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Grant Cardone says, Sell or Be Sold: Why You're In Sales Even If You Don't Know It

Updated on June 15, 2015

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Sell To Survive

Sell Or Be Sold is a business book by Grant Cardone. Grant is a New York Times best selling author and entrepreneur. The sub-title of Sell Or Be Sold is: How To Get Your Way In Business and In Life.

Ask yourself, are you in sales? If you're answer was no, then think again! Whether you know it or not and whether you like it or not, you are, to some degree, in sales. And if you're going to make it in this economy, you'll need to Sell To Survive.

At some point you're going to find yourself in a position where you will need to get your way. This can come in many forms. A date, a job, a raise, a loan, an apartment.

Persuasion is more than just getting your way in a traditional selling environment. Your life, as the book will tell you, depends on selling.

Everyone is a sales person and everyone can benefit from learning, even just a little bit about the art and science behind what selling truly is. Worst case scenario, how would you like to know how to deal with and handle people better?

In this article, I'm going to talk about a book you can read that will not only educate you on what selling really is, but on how learning the fundamentals of selling can have a profound and positive impact in every area of your life.

Yes, even though you're not a "sales person." Think about the last time you tried to get your significant other to watch a movie they didn't want to see or eat at a restaurant they didn't want to eat at or get a new car or... you following along here?

Now, If you wear a name tag and/or deal with customers in any way shape or form, you are also in the sales department. This is something that many a business just doesn't quite grasp and it's vital that they do. If you deal with the public, even if your title says "service rep" you are part of the sales department.

As we try to stimulate an economic recovery, consumers are more and more sensitive about how and where and when they are going to release the money they believe to be theirs.

Which is why if you're going to not only just survive but thrive in this economy, you need to understand and apply the information with in this book.

Shape Up or Ship Out

Sidebar: Some of the Best Sales People You Never Knew

  • Bill Gates
  • Steve Jobs
  • Barak Obama
  • Martin Luther King
  • Gandhi
  • Mother Theresa
  • Jesus Christ
  • Thomas Edison
  • Mark Zuckerberg

Why Should A "NON-PRO" Read This Book

First of all, words like "salesman" and "selling" unfortunately, remind us Eugene Levy in National Lampoon's Vacation and get stereotyped into a genre of con-men and grifters.

So yes, "that guy" is out there. If people hadn't bought the snake oil or got caught up in the ether, we wouldn't have to replace words like salesman and selling with words like marketing and advertising.

Sell Or Be Sold brings legitimacy to the art and craft of selling while eliminating it from being a 4 letter word. If you're looking to expand, prosper and grow in business and in life, selling is a skill you quite literally can't afford to live without.

Imagine this though, just for a second... you own a gym and you're struggling to keep the doors open. One of your current clients comes in to workout. Their membership expires in 3 weeks. Little do you know that this particular client just worked out with their cousin at the competitor's gym.

Upon arrival, they are not welcomed by the receptionist, because they are on the phone. From there they notice that the facility is dirty. Then they try to ask a trainer a question but because the member isn't one of the trainer's "clients", they are curtly told to ask the receptionist for help. Reception lady is still on the phone (personal call).

See where this is going? None of this happened at the "other" gym. Now the client is slowly becoming "unsold" on this gym and sold on the other.

What about buying clothing or shoes? Do "Customer Service Reps" sell? Absolutely. Even when they're not on commission in the traditional sense, they're still paid to help you make a purchase. Guy at the movies selling popcorn? Young lady working the drive through at the coffee house? Phone rep at the local cable company? These people are all in the sales department! They are also all in the people business long before their in the "X" business!

Has poor service sent you somewhere else to buy? More importantly, can you remember a time when you might have sent someone somewhere else to buy? Has this ever happened to you or because of you?

Of course it has and of course it will again. If service continues to suffer, people will continue to become "unsold" or never even sold in the first place. They will buy else where and that business will become a consequence in the purest Darwinian sense of it all. CLOSED!

So whether you're looking to improve your business, get a promotion, become a better communicator, or what ever your target area of improvement is, selling very well may be your "secret" to success.

Another FINE Example

Here's an example based on a comment from an author on Facebook who has a book to sell. He's offering it on Kindle for only 99 cents.

