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Books to Help You Sell, with Bridget Gleason [Episode 408]

In this episode, we discuss the best sales books and how those can help salespeople only become more effective. Bridget Gleason is VP of Sales for Logz.io and my regular guest on Front Line Fridays.

Key Takeaways

  • The topic is books! The first is Draw to Win: A Crash Course on How to Lead, Sell, and Innovate With Your Visual Mind, by Dan Roam. Dan was on Episode 387 of Accelerate! The book tells how to describe ideas using stick figures and shapes.
  • One of Bridget’s clients consults businesses for conflict resolution, by visualizing with Legos. Visualization works!
  • Dan Roam has found that his conversion rate on proposals improved substantially by using drawing, and by involving the prospect in the presentation, to co-create value.
  • Search Inside Yourself: The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happiness (and World Peace), by Chade-Meng Tan, teaches internal conditions for success, and to reduce stress.
  • Everydata: The Misinformation Hidden in the Little Data You Consume Every Day, by John H. Johnson, is about the common misuse of statistics and data. This affects sales metrics. Don’t confuse correlation with causation! John is an upcoming guest!
  • Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike, by Phil Knight. This reveals the perseverance, courage, and resilience of the founder behind the iconic brand. The rise wasn’t easy!
  • The Science of Selling: Proven Strategies to Make Your Pitch, Influence Decisions, and Close the Deal, by David Hoffeld, an upcoming guest, summarizing research on the mind, influence, and sales, into a methodology for prospecting.
  • The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever, by Michael Bungay Stanier is about behavior change, through the science of the way habits are formed.
  • How To Sell On LinkedIn: 30 Tips in 30 Days, by Erik Qualman tells about good selling behaviors on LinkedIn. It is one of the better books on the topic that Andy has read.
  • Historical fiction! Bernard Cornwell has written several series, including the Saxon Tales, starting with The Last Kingdom.


Episode Transcript

Andy Paul  0:35  

Hi, I’m your host, Andy Paul. Join me as I host conversations with the leading experts in sales, marketing, sales, automation, sales process, leadership management, training, coaching, any resource that I believe to help you accelerate the growth of your sales, your business and most importantly, you Hello and welcome to accelerate Another episode of frontline Fridays with my very special guest, particularly some Bridget, how are you today?


Bridget Gleason  1:06  

Andy, I am great. 


Andy Paul  1:20  

Today, in particular, we get to have one of our favorite things that we domonthly. I don’t really have to be tracking often. We do this, but talk about new books that we’ve been reading about sales and marketing, business, personal reading, whatever it is. Yeah. So I guess I’ll lead today.


Bridget Gleason  1:49  



Andy Paul  1:49  

So one new book I’ve read recently I really enjoyed and I think for anybody who is in the business of presenting information you know communicating with people so hopefully sales people marketing people and it was a book called draw to win by Dan Rome.


Andy Paul  2:25  

So how do you how do you use illustration if you will drawings to more effectively communicate your message and so he was also on the show a few weeks ago for people listening to this go back and listen to that that episode in my conversation with him but a great book because it really breaks down Okay, if you want to use drawings effectively in his he’s his poll books, yes. stick figures. I mean, nothing really. It’s not like he’s using great art. He’s Based on using stick figures, and able to describe processes and situations and sort of abstract ideas, so clearly enhancing it using figures and so he breaks it down into a sort of six step recipe about how to effectively do this. And now I’m working on my, my newest book, and, you know, I’d love to have some illustrations on there. So I’ve been practicing my, my very simple drawing because he gives you a very, you’re not talking about not talking about doing artwork, you’re talking about doing drawing.


Bridget Gleason  3:40  

So are you going to do the illustrations for your book? I’m going to try that.


Andy Paul  3:45  

We’re gonna try. I’m not committing that they’re gonna make the final, final cut, but I’ve done something repressive in my mind.


Bridget Gleason  3:58  

I was out at a client actually in France two weeks ago, I have to remember where I was. And as I’ve mentioned before logs IO it’s a very technical product, and it’s log management analytics. And one of the guys that we met there, we were in a conference room and he said, Oh, come over to my office, I want to show you something. And Andy, he had this huge logo representation of his servers and firewalls and connectors and applications and he had the whole thing laid out so it’s he didn’t have stick figures like Dan did. He did this Lego world that he told us on the side, he is a Lego consultant for business and he works with companies to help them map out conflict models and resolve conflict using Legos. Think about that one. Okay, that’s not but when you’re talking about drawings what immediately came to mind was this Lego world.


