect book if you’re in a closing role and frequently on the phone or face-to-face with prospects.

agile selling jill konrath
Agile Selling
Author: Jill Konrath
Amazon Rating: 4.8 (from 78 reviews)
Paperback: 272 pages
Date Published: July 7, 2015

Why You Need To Read This Book

Jill’s book SNAP Selling was the first sales book that I read when I got into sales. I don’t remember how it ended up in my hands, but ever since then, I’ve followed her closely. Her latest book Agile Selling, gives sales reps tactics and methodologies to keep up in the rapidly change sales space. Today’s best sales reps are flexible, adaptable and, well, agile. This is not a new, ground-breaking methodology, but the tips and tactics are still highly valuable. Chapters are broken into small, easily-digestible pieces, so there are many of them (over 60).

What This Book Covers

Diving into this book, you’ll learn about time management tools, tactics to keep personal motivation high, how to gain creativity and break the monotony of your day, and gamification strategies for modern reps.

This book is perfect for reps who have been selling a while but need to get caught up with the modern time.

 

Management:

sales development playbook by trish bertuzzi
The Sales Development Playbook
Author: Trish Bertuzzi
Amazon Rating: 4.9 (from 69 reviews)
Paperback: 262 pages
Date Published: January 15, 2016

Why You Need To Read This Book

It’s been called, “The sales development Bible” by numerous sales leaders, and I won’t argue. Sales development may be one of the biggest innovations in the sales space over the last decade, and Trish is the perfect person to be writing the book on it. This is a true playbook with step-by-step tactics and strategies for building, managing and leading a modern sales team. This gets my award for the most actionable sales book that I’ve ever read.

What This Book Covers

At a high level the 6 sections that Trish covers are 1) Strategy: A framework for aligning your sales model with market dynamics 2) Specialization: How to segment your prospect universe 3) Recruiting: How to find, hire and compensate good sales talent 4) Retention: How to engage, develop and motivate reps 5) Execution: How to properly conduct outbound sales 6) Leadership: How to be a good sales team leader, from establishing quota to performance metrics to building out our sales stack.

You especially need to read this book if you’re scaling or restructuring your sales team.

https://www.amazon.com/Sales-Manager-Survival-Guide-Lessons/dp/0997560207/ref=sr_1_1
Sales Manager Survival Guide: Lessons From Sales' Front Lines
Author: David A Brock
Amazon Rating: 5.0 (from 19 reviews)
Paperback: 358 pages
Date Published: May 17, 2016

I've been in sales for a while now, and I'm a book junkie, so I've read scores of sales books. This one is pure gold. It came across my radar after talking with and hearing only positive praise from other top sales professionals. I've dog-eared, underlined, and scribble more notes in this book than I have in any book for a while. It's a rather lengthy book (358 pages in 66 chapter) and pretty dense, but the content is timeless. He writes from experience, and his stories are short and to the point. The lessons are very comprehensive and thoughtful. I see myself referring back to this book frequently.

What This Book Covers

He breaks the book up into nine parts
1) The New Sales Manager
2) Coaching is Your Job
3) Accelerate Your Coaching Impact***
4) Recruiting, Interviewing, Hiring, and Onboarding***
5) Performance Managment
6) Tactical Business Managemen -- Managing the Business Week to Week, Quarter to Quater**
7) Sales Enablement: Equipping Your People to Sell
8) Term Sales Management Issues***
9) Your Future as a Sales Manger
*** Denotes the sections that I found the most useful, personally.

If you are in sales managing at any level (from new, 1st time managers to seasoned veterans), I highly recommend this book.

sales management simplified mike weinberg
Sales Management. Simplified
Author: Mike Weinberg
Amazon Rating:
Hardcover: 224 pages
Date Published: October 21, 2015

Why You Need To Read This Book

This was one of those books that I just couldn’t put down, which is especially impressive because it’s a sales management book, not a graphic novel about vampires or wizards (I actually read zero fiction). It was very easy to read with advice and anecdotes all along the way.

