Book Recommendations for Sales Professionals

“Always be closing,” the sales consultant famously says in Glengarry Glen Ross. But you can’t always be closing. Sometimes you need to kick back and relax with a good book. Fortunately, that good book can help you close! Here are some possibilities — as recommended by members of HSMAI’s Sales Advisory Board:

Get Off the Beach: What Legendary Surfers Know That Salespeople Need to Know, by Eloise Owens. Recommended by Michelle Crosby, CMP, DMCP, director of global sales for Hosts Global, who says: “It identifies how to build sales momentum and then how a successful salesperson rides it. Eventually, this leads to them conquering the Big Kahuna wave and reaping the benefits of increased sales and rewards. It’s an easy read and is terrific advice that all levels of sales professionals can appreciate.”


Building a Winning Sales Force: Power Strategies for Driving High Performance and Sales Force Design for Strategic Advantage, by Andris A. Zoltners, Prabhakant Sinha, and Sally E. Lorimer. Recommended by Cory Hagopian, vice president of sales effectiveness and programs for AccorHotels, who says: “It is imperative to consider both sales structure and sales strategy when defining your sales force. So often sales organizations do not consider how these are interrelated, and focus on one area without considering the other. These books provide insight on all areas, including sales programs, to ensure a well-structured, functional sales team supporting the overall objectives and strategy for optimal sales performance.”


Prime Rib & Boxcars: Whatever Happened to Victoria Station?, by Tom Blake. Recommended by Katie Davin, associate professor at Johnson & Wales University College of Hospitality Management, who says: “It’s the story of Victoria Station restaurant, which was for a brief time the fastest-growing company in the U.S. The brilliant founders had a winning product and did everything right. However, as they pursued rapid growth, they relaxed some of their own business principles and lost some control. The company grew to 99 units and fell to bankruptcy all in the span of 18 years. While the result is sad, the book is a fun read, as it’s a really personal memoir of a company executive with colorful stories. I think anyone who is involved with a growing company could learn from this book and enjoy the ride, too.”


Good Profit: How Creating Value for Others Built One of the World’s Most Successful Companies, by Charles G. Koch. Recommended by Lisa Giaimo, vice president of sales and marketing for OTO Development, who says: “It is not necessary a hospitality-sales-focused book, but in essence it describes the relationship between business acumen and making decisions based on the concept of creating long-term value. We throw around the term ‘empowerment’ a lot in our industry, but if we all view our customers’ needs as the first priority and think entrepreneurially in how to satisfy those needs, we will prosper.”

Categories: Sales
Insight Type: