Captain’s log, stardate 20221021
It’s pretty common for people to ask for book recommendations related to sales, marketing, and pricing.
Here’s a list of my all-time favorites in those categories:
Anything by Seth Godin—It took me a long time to warm up to Seth Godin, but once the lightbulb went on, I became a super fan. If you’re new to marketing (or new to Seth) Permission Marketing is probably the place to start. He can seem a little hand-wavy much of the time, but I promise you that he’s a genius. His podcast Akimbo is solid gold, too.
The Positioning Manual by Philip Morgan—In my humble opinion, the foundation of effective marketing is a strong positioning statement, and TPM is the best book I’ve ever read on positioning for folks like us. I’ve read lots of books on positioning, including the seminal work on the subject, “Positioning The Battle For Your Mind” by Al Ries and Jack Trout which is good, but it’s directed at big CPG brands like Proctor and Gamble. If you’re selling technical services, you owe it to yourself to read The Positioning Manual.
The Secret of Selling Anything by Harry Browne—If the idea of selling makes your skin crawl, there is no better book on planet earth for you to read. Browne explains what selling really is and I think you’re going to love it. If you read this book and still think you hate selling, you might want to consider going to work for someone else.
Selling To Big Companies by Jill Konrath—Jill gets it. She’s a no BS / “Tough Love” type of person, but it’s all filtered through a midwestern mom’s personality - and Fargo accent! If you’re trying to sell to super busy enterprise clients, do yourself a favor and read this book. She gives step-by-step instructions for calling and emailing, with scripts and everything.
Value-Based Fees by Alan Weiss—As far as I’m concerned, VBF is the bible for anyone who wants to value price professional services. I’ve read lots of good books on value-based pricing, but most of them are theoretical and/or general. VBF is practical and focuses on pricing for solo or boutique consulting businesses. It is pretty old and is intended for management consultants, but it’s still chock full of great actionable advice.
How To Measure Anything by Douglas Hubbard—It’s hard for me to think of a book that has more deeply affected my thinking about pricing than HTMA. It’s not a pricing book, but the concepts contained within are perfectly aligned with determining value in a client meeting. It’s my secret weapon.
Still looking for more? I keep my reading list updated regularly. You can always check it out here:
Jonathan’s Reading List
P.S. Don’t feel like processing 500k words on marketing, sales, and pricing? In my private coaching program, I help you to immediately apply the knowledge contained in these books (and dozens of others) directly to your unique business situation. There are two seats available. Apply now to secure your spot: jonathanstark.com/coaching