What This Book Covers

Some of the main topics that Mike covers in the book  are implementing a simple framework for leadership, fostering a healthy and high-performing culture, conducting productive meetings, establishing an effective compensation plan, finding the right people for the right roles, retaining top talent, telling your sales story and mastering your calendar.

Buy this book now if you’re in a sales leadership role managing a team of more than a handful of reps.

sales acceleration formula mark roberge hubspot
Sales Acceleration Formula
Author: Mark Roberge
Amazon Rating: 4.8 (from 123 reviews)
Hardcover: 224 pages
Date Published: February 24, 2015

Why You Need To Read This Book

Mark’s book is required reading for our new sales reps because it’s that good. The engineering degree from MIT was the perfect background for a leader who challenged the conventional methods of selling by utilizing metrics and processes to build a sales machine that sent the Hubspot team on a rocketship to the top. He literally engineered sales success at Hubspot.

What This Book Covers

Mark breaks down his book into sections: 1) The Sales Hiring Formula 2) The Sales Training Formula 3) The Sales Management Formula 4) The Demand Generation Formula and 5) Technology and Experimentation.

If you’re building your sales team, this book is another must-read.

Coaching Salespeople into Sales Champions Author: Keith Rosen
Coaching Salespeople into Sales Champions
Author: Keith Rosen
Amazon Rating: 4.7 (from 96 reviews)
Hardcover: 352 pages
Date Published: March 14, 2008

Why You Need To Read This Book

The first of two books on this list by Keith Rosen is all about taking your existing sales force and coaching them into sales stars, along with some solid advice on how to cut the underperformers. What I love about Keith’s approach is that he doesn’t believe that Sales Champions are made using pressure and fear to perform better. If you’ve read management theory by Drucker or Carnegie, some of the concepts here won’t be new, but they’re always worth a refresher.

What This Book Covers

Some of the most valuable takeaways from this book are universal principles of coaching, the biggest mistakes coaches make and how to avoid them, different styles of managing for different types of managers, how to conduct an effective coaching session, and how to turn around or let go of underperformers.

This book is perfect for any manager or coach of a sales team.

First, Break All the Rules Authors: Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman
First, Break All the Rules
Authors: Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman
Amazon Rating: 4.5 (from 545 reviews)
Hardcover: 271 pages
Date Published: May 5, 1999

Why You Need To Read This Book

This book came on my radar over 5 years ago, and it’s always been on my reading list. But when I finally read it, I regretted not reading it sooner. Based on findings from their in-depth study of great managers across a wide variety of situations, industries, and company sizes, the authors have delivered one of the most important books on people management. The management principles shared in this book are timeless and will help you build strong foundations for a healthy culture with your sales team.

What This Book Covers

In this book, you’ll learn how to find and keep the top talent, leverage compensations, benefits and promotions in the right way, the most efficient way to train employees and what to look for beyond hard skills in predicting success.

Every manager and HR personnel needs to read this book.

wooden on leadership by john wooden
Wooden on Leadership
Author: John Wooden
Amazon Rating: 4.8 (from 192 reviews)
Hardcover: 302 pages
Date Published: April 26, 2005

Why You Need To Read This Book

Being a huge sports fan, there are several other great books written by top sports coaches that I was tempted to include in this list -- books from Bill Belichick, Bill Walsh and Phil Jackson, but I figured one is enough. In his book, Coach Wooden outlines the mental, emotional, and physical qualities that are essential to building a winning organization, which are applicable to whether you’re building a basketball team or a sales team. Both professions require you to work hard in developing your skills, confidence, and competitive fire.

What This Book Covers

The book is organized into 3 parts: 1) The Foundation of My Leadership, where the Coach explains his pyramid of success 2) Lessons in Leadership, in which he offers lessons and anecdotes from his professional career (along with numerous basketball stories) and 3) Lessons From My Notebook, which is filled with "notes, observations, reminders, suggestions, and lists of relevant goals and how to achieve them."

This book is for you if you’re leading a team, need to motivate the troops, and/or love sports.

