What I’ve Been Reading: February Reading Recs


I’ve always been insanely curious. I was the kid who used to spend hours looking up random facts on Microsoft Encarta and constantly had books taken away at the dinner table.

Almost 30 years later, I’m still always tinkering on something or trying to learn how something works. For the last couple of months, I’ve been engrossed in all things deal-making. As a community builder and marketer, sales has always been something that I’ve stayed as far away from as humanely possible. I’m great at getting new leads and making connections, but when it comes to closing the sale, I’ve usually been quick to deflect that over to a sales person.

I realize that my definition for what a sales person was has been wrong over all these years. I used to think that to be good at sales, you have to be extremely extroverted, persistent (to the point of being annoying), and a little pushy in selling your product or service.

I equated sales as annoying cold calls and pesky telemarketers who call my phone multiple times a week.

In reality, sales is really about relationships and trust. The traits of the most effective salesperson are a high EQ, a great listener, patience, and the ability to solve complex problems. 

On the last Sunday of every month, I share recommendations to 4 thought-provoking things I read – or in some cases – listened to in the last month.  This month all of the posts will tie back to either sales, negotiation, deal-making or EQ.

1. It is been awhile since I read a nonfiction book cover to cover in one day.  But, that’s exactly what happened when I read Carrie Kerpen’s book, “Work it: Secrets for Success from the Boldest Women in Business.”

I love Carrie’s writing style, as it is authentic, relatable and insightful.One of the things that I respect and admire is that she isn’t forcing her views on you – the reader. Instead, she’s sharing her own experiences from building her multimillion dollar social media agency alongside the stories from fellow successful women leaders.As a result, there’s so many insights that you can take away from this book to help you leverage your own unique strengths and assets and work it. Highly recommend.

2. Another book that came highly recommend that I read recently is Chet Holmes – The Ultimate Sales Machine. Among many other accomplishments, Chet did sales for Charlie Munger – Warren Buffer’s mostly silent business partner. With that level of pedigree, it is not hard to see how many people call this book the bible for sales people.

3. I started reading Chris Voss’ Book -“Never Split the Difference.” This book is chock full of valuable dealmaking and negotiating insights. Not to mention it is fascinating to read stories from an FBI hostage negotiator.

4. Sales is all about relationships. It is no surprise that some of the best sales people are also superconnectors. Here’s a great post about how to be insanely well-connected.

Bonus: This last post is worth a read even if it might make you a little uncomfortable. The Parkland School Shooting hit closer to home for me. Regardless on where you stand on gun control laws, you can’t argue that the amount of bullying and mental health issues that students face nowadays is rising at unprecedented levels. Schools would be so much better off if there were more 5th grade teachers like the one in this story. 

What are you reading right now? Drop me an email, and let me know. The only thing I love more than reading is getting thoughtful recommendations for what I should read next.

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What I've Been Reading

On the last week of the month, I send an email with the five best things I read or listened to.

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About the author

Jessica Malnik

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