I have been quite successful in making “rain” at my law firm. However, I didn’t just sit down one day and “figure it all out.” I learned from others.
This started with me reading innumerable books on sales, marketing, and business strategies. Some of these books were fantastic, and some were a complete waste of time and I found myself wondering how or why they were published.
Luckily for you, you don’t have to do what I did. This is because I am making a list of the “best” books I read on marketing, sales, and business development. If you read these books, you will get some great knowledge that you can put to use:
- How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie – Dale Carnegie talks about a key phrase in selling. He says that you have to “arouse an eager want” in whomever you are speaking to and whom you want to do business with you. If you can do that, the world is your oyster. If you cannot, you are back to begging people to do business with you.
- Purple Cow, by Seth Godin – Seth Godin discusses how virtually everyone instinctively assumes, quite logically, that it is critical that one’s marketing plan should “not offend anyone”… “not be too different from other marketing plans except in ways that seem to be very safe and non-threatening” … and “not” But that is absolutely WRONG. Your marketing plan has to STAND OUT, just like a purple cow would stand out from brown cows, or you will get nowhere at all, and you will just be irrelevant and forgotten.
- The Blue Ocean Strategy, by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne – This book is about removing yourself from competition and creating your own space to do business. It points out that competition is bad and leads to “red oceans” (red with the blood of competitors fighting and clawing for market share). Instead of staying in that “red ocean,” you should swim away to find your own “blue ocean” with untapped potential where you don’t have to compete.
- Start with Why, by Simon Sinek – Sinek writes that there are three possible themes for a business: what you do, how you do it, and why you do it. And the most powerful of the three is the third, and this is because “why” is inspirational. It is because if someone tells you “why” he is doing something, it might get you eager to do it too. I urge you to listen to Sinek’s Ted Talk as he says it a lot better than I am saying it here.
- Tilt, by Niraj Dawar – In this book, the author discusses a shift in competitive advantages. How for decades, businesses sought competitive advantage almost exclusively in “upstream” activities related to product-focused advantages and how today, these advantages are rapidly eroding. This does not mean that competitive advantage is a thing of the past. Rather, its center has shifted. As marketing professor Niraj Dawar compellingly argues, advantage is now found “downstream,” where companies interact with customers in the marketplace. Another way to say this is — alas — marketing is of a lot more importance than substance — kind of a bummer?
- The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs, by Carmine Gallo – Steve Jobs was the ultimate master at presentations, and this book gives you some ideas about how to make fantastic presentations, including his idea of a “passion statement.”
- The Challenger Sale, by Matthew Dickson and Brent Adamson – This book talks about how the most successful salesmen are not the buddy-buddy types. Instead, to the surprise of many, the most successful are the ones who learn everything about the client’s industry and then they “challenge” the client’s thinking — even to the point of arguing with them at a pitch and being a moderate-level pain in the neck. Clients come away from the meeting thinking that they learned something useful.
- How to Master the Art of Selling, by Tom Hopkins – This book is kind of old but timeless. You will learn an incredible amount about selling in his book. He is a true master of this game. Despite my thousands — yes, thousands — of pitches, and my studious studying of marketing and sales, I read his book relatively recently, and learned a ton.
- Influence, by Robert B. Cialdini – This is a book about persuasion. It explains the psychology of why people say “yes” — and how to apply these understandings.
Finally, there is one over-the-top incredible book for me to recommend to you. It is by far the best book ever written on marketing. It is called:
If You Want to Get Rich, Build a Power Niche
Yes, it is my book written by me, and I am joking above (sort of) about it being the greatest marketing book ever. However, it is a compendium of everything I have learned about marketing over the past 10 years, including my takeaways from the above-referenced books. One small problem is that it is not published yet. I hope to have it out later this year. Stay tuned!
In the end, I hope these books help you on your way to becoming a solid rainmaker.