"99 cents and nobody is buying this book. It's a Kindle book, folks...and my best writing. 99 cents...that's like two sixpence, a sterling and farthing."

Could it be, it's too cheep? Perhaps he's not charging enough?

Sell Or Be Sold will teach you that price is a myth.

WHAT? Yes, there's more to buying something than just price.

A product or service needs to meet the buyers needs, solve a problem, or improve their current situation. If a prospect isn't 100% convinced that said product or service will deliver, they won't buy no matter how cheep it is.

Here's something for you right from the book,"Getting the sale isn't about money; it's ultimately about the buyer having confidence that the product is the right one."

If price was the main issue, why is Starbucks still in business? Keep in mind, there can only be one lowest price. People will and do pay more for a good attitude and the right solution to their problem.

Sell Or Be Sold will change the way you look at how people make decisions and how they see money. More importantly, it may very well change how you see money and consequently enable you to bring more of it into your life.

How to Read Sell Or Be Sold

Now that you've recognized that you're in sales, it's time to make sure you get the most possible from this book, Sell Or Be Sold.

  • First, set aside a specific amount of time to read daily.
  • Second, get yourself a legal pad and a highlighter.
  • Third, get focused and ask yourself, "Self, what am I looking to accomplish by reading this?"
  • Finally, assign a target date to complete the book. Sell Or Be Sold has 22 chapters. One chapter a day and that's 22 days. You could do it in one week if you want, you can take a whole month if you need to. Just make sure to set a target date.

Now, crack it open and dig in. Each chapter ends with questions for you to look at and answer so you will know you got something from it. Don't just read this book. USE this book. Highlight key points that ring home and take notes.

So, here's an other thing to do. Try reading the questions first. Then read the chapter. Now answer the questions as best you can. If you really want a challenge, read and answer the questions before you read the chapter, then read the chapter. Now answer the questions again and compare your answers. Then ask yourself, what did I just learn?

Read it as if you're going to teach a class on it tomorrow. That's the next challenge or tip. If you had to teach an hour long class on this chapter tomorrow morning, how would you read it? How would you focus on it?

How To Apply Sell Or Be Sold

Now that you've read it, it's time to apply it. So grab your notes and take a look at your questions, answers, notes and highlights.

What's your target? What do you sell? You're a sales person, remember? So look at your position carefully and ask yourself, "Self, what am I selling here?" Is it shoes? Is it yourself? Is it a service? Book? CD? An Idea?

So, with book in hand and your notes, review each chapter and ask yourself, how can I plug this chapter into my unique product, service or situation.

Selling is not just a transaction, it's a paradigm and an attitude. In any organization, sales and revenue is the main thing that what will keep the doors open. Revenue is vital to any organization. Business, family, church... ANY organization.

Here's just of few of the mindsets you'll learn from Sell Or Be Sold:

  • How sales people drive the economy more than anything else.
  • The only reason you won't like selling and probably why your resistant to it now.
  • How to get sold yourself and use conviction and certainty as leverage.
  • Why "it's all about price" is strictly a myth and not a reason for inaction.
  • Believe it or not, money does grow on trees and there's plenty of it.
  • Whether you know it or not, you are in the people business long before you are in the "X" business.
  • The Number One rule of Selling is "Always, Always, Always Agree." How and why will this soften any buyer?
  • SERVICE is always senior to selling.
  • Closing is a like a recipe and while talent helps, it's not necessary.
  • How much action do you need to take to GUARANTEE yourself success.
  • How will you maximize your power base? By the way, what the hell is a Power Base anyway?
  • Literally create more time for yourself.
  • You and your great attitude is worth more than any product.

This is the just start of your journey.

Personally, I've read this book multiple times and still reference it. It is a foundation for not just becoming a better sales person but a better person in life in general.

I have learned how to deal with people better, deliver wow levels of service, upped my personal ante in business and personal and most importantly I've learned that I am in control. The things that happen in my life happen because of me, not to me.


Share Your Thoughts on Sales and Selling: What do you just learn here or get out of this article?

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    • David R Bradley profile imageAUTHOR

      David R Bradley 

      9 years ago from The Active Side of Infinity

      Jerad, we're all in sales, man! Thank you for chiming in and your input!

