An example of a great concept from this book that has shaped the way I approach things: You've heard of the concept of closing, where you ask the customer to buy the product. Spin selling extends that concept in the realm of a longer sales cycle that involves many steps such as demos, consulting sessions and so on. Every interaction you have with the customer has some desired outcome that eventually leads to the final sale. For example, your initial contacts with the prospect, the goal of those initial interactions is to get the demo scheduled. Or perhaps it's to introduce you to someone closer to the decision maker. In each interaction, you keep a goal in mind and close towards that goal.
Three other books that were amazing and formative for me are below. These aren't about sales in particular but about making your own business in general, which includes sales in various degrees:
2. Good to Great
3. Crossing the Chasm
4. The E Myth
Also an honorable mention goes to this book, which is more about marketing than sales: Winning Through Intimidation. The book isn't actually about intimidating people, but it's about branding, image, and approach. Despite the evil sounding title, it's an amazing resource.
Voted #1 business book by Inc. 500 CEOs.
Check out The E-Myth revisited:
The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It https://www.amazon.com/dp/0887307280/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_uqS0CbAT7R6NE
He literally uses a Bakery as an example.
Also applicable to startups.
Not an affiliate link btw
Another chance to mention the book E Myth Revisited
And another chance to mention SCORE
I had many years in sales and marketing at big companies, but starting a business required many totally new skills. These two resources were absolutely awesome for me. My mentor from SCORE was a successful retired businessman. He had run a similar type business as mine.
Don’t know, but it’s a popular book.
Amazon Link They also have an audiobook version
It should really be: here's what happens when you focus too much _in_ your business, not _on_ your business.
The E-Myth is required reading to combat this.
Excellent book in my opinion. Based on variations of the 10,000 hour rule with plenty of examples. Also touches on how the unknown habits and circumstance of someone can lead to outstanding abilities. Shows how much effort goes into making something work.
Zero To One
The first book that I couldn't put down until I completed it. Picked a fair few things up from it as well as a bunch of things I hope to move forward with in the future with startups.
The 33 Strategies of War
Not a business book but definitely my style if you take the examples and strategies and turn them into business. This is the second book I have not been able to put down once picking it up.
The E-Myth Revisited
Although I had a decent understanding of how to allocate duties to people depending on their job role this helped me better understand it as well as the importance of doing it.
Another book I loved, just introduced me to a bunch of new concepts with a fair few I hope to use in the future.
Black Box Thinking
Coming from and engineering background I was already used to being ok with my failures provided I was learning from them but this book is based around how different industries treat failure and how it is important to accept it and grow from it.
I update this post with all of the books I have read with a rating.
Excellent book in my opinion. Based on variations of the 10,000-hour rule with plenty of examples. Also touches on how the unknown habits and circumstance of someone can lead to outstanding abilities.
The first book that I couldn't put down until I completed it. Picked a fair few things up from it as well as a bunch of things I hope to move forward within the future with startups.
I feel this is an excellent book for reality checks and getting people into a better mindset of what to expect and the amount of work required. It also explains a few common misconceptions of the get rich slow style methods where you may end up rich but you will be 60 years old or more.
Great! I would recommend starting with The EMyth Revisited and Fanatical Prospecting . Both books are great to give you some good tools to start out with and put you in the right mindset to succeed. I like Managed Services in a Month as well, but realistically if you've worked in the industry at established MSPs, there's not a lot groundbreaking there. It's a good re-affirmation, though.
I was forced to read the book "E-Myth Revisited" as my course material. It gave me incredible insight into delegating and many of the fundamental issues with running a small business.
Without my accountant and a few key, incredibly supportive clients, my business would have gone under a long time ago.
My business coach had started and sold a number of businesses, and was able to advise me on things that I would never have done on my own. Look for someone like this in your life, even if only temporarily.
My wife started helping with some aspects of the business as well, and I couldn't do it without her. You need help, period. I've trained 2 of my kids to build websites, one has moved on to college in some other industry and the other is interning at a bigger company (building websites). And I plan to teach my other kids as well, and have them help where possible.
What this taught me was that I can't do everything myself, and I don't want to anymore, it just sucks to do it on your own.
The best thing that happened recently is making friends with another local business owner, who also builds websites, but our business interests don't conflict, and we respect the others perspective a lot, so we get to hang out from time to time just to talk and have coffee. We understand the world in a way most others cannot. The struggle, the freedom and preasure, etc..
Keep looking for answers to your specific problems before giving up on your business.
On GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/81948.The_E_Myth_Revisite...
On Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0887307280
No problem, glad you enjoyed it.
If you are interested in game design, read The Art of Game Design by Jesse Schnell . At least skim it. It's great and gets deep into the emotion and psychology of game design.
For business stuff, I got a lot of input from the classic E-Myth Revisited . I won't say it didn't get boring, but the actual point of it (systematize EVERYTHING) is a really important concept to learn. That changed the way I do things and now we have systems for everything in the company.
Read Crossing the Chasm when you start getting traction. It's a very important book that answered a lot of questions for me.
Right now I'm reading Behind the Cloud by Benioff , and man, this book is also great. I had no clue they used a lot of fairly controversial tactics to get press and traction. It's a good read.
First, congratulations! Exciting to be going out on your own.
Getting your contracting license is just the first step to running your own business. There is SO much to know. You may know the contracting field backwards and forwards, but as a business owner you also have to know accounting, bookkeeping, marketing, legal (business formation), management, and more.
While I can't give you any advice about contracting, I've owned a company for more than 17 years. I'd like to suggest a few books I think will really help you on the business/marketing aspects.
The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber
How to work ON your business, not IN it. Great book on building systems and processes in your business.
Financial Intelligence for Entrepreneurs
What the numbers really mean. How to read the financial statements and know what they mean to your business.
Getting Things Done by David Allen
The best productivity book out there.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
Not as much a book on productivity as it is on priorities, leadership, and purpose. Probably the most impactful book I've ever read... it was given to me at my first job (almost 20 years ago) and I reread it every couple of years.
If you aren't into reading books, at least take some online courses in business, marketing, management, etc. Watch some TED talks. Go to a conference or two.
And be sure to post here and ask questions when you're stumped... lots of really helpful people here in /r/Entrepreneur!