Andy Paul  5:23  

Yeah, visual.


Bridget Gleason  5:24  

It’s the same, it’s the same basic concept is how do we get it out of our head into something that is abstract into something that visually it’s just is a different we just have a different relationship to it.


Andy Paul  5:43  

Yeah, and more compelling and, you know, Dan Brown gives numerous examples about, how in his own business with GE as a consulting firm that works for major enterprises that that, you know, the conversion rate on the proposals has gone up substantially because of the way they are They do their presentations, and I present the material and their proposals using drawing and, and then gives tips about, hey, if you’re presenting to our customers, what can you do to get them involved, right it talks about the solves idea of starting a presentation at our whiteboard and then stopping handing the pen to the customer, let them finish it.And then suddenly you’re collaborating and co-creating value and so for people looking for another tool that anybody can use because he’s very clear because very, very detailed instructions that really helps simplify this idea of how you can become much more effective at drawing. Again, not becoming an artist, drawing concepts. Yeah, I really recommend you pick up that book and read it’s very inspirational. And you know, I’ve been using it in other things, but I mean, certainly looking at using my book as well, but yeah, very well done.


Bridget Gleason  7:00  

Sounds like a great book. Yeah. So I really enjoyed the back of the napkin. So how to pick that one up too.


Andy Paul  7:14  

Yeah. Okay, good. So what did you read recently?


Bridget Gleason  7:20  

Um, well, I’ve always got one sort of business book and one fiction that I’ve done one time, the most recent that I read sort of business book. There’s a book by a guy at Google called Search Inside Yourself. The Unexpected path to achieving success, happiness, and then he has in parentheses world peace. And it’s a little bit in one of our more recent episodes, we were talking about stress and and you know how that affects sales and performance. And I also try to balance the very sort of technical books that I read about sales process and structure and with the ones that are really more the inside game is what’s happening internally? And how do we make sure that we’ve got conditions for success set up in our own little hardwired brains. And nothing in there, he says is new. I mean, this is a class that he started at Google. And then he’s since open sourced it, but it’s, it’s again, how do you reduce that stress internally? How do you have a position of like a resting point of abundance and calm So that you can go and execute on those things that you need to execute on. So, I really, really enjoyed it. I really enjoyed the book.


Andy Paul  9:12  

Okay, all right. And you said you’re reading something fiction as well.


Bridget Gleason  9:18  

Yeah, I read on my Kindle and so it doesn’t have. The problem for me with reading on the Kindle is I don’t have the book that I see every day. You know, it’s not sitting on my shelf. So I don’t often remember the titles that this one is; it’s a book that is set in actually Jerusalem. And because I go back and forth to Israel, and it’s just a book about some conflict that was in Jerusalem. I read a lot of nonfiction as well as fiction now about Israel since I do not have going back there. Sure. So it’s sort of like I just started it, but nothing that I would recommend or not recommend yet.


Andy Paul  10:05  

Okay. All right. So another one I read recently that I’ve talked about doing the guest does. The author has been a guest on the show Bakshi. And by the time this airs, he won’t have his episode in America. Rich people look forward to it. His book called everyday data, the misinformation hidden in the little data you consume every day. The author’s name is John Johnson. John H. Johnson is an economist. And a great book about we just don’t know how to use statistics and data. Yeah, yeah, this is a pressing topic for sales because increasingly more and more data that’s available to us about, you know, what’s, what’s happening within our sales efforts, our marketing efforts. And the author’s contention is and I think this is born out by sort of the way we look at some of the metrics and data as we use without sales, is the data that we’re misusing it, because in one of his primary themes is that that we have this confirmation bias that that’s working and that we, we look at the data and use it to suit and justify something we already believe to be true.


Bridget Gleason  11:23  

I agree with that wholeheartedly. I think we do that.


Andy Paul  11:27  

Oh, yeah. And on top of which, they’ll think perhaps even more pressingly, if you will, as we look forward to, you know, how we’re using data more effectively and selling it, he says, you know, we confuse correlation with causation. And this is perhaps the biggest thing, right? We see a number and say, Okay, well, you know, something saying that this correlates to a higher open rate, let’s say of emails, but we tend to think that’s You know, maybe it’s a certain subject line, but we tend to think that that’s the cause where it correlates, but it’s not the cause. Right? So we’re not really getting down to energy, we have all these correlations and sales. Yeah, we have very little knowledge about what’s actually causing the underlying cause or what makes something happen. And so the book sort of explores that at length and and I mean, not too long, because it’s a fairly fairly short book, but the quick read, real eye opener for anybody that’s at all interested as anybody in sales again, especially managers, that more and more are being presented data. Get to think more clearly about what it is you’re really seeing.


