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Discover the transformative power of shared learning in sales through an innovative book club.

I have been able to read since I was three years old. My mom taught me to read by playing school. Not long after that, we had no money for books, which was a dark age for a young reader. Fortunately, there was a public library a few minutes’ walk from my grandmother’s house. I carried back more books than I could read before I had to return them. There were many books I never wanted to return, like Watership Down and The Lord of the Rings, great stories well told.

When I started making money with a paper route and, later, by washing dishes, it allowed me to buy my own books. I loved sci-fi, Tarzan, Conan, and a number of paperback books I no longer remember. As I joined my family’s business as a salesperson, I started reading business books. If I loved a book, I would gift a copy to a client. Most of the time, the client would place the book on their bookcase, where it would gather dust. After trying to provide the value of the book, I started to share what I thought was important for the client and their results.

Elevating Sales Skills with Strategic Reading

The goal of the One-Up Book Club is to read substantial, consequential, and insightful books that will allow salespeople to gain a perspective they can share with their clients. It is important that you recognize that your client needs you to help them prepare for the future. You will never be a trusted advisor if you show up after your client is harmed because they were unaware of the changes in their environment.

By reading these books, we develop a perspective that will improve our ability to help our clients make the changes they need to succeed in the future. Those who read the types of books we read in the One-Up Book Club will possess a higher-resolution lens through which to view the future and the present.

Cultivating a Sales-Focused Reading Community

The members of the One-Up Book Club are all in sales. The core of the One-Up Book Club is a cohort of hardcore readers. They do the reading and acquire things they can share with each other and with their clients. Were I to guess at this group, I believe they are better read than most of the population of their peers and their clients. This core shows up for meetings to discuss the books and trade ideas.

Around 10 people left the book club after signing up, saying they have no time to read. We were happy to have them with us, but I believe their decision was a mistake. We live in a world that we don’t understand, and it is changing faster than ever, and books can help us make sense of it. One concept I use to describe this is the ACDC environment, an acronym for accelerating, constant, disruptive change. The people who left may have a lot going on in their lives, or maybe they had the desire to read, but lacked the will.

The core members of the book club seem to have a lot of books, and a few have large bookcases that take up a wall, which we can see on virtual meetings. They also tend to be interested in all sorts of things. In meetings about a book, members recommend books that will provide more information and insights on a topic that showed up in a book.

Choosing Impactful Books for Sales Professionals

The first book we read was a 500-page monster about the end of globalization. This book is rich with insights and data about every part of our world, and an examination of the implications of key trends. This book about change was very popular with the members. I have recommended it to many of my close friends.

The second book the club read was by a great thinker and writer. This was a shorter book about what is not going to change. It helped to clean our palates. This was also popular with the book club. Most people will miss this book, and that is unfortunate.

The third book was an average-sized book about taking care of clients and customers. I might have taken more from this book than others, but it was also deemed worth the read.

The fourth book was chosen by the core of the book club. When Elon Musk sued OpenAI, we decided to read a book about AI and containment. We are following this book with one that presents an argument against technology.

When we read one substantial book, we read a second book on the same topic. The reason we do this is because it provides a better perspective. We read another viewpoint for that same reason.

We are averaging a book every month. Some read fast, others read slow. Those who read slowly miss nothing. It is not a race to see who reads the fastest. There is no such thing as competitive reading.

Becoming Part of the One-Up Sales Book Club: Opportunities and Insights

If you are serious about reading and you recognize the value of reading nonfiction books that will provide you with a perspective on the future, and your client’s futures, this book club may be just what you need.

If you don’t believe you have the time to read, I would suggest you turn off your screens and read for the last hour before you go to sleep. If you are unable to read for an hour a day, you may not be ready to join this book club. However, if you want to give it a try, and it doesn’t work for you, you can always leave.

Find more here: https://www.oneupbookclub.com.

Books 2024
Post by Anthony Iannarino on March 25, 2024

Written and edited by human brains and human hands.

Anthony Iannarino
Anthony Iannarino is a writer, an international speaker, and an entrepreneur. He is the author of four books on the modern sales approach, one book on sales leadership, and his latest book called The Negativity Fast releases on 10.31.23. Anthony posts daily content here at TheSalesBlog.com.
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