 

Cold Calling and Phone Prospecting

 

smart calling by art sobczak
Smart Calling
Author: Art Sobczak
Amazon Rating: 4.8 (from 131 reviews)
Hardcover: 256 pages
Date Published: April 8, 2013

Why You Need To Read This Book

When I was an SDR, I was on the phone for 6+ hours per day. That wasn’t time blocked off for calls, that was actual talk time. I would have killed for this book. This is not a book where you can sit down and breeze through it in one reading. It’s a book where you need to read one section at a time, then go apply it, then come back later.

What This Book Covers

Art covers areas like creating a value proposition, gather intelligence to make your calls smart, using "social engineering" to get insight on your prospect, how to work with screeners, gatekeepers, and assistants, perfecting opening statements, minimizing resistance, getting a commitment for the next action, and stay motivated

You need this book if you’re an inside sales rep constantly on the phone.

 The Complete Idiot's Guide to Cold Calling Author: Keith Rosen
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Cold Calling
Author: Keith Rosen
Amazon Rating: 4.6 (from 53 reviews)
Hardcover: Paperback: 336 pages
Date Published: August 3, 2004

Why You Need To Read This Book

This book pairs well with Art Sobczak’s book Smart Calling if you just getting into sales and cold calling. While Art’s book is more situational and practical, Keith’s book is more process oriented. There’s not a whole lot of new information in this book, so if you’ve been on the phones for years, this may not be for you.

What This Book Covers

Section one of his books covers preparation and the inner game of prospecting. Section two is about generating new business with systems and proper planning. Section three is about having better conversations. Section four covers getting returned calls and getting past the gatekeeper. And the final section is about how you can continue to refine your process.

Pick this up if you’re new to calling and need to hit your dials for the day.


Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling Author: Sam Richter
Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling
Author: Sam Richter
Amazon Rating: 4.9 (from 74 reviews)
Paperback: 312 pages
Date Published: July 9, 2009

Why You Need To Read This Book

Don’t judge a book by it’s cover, literally. Once you get past the ugly cover and slightly misleading title, Sam Richter dives into how to prospect for cold calling. He doesn’t dive into how to call at all, but rather how to do the right research on prospects so that they’re warm and receptive once you do call them. Though it was written 7 years ago and the online landscape has, much of what Sam writes about is as valid today, if not more so.

What This Book Covers

You’ll learn ways to access highly qualified lead lists, tips and tricks for leveraging search engines to prospect, use social networks to get more sales insights, how to access premium information resources at no or very low cost, how to massively increase your credibility with prospects and existing clients, and expert “Warm Call Scripts.”

Read this if you’re in inside sales and need to do a lot of outbound prospecting on your own.

 

Account Based Sales

 

Account-Based Sales Development Playbook for Revenue-Driven Teams
Account-Based Sales Development Playbook for Revenue-Driven Teams
Authors: Brandon Redlinger and Megan Tonzi
Amazon Rating: Just published
ebook: 43 pages
Date Published: May 17, 2016

Why You Need To Read This Book

A new trend is emerging in the sales space, a trend that is changing the way B2B sales teams operate and individual reps sell. It’s not actually an entirely new concept, but the language and implementation have changed. It’s called Account Based Sales Development (ABSD). Yes, this is shameless plug since I’m a co-author, but I honestly believe this is valuable knowledge that people need when implementing an account based sales development model.

What This Book Covers

This is ebook a strategic overview of ABSD that will teach you what account based sales development is and why it matters. We start off by providing criteria on whether or not ABSD is the right approach for your team. Next, we cover how to prepare & organize your team for ABSD, how to aligning sales, marketing, and customer success, and how to structure your ABSD team to stay on pace to goal. Then, the next section is about how to create, clean up, and manage your database and track performance (KPIs and benchmarks). And the final section provides methodology & best practices for ABSD.

