You are the Differentiator
In today’s world, consultative salespeople know that products and services are often commodities. It often comes down to price, price, price.
The differentiating factor around who wins or loses a competitive sale? From the customer’s perspective, it’s less about product and price, and more about you!
In other words, are you the kind of “consultative salesperson” customers find a way to do business with? Are you someone who adds value well beyond products and services?
We all know it – the very best salespeople aren’t just skilled sellers, but savvy businesspeople. They see the broader picture – the bigger game – of business. As a result, they’re the kind of people customer WANT to work with.
How do I get there?
Becoming a good businessperson doesn’t happen by accident. It’s hard work. To help you on that journey, here are a few of my favorite business books right now. I promise each will help you significantly improve your business acumen. Most are fairly quick reads, but you’ll often find yourself spending more time contemplating these rich lessons than reading.
These books make you THINK. Aren’t those the best kinds of books, after all?
4 Best Business Books for Consultative Sellers
Zero to One by Peter Thiel
Peter is an idiosyncratic, out of the box, wildly successful businessperson. He’s founded and grown multiple companies (PayPal, Palantir, etc.) and sits on the boards of some of the biggest tech companies in the world. His thoughts on differentiation are a must-read. Bring his ideas to your customer and watch the sparks of creativity fly!
McRaven was a Navy Admiral who led many historic missions, including the successful hunt for Osama Bin Laden. It’s not about those missions, but about the time-tested principles of success. This is a book you can read in a few hours to get your attitude aligned with the real foundations of achievement (vs. the one-hour workweek nonsense). You may want to buy this for others you care for after reading – it’s that good!
Tien is one of the early employees (employee #7) who helped to build Salesforce.com. He is also founder and CEO of Zuora, a fast-growth technology company. Tien spotted the subscription movement well ahead of the market and has penned a book describing a new business model path for almost any company. Not a short read, but good stuff! I personally love his PADRE model for operational success.
I’ll throw mine on the list because it’s written for salespeople who want a more strategic edge in dealing with clients. What do those conversations really sound like? What’s the structure of a consultative, meaningful conversation? Moving beyond product-myopia into more vital conversations is something all customers desire, but salespeople struggle to execute. This book covers that ground.
Put the work in to be your best self
These authors all get it. If you want to move beyond making a living, you need to work as hard on yourself as you do on your job. Only then do you become more valuable to your customers, your company, and yourself. That’s how real wealth is created.
And there’s no shortcuts to that journey.