Bridget Gleason  12:45  

Sounds like a great one. That’s all I need more time. And I would constantly read and learn languages, those would be my two things. So okay. I am rich and retired. You can find you’ll be able to find me in a library.


Andy Paul  13:16  

Yeah. All right. So give another one.


Bridget Gleason  13:20  

I don’t know how I got another one. But one that I read recently was that I made mentions for shoe dogs by Phil Knight, the founder of Nike.


Andy Paul  13:31  

We talked about that or not. 


Bridget Gleason  13:35  

I love reading books, from founders and CEOs. Because I love being in the startup space. That’s my place to play. And this book, I think, for me, just the overarching message is we look at Nike now this big, iconic brand. And it just seems like they’ve been successful and big and iconic. For a long time, and when you go back to the origins and the guts of Phil Knight and the number of times that they were on the brink of bankruptcy or dissolution or not getting off the ground, and the setbacks and the it’s just a great story of perseverance and courage. And I just think it applies in these companies that we look at when our expectation is that they just sort of went up into the right from the beginning. Hell no, they went up, down left, right back forward, almost gone. And Salesforce can also be similar. We have lots of moments when we feel like it’s not going to happen and just having this for today, Dude and resolution of spirit and just determination, resilience, resilience is so key. And he was just really resilient. And that was really interesting. It was just the ups and downs, the ins and outs. I just found it very interesting and inspiring I really enjoyed it.


Andy Paul  15:27  

Okay, that goes on my list. Another one I’ve read, which I would recommend to anybody in sales, his book called The science of selling, written by a gentleman named David Hoff Feld and also has interviewed him and his episode coming up shortly on the show. And he did a really good job of of summarizing and sorry synthesizing a lot of the research that’s been done about you know, the neuroscience of decision making and influence and behavioral economics and social psychology we sort of referred to in past episodes and sort of laying it out in a way that you can sort of follow in it’s just and he’s at the end puts together service zone based on that it’s all put together his own methodology for for doing you know, approaching customers, which is good. I mean, I thought the real strength of the book was up on the first half to two thirds really going through all this research. there’s just lots of things to learn in there about from academia about Mark customers, and how they process information how they are influenced how they make decisions, and if for that first two thirds the book alone I mean, read the whole book obviously, but you know, for Just the beginning I said he did a really good job of putting that together and, and so if you’ve read Daniel Kahneman if you’ve read Cialdini, if you’ve read Richard Fowler, you know, other economists, behavioral economics, economists excuse me, as I try to speak today. Yeah, here’s a good summary and good reference points and easy to read and so I really recommend people pick that up and read it. It’s a good book. And that’s like a basic text I think the good salespeople should have with them.


Bridget Gleason  17:34  

That sounds like a great one. Another one another one to add on the list. When I hop on an airplane, that’s my best time giving my status I should be reading more.


Andy Paul  17:55  

One of my all time favorite books about sales, even though it’s not specifically about selling, is that I’ve mentioned before it’s called the coaching habit written by a gentleman named Michael bungay stanier. And, Wow, good short book. What the book is really about is his behavior change. And, you know, this is really essential for us as anybody involved in the business of sales, sales management, and so on. The book really does a great job sort of describing sort of state of the art in terms of research of how, how habits are formed. And so when we think about our routine as salespeople, it’s fundamentally habit driven. And so gives a great foundation about how to develop new habits. And then when he talks about implementing his coaching habit and he has examples about how you should coach and really, if you’re going to be an effective coach, your takeaway from reading the book is, wow, an effective salesperson really is an effective coach. You’re like coaching your prospects in a very specific way. And yeah, I would definitely recommend everybody run up and pick up a copy of that book.


Bridget Gleason  19:25  

I’m gonna I’ll probably listen to that one today. 


Andy Paul  19:34  

Yeah. And then this these Canadian based runs a consulting firm Name box of crayons in Canada. But smart guy. Excellent, excellent book. That’s all people should add to their list.


Bridget Gleason  19:51  

Well,  especially since we’ve talked about how there’s so much leverage in these frontline managers and what they do and how well they’re doing. Find that just the more that we can either equip managers if we’re in a position to do that, or if we are frontline managers that we continue to develop our own skills, the more impact that that’s going to have the more impact that’s going to have on our success. So that’s, I’m excited about that one.