 

Whale Hunting Author: Tom Searcy and Barbara Weaver Smith
Whale Hunting
Author: Tom Searcy and Barbara Weaver Smith
Amazon Rating: 4.8 (from 32 reviews)
Hardcover: 288 pages
Date Published: January 2, 2008

Why You Need To Read This Book

Some people criticize the title, but the authors draw the analogy of the Inuit people hunting a whale being like a sales team going after a large account. Not just any account, but an account that would dramatically impact the bottom line for your business. There’s a lot written out there about how individual sales reps can increase sales, but this book shows you how a team can collaborate and work together.

What This Book Covers

The phases for hunting whales are: 1) Pre-Scouting 2) Scouting 3) Planning 4) Hunting 5) Capture 6) The Big Show 7) Servicing 8) Understand the process.

Pick this book up if you’re selling to large enterprise accounts that require team collaboration.

selling to big companies Jill Konrath
Selling to Big Companies
Author: Jill Konrath
Amazon Rating: 4.7 (from 147 reviews)
Paperback: 272 pages
Date Published: December 1, 2005

Why You Need To Read This Book

Having read her other books, I almost skipped over this one because I thought it may be outdated, but I’m glad I picked it up. It focuses on a very specific problem that sales reps and teams face -- how to get conversations started with these big companies.

What This Book Covers

Part one covers what is required of those who attempt to sell to "big(ger)" companies. Part two expands on building a foundation for what eventually should become a cohesive, comprehensive, and cost-effective system for effective selling. And part three is all about executing and launching your campaign.

Read this book if you’re a rep or a manager deploying an account based sales model.

Dealstorming Author: Tim Sanders
Dealstorming
Author: Tim Sanders
Amazon Rating: 5 (from 21 reviews)
Pages: 242
Date Published: February 23, 2016

Why You Need To Read This Book

Although Tim never explicitly states that this book is for people going after larger deals, the reason I put this under account-based sales is the general principles align very closely with how a sales team operating in an account based approach works. Dealstorming is a problem-solving technique helps position organizations as trusted advisors and can deliver high-value solutions. This book offers great insight into how a sales rep can create a structured, scalable, and repeatable process that can break through any sales deadlock. 

What This Book Covers

This book is broken up into 3 sections: 1) The Case for Sales Collaboration, where the issue of how large, more complex deals are currently handled 2) The Dealstorming Methodology of organize, prepare, convene, execute, analyze and report 3) Tools for Innovation, where he outlines some useful tools for building a process and nurturing relationships.

This is great for reps dealing with large, complex sales.

 

Other Gems

 

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook Author: Gary Vaynerchuk
Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook
Author: Gary Vaynerchuk
Amazon Rating: 4.6 (from 697 reviews)
Hardcover: 224 pages
Date Published: November 26, 2013

Why You Need To Read This Book

Gary is one of my favorite entrepreneurs of all time, and the only highly successful CEO I know how doest read. In fact, he admits the number of books he's written exceeds the number of books he's read. However, the first time I saw his videos, I was put off by what I thought was arrogance. But when I set that aside, I fell in love with his message and content. This book is a highly tactical book that breaks down exactly how to use social to build your brand and get ROI. Many of his examples (which are in full color, full page) are in the B2C space but are still highly applicable to B2B sellers.

What This Book Covers

Gary covers how you should be thinking about social strategy, how to tell stories and how to sell on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumbler and some of the platforms there were “emerging” in 2013 (Vine, SnapChat, Google+).

Read this if you’re building a brand on social, whether you’re an entrepreneur or an individual rep.

To Sell Is Human Dan Pink
To Sell Is Human
Author: Dan Pink
Amazon Rating: 4.4 (from 614 reviews)
Paperback: 272 pages
Date Published: December 3, 2013

Why You Need To Read This Book

This was as entertaining as it was informative. I love all of Dan Pink’s book as they offer insight into the human psychology and how it works. If you read this book and like it (which you probably will), pick up one of his other books, Drive. His counter-intuitive insights not only keep you turning pages, but they’ll help you influence people more effectively.

