2021 Business Books Sales & Marketing

The Ultimate 21 Best Business Books for 2021

Now before I get into my substantial and ambitious book list for 2021, I want to take a moment to circle back and explain WHY I’m even writing this blog in the first place:


In my job I just moved to a full time sales position. Now, this is probably something I’m not supposed to admit to the world but, sales kinda scares me. 


I mean I like the idea of it, connecting with powerful client’s, closing deals, making a fat paycheck off commissions, what’s not to like about it? 



But sales has never been my strong point. I’m an engineer, I’m a technical person, sales isn’t my thing. 


But, the truth is this is all bullshit. 


Because the reality is I can do anything I put my mind to. And if I decide I’m going to master sales, then you better damn well believe I’m going to master sales. 


So this blog more than anything is to document my journey into sales. A place to outline what I’m reading, what I’m learning, what my goals are, how I’m progressing, what stumbling points I’m hitting, what problems make me feel that I want to rip my hair out yet I still refuse to give up?



This is a place for me to share my journey, and to offer support and guidance on your journey. Because as I discussed here, if you can’t sell, you’ll never be free. 


So I’m diving into the deep end here, and to kick things off I want to layout my reading list for 2021, which may grow and evolve as the year goes on (hey it’s only Jan 30th!). 


  1. Brian Tracy – The Psychology of Selling
  2. Harvey McKay – Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty
  3. Steve Kaplan – Bag The Elephant
  4. Jeffrey Gitomer – Little Red Book Of Selling
  5. Jill Konrath – Selling To Big Companies
  6. Jay Conrad Levinson – Guerrilla Marketing
  7. Susan Jeffers – Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway
  8. Les Giblin – How To Have Power And Confidence In Dealing With People 
  9. Stu Heinecke – How To Get A Meeting With Anyone
  10. Jay Abraham – The MasterMind Marketing System
  11. Jay Abraham – Get Everything You Can Out Of Everything You’ve Got
  12. Caleb Jones – The Unchained Man
  13. Lanny Bassham – With Winning In Mind
  14. Harry Browne – How I Found Freedom In An Unfree World
  15. Robert Cialdini – The Power Of Influence
  16. Seth Godin – All Marketers Are Liars
  17. George Thompson – Verbal Judo
  18. Robert Mnookin – Bargaining With The Devil
  19. Deke Castleman – Whale Hunt In The Desert
  20. Chris Voss – Never Split The Difference
  21. Chip Heath – Made To Stick


So why this list?



Most of these are sales related. Psychology Of Selling, Selling To Big Companies, Little Red Book Of Selling, Bag The Elephant – straight about sales. 


But I wanted to diversify more, because sales is more than just “sales”, it’s also about personal connections, negotiating and story telling. 


I believe the best sales people aren’t just “sales people”, they’re story tellers. You enjoy listening to them, you enjoy being around them. They always have something fun and interesting to say. They’re calm, they’re peaceful. They’re trying to help, rather than force their ideas and their products down your throats. 



We all resent the trope of the “used car salesman”, who’s sleazy and uses any tactic he can to get you in a car, even if (or especially if) it’s a bad a car, or just isn’t the right fit for you. 


I believe in a beauty to sales. That a true salesman doesn’t feel like he’s selling to you, but rather the experience is just so fun, so comforting, so mysterious (in a good way), that you genuinely want whatever he’s selling. 


Bad sales is when the salesman forces a sale down the prospects throat. 


Good sales is when the prospect is just begging to be sold. 


There’s an idea that I think about often, that we tend to think of sales backwards. We tend to think that the buyer has all the power and the salesman has to trick, lie or beg for the buyer to buy. But let’s think about this for a second:


The buyer has a specific problem, and a generic solution (money). 


The seller has a general problem (money), and a specific solution. 


So who really has the power? 


As a salesman, you can take money from any buyer. All buyer’s money is literally identical. Whether Bill pays you a thousand dollars or Sally does, it’s all the same money. But if you’re a good salesman, working for a good company, with a good product, you have a very unique solution to the buyers very unique problem. 


If the buyer feels that he can buy your solution from just any old company, then you’ve failed as a salesman (or failed as a business). If your products are so generic that they can be bought anywhere and you’re just competing on price, then you’ve already lost. 


If you want the power in the sales position, you need to be the only solution in town (or really, around the world). If the buyer has a truly unique problem that he urgently needs solved, and you have the only unique solution to that problem, then remind me again why sales is supposed to be hard?


Now there are a few books on this list that might seem a little out of place. Firstly, some context, Caleb Jones at has been a major influence and a mentor from afar in my life. He’s published these two articles here and here on his top 17 and top 10 books to read. 


You’ll notice that several books on my list have been lifted directly from his. Well, he makes damn good book recommendations.


His book The Unchained Man, isn’t specifically a book on sales, but rather a full life manual, on how to build the best life possible and achieve your dreams. Many of the principles there apply directly to sales and growing a sales careers. Aspects like having a vision and knowing your mission, will be the foundational pieces that help you through the time times as you make it to the peak of your mountain. 


Go get em cowboys. 


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