    • profile image

      Jerad Spencer 

      9 years ago

      Great article, every great (or not so great) person rose to power or position or gathered folowing because of their ability to sell. Ghandi sold an idea of protesting in peace, even Muhammad Ali sold us on the idea that there was no better fighter than he. Look at Obama, he made the sale of the century.

    • David R Bradley profile imageAUTHOR

      David R Bradley 

      9 years ago from The Active Side of Infinity

      thecoffeewrite, glad you got something out this HUB, thank you for taking the time to read it and for proudly being in sales!

    • thecoffeewrite profile image

      Keneesha M Hodge 

      9 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

      This is awesome and very useful. It also lines up with the thoughts I've had in the past few days. I've been guilty of it, but being a word of mouth marketing I despise the phrase "I don't like selling". The truth is we don't like to feel like we're selling, but we do it everyday.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I had just started a new business after owning a successful business which had been referral based for many many years. My skills where rusty and I had hit a wall. I found this book in my book shelf almost as if it where fate. I was never one to pick up a "Self Help" book and was reluctant to read it. I had seen a pilot show that Grant had done and was impressed by his practical simple approach to the sales process, so I read it. After I read it I was so pumped up and felt that I could now get out there without fear. The book took me over a serious roadblock that I had constructed for myself. Even though I was a seasoned business person this book gave me the tools to get out of my own way and get back on the sales trail. Shortly after I had set up several meetings and was close to closing my first sale. That's when I hit a roadblock again. I wrote an email to Grant and within a short time got a personal phone call from David. David suggested I read Sell to Survive. With the help of these two tools I was closed my first sale and am back on my way to another successful business venture. I would recommend this book to anyone. We are all looking for a job, whether self employed, get a promotion, or a new job. Bad economy or not we can get what we want if we put ourselves out there and SELL IT ---

    • David R Bradley profile imageAUTHOR

      David R Bradley 

      9 years ago from The Active Side of Infinity

      Thanks for blowing it up Robert! Appreciate you stopping by! I love the iPhone/no data plan analogy!

    • profile image

      Robert Wiesman 

      9 years ago

      On the money Dave! I believe any truly successful individual is a true closer! I have read and listened to Sell To Survive too many times to count! Your are 100% correct, that just "reading" this book or any of Grants books/audio/DVD/VT etc. is like packing a unloaded gun, or like rocking an iPhone without the data plan. Not only is it stupid, it is a waste! Not only have I personally invested in the entire Cardone library (yea I got it all and I am DANGEROUS) as well as the VT Training , but I have committed to it 100% in all aspects of my life. Not only has it made me the most valuable player at my dealership but I truly feel it has made me an all around better man, better father and a much healthier individual. Become a closer and the dominate your sector! Whatever you are doing!

    • David R Bradley profile imageAUTHOR

      David R Bradley 

      9 years ago from The Active Side of Infinity

      Right on Josh! Love that! Sell to Survive is a way of life! Excellent! Thanks for the great feedback!

    • profile image

      Josh Gardner 

      9 years ago

      This article is spot on, I read sale to survive so many times by the pool at my pad when it first came out the book fell apart and bought two more, the book alone helped me turn around the dealership I started running back in 08, with that book and several of Grants other books I've been able to create my own economy and have broken record after record in sales gross and unit count, this guy knows how to get a motivated person to new levels, not just with there career, life in general. Sale to survive, it's a way of life!!!

    • David R Bradley profile imageAUTHOR

      David R Bradley 

      9 years ago from The Active Side of Infinity

      Amen to that James! Thanks for taking the time to read this article and for your feed back!

    • profile image

      James Skarzenski 

      9 years ago

      Loved this article. I have read Sell to Survive at least 5 times. Always keeps me pumped and ready to go. I am always striving to practice these principles, always selling. Even when I go to the mall to buy a north face or new suit for work. I am selling to get them at the price I want.

      I have had this conversation with my GF, co-workers, friends and family. We are all salepeople.

    • David R Bradley profile imageAUTHOR

      David R Bradley 

      9 years ago from The Active Side of Infinity

      Thanks for chiming in Sean! I appreciate you taking the time to give it a gander.

    • profile image

      Sean M 

      9 years ago

      Heck of an article, David - nice writing. I'm sold - we're all salespeople!


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