What This Book Covers

In this book, Dan covers how sales is changing and what it means for both the buyers and sellers, the new A-B-Cs of sales, more effective alternative to the elevator pitch, how to improvise and how to serve your clients better.

Great for reps and entrepreneurs, pick this up if you want to be entertained while learning sales.

Influence Robert B. Cialdini
Influence
Author: Robert B. Cialdini
Amazon Rating: 4.6 (from 364 reviews)
Paperback: 272 pages
Date Published: August 8, 2008

Why You Need To Read This Book

This is my most recommended book of all time to sales, marketing, and business people. Though it’s pretty much like a textbook, it reads like a novel. To me, sales and marketing have always been about the psychology of buying, and this is the best in-depth look at human behavior out there. Great research, great stories, great thought, and great time went into writing this book.

What This Book Covers

Dr. Cialdini teaches the 6 principles of influence: reciprocity, social proof, commitment and consistency, liking, authority, and scarcity.

If you are in sales or marketing, then you MUST read this book (which is probably everyone reading this post).

The Go Giver Bob Burg
The Go Giver
Author: Bob Burg
Amazon Rating: 4.8 (from 873 review)
Hardcover: 144 pages
Date Published: December 27, 2007

Why You Need To Read This Book

This is a business parable that teaches timeless principles through protagonists experiences. Think of it as a Nicholas Sparks book but for business people. It’s a quick read, and deserves prime real estate on your bookshelf. I’d recommend revisiting this book once a year.

What This Book Covers

The main principles covered throughout the story are 1) The Law of Value: Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment 2) The Law of Compensation: Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them 3) The Law of Influence: Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people's interests first 4) The Law of Authenticity: The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself 5) The Law of Receptivity: The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving

This is another book that everyone in business should read.

not taught by jim keenas
Not Taught
Author: Jim Keenan
Amazon Rating: 4.9 (from 67 review)
Paperback: 184 pages
Date Published: December 10, 2015

Why You Need To Read This Book

This book will change the way you think about success. You won’t find the lessons learned here in school. You won’t find them in business courses. You’ll find them in the real world. Or you can shortcut the process and pick up this book. Though he’s most known as A Sales Guy, Keenan is a true entrepreneur at heart and will teach you countless lessons beyond sales.

What This Book Covers

Among the many gems in this book, you’ll learn: Why “reach” is worth a billion dollars; how anonymity kills growth; why valuing change determines your success; why exceptional critical thinking skills are no longer optional; why your degree is valuable only if you can apply knowledge differently, faster and with greater results than the person standing next to you; why expertise trumps experience;  why there’s "No growth without reading"; only results matter; boredom is your choice.

All recent graduates need to read this book, as well as anyone who is stuck in their career and wants something more.

 

How to Read That Entire List in the Next 6 Months

Ok, now you have some reading to do!

This list is only valuable if you do something with it. Don’t just order the book on Amazon and put it on your shelf. I know too many people who have a bookshelf full of valuable titles but haven’t read half of them. Everyone has the best of intentions for reading, but very few are able to fully follow through.

The rest of this post is going to be about how you can take this list and read every book it in the next 6-12 months.

People are astonished that I can get through 50+ books per year. I’m going to share with you exactly how I do that (hint: I’m not a speed reader).

Reading takes time, something that we all wish we had more of. People feel guilty for taking time to read when they’d rather be selling or binge-watching Game of Thrones.

Here are my best tips on how to read 50+ books per year.


Time block at least 30 minutes per day for reading.

Just by reading 30 minutes per days, you’d be surprised how much you can get through. Put it on your calendar and make it the same time every day. Start to build the habit. Just like any new habit, it may be hard at first, but eventually, it will come much more naturally.

I’d suggest using your commute time in the morning, as you have much more willpower and mental capacity to take on new habits in the morning. If you drive to work, then reading isn’t an option, so listen to audio books instead! (more on that later).