Andy Paul  20:21  

Yeah. Oh, good. I think what I read recently is that one other book goes short, a lot of books out there about how to use LinkedIn to sell. And that had a number of people on the show, talking about their books and talking about their work they do, and lots of excellent people talking about it, but it’s a book about LinkedIn that came from an unexpected source. A gentleman named Eric Coleman, who’s a very well known speaker, consultant, primarily and marketing side did a lot of work with enterprise major fortune 500 type companies. He is a very interesting guy if you go and look at his website, but he wrote this book about how to sell on LinkedIn 30 tips in 30 days.


Bridget Gleason  21:13  

Actually a hack?


Andy Paul  21:15  

Actually it’s not, it’s good basic behavior.


Bridget Gleason  21:20  

People who’ve listened to a previous episode where we talk about hacks.


Andy Paul  21:25  

Yeah, not so much just good basic selling behavior. And how you basically implement that and amplify that on through LinkedIn. And yeah, really one of the one of the better books on the topic that I’ve read.


Bridget Gleason  21:40  

Okay, I’d be curious to get that one. I know that more and more people. I mean, we’re using it more and more at logs IO used at my previous companies, but that’s becoming at least in the US internationally, LinkedIn is not as big yet. So It’s not as powerful of a tool as my immediate team and definitely for the US it’s definitely a great tool and everybody should know how to use that effectively.


Andy Paul  22:13  

Yeah, this becomes a great book for that cash wish I was just sitting here looking at the clock because I know we’re gonna wrap up here shortly.


Bridget Gleason  22:26  

Okay, yeah. I think that’s a good number of books by the way . I think that it can be overwhelming for people but on the non business side.


Andy Paul  22:36  

And so one of my favorite authors is Bernard Cornwell. Those are a number of series about how he wrote a great series love called the sharp series about this riflemen in the British Army and Napoleonic era that basically has all the adventures and over a series of final 1520 books.


Bridget Gleason  23:07  

When you told me about historical fiction, I was going to ask, Is this about war? Is there a war thing in here? There’s one of the wars that you love to follow?


Andy Paul  23:18  

Well, gosh, anyway, well, I was gonna say Is he wrote a 10 book series, called the Saxon tale series, about a fictional warrior in 19th century England. And this is all about sort of during the period of King Alfred, and when, you know, England was really three or four different countries at that point in time, that the names don’t exist today except for Wales. And basically talking about sort of sets the stage for what ultimately comes sort of the unification of England. deserve an advance over the Norman Conquest but it? Yeah, it’s kind of bloody Nose, a great sort of multi-generational story that I enjoyed.


Bridget Gleason  24:13  

I’m going to check it out. I don’t typically go for the bloody books. They’re historical fiction but if it’s really well written and I love history then I’m in I’m game. I’m going to explore it.


Andy Paul  24:30  

Yeah, I should read the first one. I mean, it’s to me he’s such a great writer and gosh writes, I think effortlessly and great detail obviously as a great team of researchers, they’ll help them you know, get everything ready to write, but great plots, easy to do good quick reads and you’ll learn a lot in the process as well. 


Bridget Gleason  24:55  

Which I love.


Andy Paul  24:57  

All right. So unless you have another one, are we done?


Bridget Gleason  25:01  

I think that’s good for today. I’ve always got more, but I also want to be mindful of our time today. And also not to overload.


Andy Paul  25:10  

True. Not to overload. Yes, the book reports won’t be due next week. 


Bridget Gleason  25:16  

I think that’s reasonable. Just turn off the TV.


Andy Paul  25:23  

You got plenty of time. That’s right. As mom & dad said, turn off that


Bridget Gleason  25:29  

I know that’s horrible. 


Andy Paul  25:30  

All right. Well, Bridget, as always a pleasure.


Bridget Gleason  25:35  

Andy, it was great. I look forward to next time.


Andy Paul  25:38  

And friends. Thank you again for joining us. Make sure to come back next week. Listen to us, or in the meantime, listen to episodes of the Sales Enablement Podcast during the week because we’ve got episodes. Gosh, six days a week. So thanks for joining us. Until next time, good selling everyone.


Bridget Gleason  25:55  

Have a great week.


Andy Paul  25:57  

Thanks for listening to the show. If you like what you heard Want to make sure you don’t miss any upcoming episodes please subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.com for more information about today’s guests, visit my website at AndyPaul.com