Sell or Be Sold by Grant Cardone

There is a difference between a Motivational Sales Book and a How To Sales Book. The former inspires you to be the best salesperson you can be, but doesn’t really provide working examples of how to do it. Motivational Sales Books are mostly theory and very little process. How To Sales Books show you actual methods to improve your selling with working examples. Sell or Be Sold: How to Get Your Way in Business and in Life by Grant Cardone is the best of both of these worlds.

I first heard about Grant Cardone from a video that my friend, Gary, a very intelligent business coach, posted in our resource group. I was so inspired by the video that I decided to take note of some of the things he said during the sales close. I ended up transcribing the entire video! Next I found myself deconstructing everything he said and trying to determine the philosophy behind what he was saying and how he was saying it. View the video below (warning–it’s 16 minutes long, but if you like sales, you’ll love every second of it):

Closing Actual Live Sales Calls – Grant Cardone

A week after I watched the video above, I was in Barnes & Noble searching for a new book to read. I saw Sell or Be Sold and recognized Grant Cardone’s name from the video. I picked it up, along with two other books, sat down with a cup of coffee, and luckily opened this book first. Next thing I did was read it cover to cover.

Sell Or Be Sold - How To Get Your Way in Business and in Life by Grant Cardone

Two lessons in this book stand out from the rest:

(1) “When I can’t close a sale, I’ll always try to move the buyer up to a bigger or more expensive product as the first solution to price objection.”

You can see Grant Cardone use this technique first hand in the video above.

So when the buyer objects to price, you ask them to SPEND MORE??? How contrary is THAT to anything you’ve ever done before?

The same buyers who use price as an objection will often go out and spend even more money, not less! Remember, many times when a buyer says, “It’s too much money,” what he’s really saying is, “It’s too much for this product!”

(2) The second rule seems so obvious once you hear it, but you don’t practice it. I promise you don’t.

ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS agree with the customers. This is the single most important and the most commonly violated rule in all of selling! If you want agreement, you’ve got to be agreeable with your customers.

Real Life Story

A few days ago I was at the mall gift shopping with Scott for his girlfriend’s birthday. As usual, when I passed by Teavana, I stopped in for a free sample of their Chai Tea. The salesperson greets us and sparks up a conversation. I say, “You know what my favorite hot drink is lately? … Hot water with lemon! I’m drinking like 6 glasses a day.”

The salesperson scrunches his face up and says, “Ugh, that seems so bland.. you need to try some of our citrus flavored tea…” and then he goes into his sales pitch.

Too late. He lost me already. Agreement leads to compliance. What if the situation had gone as follows instead:

“You know what my favorite hot drink is lately? … Hot water with lemon! I’m drinking like 6 glasses a day.”

“I know what you mean! Hot water and lemon is delicious and so easy to make. You know what else I like too? Some of our citrus teas. If you’re loving hot water with lemon, I think you’ll really love some of these flavors. Come inside and try one of the flavors I’m talking about.”

NOW WE’RE TALKING! Ultimately, he wanted me to agree with him that I should buy his tea, but he missed the crucial step of agreeing with me first. Law of reciprocation in action!

You can never expect someone to agree with you if you’re disagreeing with him. It will almost never happen. People are attracted to products, ideas, and people that represent the things with which they’re in agreement. This is a fact of the universe!

Still don’t get it? Here’s a couple examples Grant Cardone uses:

A client tells you, “It’s too much money.” Now it’s for real! “I agree it’s a lot of money. Everyone who invests in this product agrees that this system is a big investment when they’re buying it. That’s why you should get it installed so it can start making you money right away.”

“We never make a rash decision!” the customer says. “And I agree with you,” you say. “To make a rash decision would be the wrong thing to do, and I wouldn’t want you to do that. However, you have been thinking about upgrading for some time now. You’ve used the same computer system for ten years and it’s time to update it. If you would have done it nine years ago, it would have been rash, but now it just makes sense.”

Notable Quotes from this book

My wife constantly asks me, “How do you always get your way with people?” The answer is simple—because I want to.

Committing is when you make a firm decision, you quit wondering, and then you follow through on your commitment with actions.

Salespeople, not customers, stop sales. You have to get this into your head: Price is not your problem—you are your problem! Customers do not stop sales. It is salespeople who stop sales from happening. You, not the customer, are the barrier to the closed deal.

There is no shortage of money. Before you ask customers for their money, there’s something that you need to get straight about the subject. Millions of people on this planet have the false idea that there’s some sort of money shortage. But the truth of the matter is, there’s more than enough money to go around. In fact, there’s a surplus of it. Did you know that there’s enough money circulating on this planet for every human being to have a net worth of $1 billion? One billion dollars! Are you getting your share? If you’re not, it’s because you’re thinking in terms of hard work and limits, not in terms of abundance.