Here are some other great reading times. Find what works best for you:

  • During breakfast or lunch
  • Right after you arrive at work (you may have to get in 30 minutes early to avoid getting in trouble)
  • Right after you get home from work
  • While working out (books are great when you’re on stationary cardio machines, otherwise, use audiobooks)
  • Right before you go to bed

When are you going to block your 30 minutes of reading?


Always have your next book lined up

When you’re close to completing one book, make sure you have the next one lined up. It’s too easy to finish a book, then break the habit while you’re searching for your next book or waiting for it to be delivered.

If you read on this Kindle, this isn’t a problem, but if you like physical book like I do, then create a wishlist on Amazon. You can gather titles and easily purchase the next one in minutes. I have over 200 books in my wishlist, and it’s only growing.

What’s the next book on your list?


Always have a book with you

I probably get an hour or two of reading done reach week during the empty space while I’m waiting, whether it’s at the doctor’s office, dinner date, or a meeting. Rather than spending that extra time on Facebook or texting, this is prime reading time. It can really add up.

If you don’t want to be that nerd who is always carrying around a book, this is where having a Kindle really comes in handy. Personally, I have the Kindle App for my iPhone and keep a few books on there just for this. But recently, I’ve been using this time to catch up on my favorite blogs.

How can you always have reading material with you at all times?

 

Pick the right books to read, and put down the wrong ones

A big part of the problem for most people is they start reading a book but don’t like it, then put it down. This stalls their reading efforts all together as they begin to dread their reading time.

Nothing beats being really excited about what you’re reading. If you start a book and can’t get into it, don’t be afraid to put it down and move onto the next. There’s no shame in not finishing a book. You’re time is valuable, so use it wisely by reading things you’re interested in, deliver value, and hold your attention.

What kind of books are you most interested in reading right now?

When picking out your next book, here are some tips.

Use apps like Goodreads and Blinkist to read summaries. This is meant to help you decide if the content of the book is what you’re looking for, not as a substitute for actually reading the book.

Ryan Holiday, one of my favorite authors, suggests using the references in your current book to find your next book. This isn’t always possible, but I've found some of the best books with this approach lately.

Another option is to use Amazon’s “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” list.

What is the next book on your reading list?

 

Set up the conditions that are most conducive for reading

The average American watches 5 hours of TV per day. That’s probably less for working business people, but that’s a lot of time. Personally, I know cable TV (especially sports) sucks me in, and before I know it, I’ve been watching TV for hours. Because I know this is my weakness, I don’t have cable.

Setting conditions for reading means when it’s time for reading, it’s easy to do. Here’s what I mean - if you want to read at night before you go to bed, have your book next to your bed, and don’t wait to go to bed until you’re so tired you can’t keep your eyes open.

How can you set up your environment to be most conducive for reading?

 

Learn to read faster

This is the easiest way to get more books read. I’m not talking about speed reading. I don’t think you can get the value out of a practical business book by speed reading -- too much comprehension is lost. However, the average adult reads at about 250 to 300 words per minutes.

Getting to 500-600 words per minutes is relatively easy if you have the right method for doing so. I recommend starting with this blog post by Tim Ferriss called Scientific Speed Reading: How to Read 300% Faster in 20 Minutes.

You can also use apps like Spritz, Accelareader, Syllable and Accelerator.

How fast can you read?

 

Use audiobooks

Most books come in audio form now, so leverage that during times you can’t read, like on your commute or while you’re working out.

Audible.com is the most well-known player in the audiobook space with over 850,000 titles, but you can also get audiobooks on iTunes or directly from Amazon or Kindle. One of the coolest things about Kindle is if you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, look for titles that are on “whispersync,” which gives you the audio and text versions. You can begin reading the text, then if you need to switch gears and want to listen to the book, the audio will pick up on the page where you left off reading. Then, if you want to switch back to reading, it will be on the page that the audio left off. Amazing, right?!

. . .

If there’s one single thing that you can do to further your career, it’s reading. Hopefully, this post has given you all you need to take your reading to the next level.

Education is one thing that you can do to improve your sales game. Another is using the best sales technology. Learn more about how PersistIQ can help you turn leads into opportunities.

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