5 sales books that will outperform your car sales training manual and improve sales

There’s a particular intuitiveness about seasoned salespeople you don’t often find in other types of employees. They know how to listen, when to ask the right questions, and attain a level trust within a small timeframe. The ones who perform at high levels didn’t get there by accident–it comes with experience, practice, and study. But much of what they learned came from sources outside your typical car sales training manual.

When you’re bringing in new salespeople to your dealership, the training process is supremely important to their future success. The more dynamic your training is, the better prepared these newcomers will be.

It’s wise to keep in mind that learning how to sell is a process of independent study and experience. Therefore, you should introduce your sales reps to educational sources outside of what you already offer. Their car sales training manual will no doubt be important to learn the features, benefits, and advantages of your products, but learning to close deals is another skill set entirely.

Luckily, there are many sources of research for learning how to be a better salesperson. In this post, we’ve included the top five books that will create a lasting impression on your sales team.

These books are staples to industry leaders and have been in publication for decades. These books have set the foundation for self-development literature; the principals are still as true today as the day they were written. Plus, they will provide context and understanding for the modern sales people of the future.


Five books to bring your sales training to the next level


  1. Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill

Published in 1937, this book helped create the self-help literature revolution in America. It’s sold over 70 million copies worldwide and still finds a place on the desks and bookcases of businesspeople today. Although this book broadly tackles the subject of “becoming a success”, there are a few pinpoints within the text that we find useful for salespeople:


  • Developing the desire to succeed and grow.
  • Goal setting, organization skills, and taking action.
  • Utilizing “specialized knowledge” from personal experiences.


  1. Secrets of Closing the Sale, Zig Ziglar

For books specifically about salesmanship, there is no second to Zig Ziglar’s best-selling work. This book will help your sales team understand the psychology of selling while giving in-depth examples of closing techniques throughout. The amount of detail Ziglar includes in his techniques beat out a flimsy, self-published car sales training manual every time. We especially find the following key points useful:


  • The focus of creating effective dialogue with the prospect.
  • Over 700 examples of questions to keep your prospect engaged.
  • Understanding buying and selling as emotional experiences.


  1. How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling, Frank Bettger

Although this book is not as well-known as the two mentioned above, it nonetheless has inspired many. Most notably is Dale Carnegie, who was so impressed with the personal story of Bettger, he wrote the foreword to the book. Carnegie also wrote the testimonial on the front cover, “The most helpful and inspiring book on salesmanship that I have ever read.” This slim volume outlines simple and effective formulas for selling while also providing first-hand experiences on how they can be applied. Here’s what this book offers that your typical car sales training manual does not:


  • A full chapter on six ways to win confidence with your customer.
  • Personal anecdotes on how selling formulas work.
  • Focus on bouncing back from failure with persistence.


  1. How to Get Your Point Across in 30 Seconds or Less, Milo O. Frank

Simple and clear communication is a skill that all salespeople must learn. This book focuses on the idea that you can grab attention, keep interest, and make your point all within 30 seconds. It’s taking brevity and quick thinking to a higher level. All those features and benefits outlined in your car sales training manual? You’ll learn to communicate those advantages to your customers in faster ways. Many sales presentations are failures because of prolonged speech, irrelevant personal anecdotes, and clumsy organization of thoughts. Here’s why we chose this book:


  • It trains salespeople to speak effectively and listen to their client’s problems.
  • Places importance on streamlining the sales process.
  • Teaches how to “hook” attention with emotion-hitting questions.


  1. How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie

Similar to the ethos and enormous popularity of Think and Grow Rich, this book is a cornerstone of personal development literature. Published in 1936, it has continued to influence writers and teachers on the subject of, in today’s terms, networking. The book also focuses on speaking effectively, leadership amongst friends and colleagues, and winning acceptance from others. As a salesperson, learning and understanding these basic interpersonal skills is of primary importance. A few highlights that are useful for a car sales atmosphere:


  • A section of the book titled, “12 Ways to Win People to Your Way of Thinking”.
  • Simplifies psychology principles into simple terms and relative application.
  • Step by step guides to deal with rejection, resistance, and argument.


OK, don’t burn your car sales training manual, but recognize the shortcomings

In all seriousness, your training manual is one of the most important tools your sales team has. It covers all the bases to be soaked in about the business, its products, and much more. The five books we’ve included will add to your training with a specific focus on making sales. We’ve included these timeless books because they are still relevant and have influenced the sales-centric educational sources out there today.


If there are books you’d add to this list, let us know in the comments below. Let’s keep this list growing!

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