Second Money is Easier than First Money.

Never bring up unreturned previous calls and never make the client wrong for not calling you back. It’s not his or her job, responsibility, or agreement to call you back. It is your job to do the follow-up, and the more creative and persistent you can be the better.

More often than not, salespeople launch into their pitch without knowing anything about the customer, which is a surefire way to miss the sale. What is important to the buyers? What do they need? What is the ideal scene for them? What is it they are actually trying to accomplish with a purchase? What is it that really makes them feel good? If they could get everything they wanted, what would that be? These are the questions that will let you know how to sell them.

Processes put in place without considering the effect on the customer will inevitably be ineffective and destructive. People are always going to be more important than any processes, procedures, or policies.

The rule for handling a buyer’s distrust is to always use and show written material to support your presentation and proposal. When you’re documenting facts for your customer, it’s preferable to use third-party materials that support what you’re saying. Remember, people believe what they see, not what they hear.

A buyer once told me, “Grant, you’re pressuring me.” To that I explained, “Sir, you’re confusing my belief and passion in knowing this is the right product for you and your company with pressure. Please don’t misinterpret my enthusiasm for pressure. Now, let’s do this.”

When it comes to action, go big, go bold, and then go more. This is the one thing that will guarantee results. Don’t deal in small numbers and small actions. Deal in large numbers and massive volumes of action. Go massive, not passive.

People will pay more for an agreeable, positive, and enjoyable experience than they will for a great product.

The first thing I would look at in any sales process is how to shorten and simplify it, just because of the amount of sensitivity buyers demonstrate to time.

Thank you for reading my information extraction post about Sell or Be Sold: How to Get Your Way in Business and in Life. You can learn more about Grant Gardone on his website.

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  • Debi Drecksler

    You have wet my appetite for Grant’s book from the examples you cite. I do not want to be “sold to”…I want a salesman to “connect” with me and make me feel confident that I am working with a knowledgeable person who is listening to what I am saying. I once walked into a major department store to purchase a dishwasher. The first thing out of my mouth was, “I would like to purchase a dishwasher and my budget is $400. What is the best dishwasher on the market for that price? The saleswoman heard only the word “dishwasher” and immediately took me to her most expensive model. She went right into her memorized sales pitch. I interrupted her and said…again…”I would like to purchase a dishwasher and my budget is $400.” She looked at me and said, “Don’t you want the best we have to offer?” I smiled and said, “Have a nice day” and went down the street and bought a $400 dishwasher from a salesperson at another store who was very helpful and closed the deal in 10 minutes.

  • AdventurePaul

    Great example! She didn’t connect with you at all.. just jumped straight into her sales pitch. She could asked you a few questions, related to you, understood your frustrations with your last dishwasher, the shoddy workmanship you experienced, and then recommended something. She could have sold you a $400 dishwasher PLUS the $150 warranty which they probably have more to gain by selling that.

    Again, great example. Now we’re going to be examining every sales situation we’re in!

  • James Horton

    We do a lot of sales, but I actually hate selling. I’ve been looking at getting Grant’s books to see if that could get me over my problems with it and this definitely looks like he addresses my issues.

    I hate the asking for money part, though I know our products are high quality and we always work to give our clients the highest possible value. All our clients are satisfied and rave about our work, we have testimonials to this effect from almost all of them.

    It seems we are doing some aspects of it right – in that we develop relationships and strive to fully understand our customers needs and wants – and then give the product the things they need to exceed their expectations.

    Thanks for the review and I’m on my way to pick up his book!

  • AdventurePaul

    Thanks for reading James! Please let me know your thoughts after you read Sell or Be Sold. If they don’t have that, the 10X rule is another great Grant Cardone book (his newest, I believe).

    I like what you said about how you give your clients the highest possible value. With that being said, since you truly believe that, please remember that you are literally doing your potential clients a disservice by NOT selling them your services.. by NOT asking for the sale.. and NOT asking for the money. If you don’t do that.. someone else who delivers an inferior service is going to ask and they will receive.

    Some people need a little push in the right direction and that’s your job as a salesperson/business owner. If you fully understand your customers needs and wants then you can feel confident when you strongly recommend that they take action now and hire your company.

    And that’s my rant and rave! I look forward to hearing what you think about the book.

    ~Adventure Paul


    Huge Cardone fan, enjoyed this book and I also wrote a review of it on my website.

    I think it’s a great book for those new to Cardone, but if you’re like me and have read all his other books some of this is a little bit of a rehash. Even if you’ve read all his other work this is still great material that will get you off your ass and into action.

  • AdventurePaul

    Thanks for reading.. and nice looking site (

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