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20 Best Sales Books



by Tim Reiterman

Raven is a fascinating look at Jim Jones, the cult leader from the 1970s who founded the People’s Temple. Headquartered in San Francisco, Jones gained an unlikely following. Though most cult leaders prey on the weak and downtrodden, Jones recruited prominent people to his cause. Jones sought to create a “socialist paradise” and built the eponymous Jonestown in Guyana. He then brought many of his temple’s members to the South American outpost and convinced them to “drink the koolaid” that was poisoned and killed over 900 people.

Why is this book on this list? Jones skills of persuasion were clearly unparalleled. It can also provide a moral guide for which sales skills to use and which might go a little far.

Excerpt: Bob welcomed the change of scenery too. In October 1973, he either had quit or been fired as a sales representative for Xerox in Mendocino and Lake Counties. Driving a beat-up old Pontiac, wearing bags under his eyes and his only suit, he had tried to be a salesman, but he could not succeed in that competitive sales world without the trappings and energy denied him by the church lifestyle.