Book Notes,  Sales

Book Notes: “Sell Or Be Sold,” by Grant Cardone — Chapters 7 through 9.

“Book Notes” is a collection of notes from books relevant to entering the industry and practicing financial planning.


Note: For a series introduction and an explanation of my interest in the book, check out this page with my notes on the first three chapters.

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Chapter 7: Your Buyer’s Money

This chapter touches on the assumptions salespeople make about the availability of money, the buyer’s willingness to spend, and reasons buyers buy complementary or add-on products. There is an especially large amount of “fluff” and writing in absolutes in this chapter. The main helpful takeaway is to not assume your own personal buying tendencies (how easily you part with your money) on your customers.

  • “If others have a difficult time getting money from you, you’ll never find it easy to get money from others.”
  • “When it comes to actually parting with the money, buyers can act strange and start making excuses…”
  • “It is my belief that the consumer is actually using the second and follow-up purchases to support the rightness of his first decision.”

Chapter 8: You Are In The People Business

Fortunately, Cardone redeems himself a bit in this chapter. Chapter 8’s highlights include recognizing that selling means you are in the people business (versus whatever industry your product/service is in), whose interest should be prioritized, the importance of asking questions, and designing processes around the buyer.

  • “I found I [sold] best when I was interested in the individual — the ‘human being’ who wants to enjoy life and solve a problem by buying my product. … Take interest in the client instead of interest in selling him something.”
  • “If you don’t show as much interest in the buyer and his concerns as you do in selling, he’ll know that you are only in it for the commission. Be more interested in the customer than you are in yourself, your sales process, your product, or your commission and you will make more sales.”
  • “In sales, we’re interested in communication that gains access to information, which can be turned into action. To gain communication means that your communication should include lots of questions.”
    • “When I suggest you ask questions, it is not done with the intent of manipulation [to sell a product] …You are asking questions to find out more about how to help the human being in front of you…”
  • “Processes put in place without considering the effect on the customer will inevitably be ineffective and destructive.”

Chapter 9: The Magic Of Agreement

Next, Cardone covers the advantages of “agreeing” with the buyer. Here, Cardone uses the word “agree” loosely. He is basically recommending salespeople to “agree” that whatever view or comment the buyer makes is actually the buyer’s viewpoint. Not that the salesperson has to agree with the view or comment.

At first glance, this can read as being less than authentic and even manipulative, but within the context of the chapter, he seems to just be advocating not making a big issue over irrelevant aspects of a sales conversation. Cardone is recommending salespeople to communicate literally that they “agree” when in actuality they are communicating an understanding of the buyer.

Simply put, Cardone recommends being agreeable in an effort to “get along”:

  • “I see agreeing as my attempt to get along. … “I’m able to agree with your viewpoint that you think [X].”
  • “I’m simply acknowledging that you think [X]. … it’s understanding.”
  • “If the buyer never gets a chance to see what you’re offering because of an earlier disagreement, then know that you’ve made an error by not allowing the buyer to see your product or service in the proper light. All you’ve done is put their focus on the disagreement rather than on your product.”


Chapter 8 was easily the most helpful chapter out of these three. Oftentimes, it seems sales is associated with prioritizing making a sale over the needs of a buyer. Asking questions to identify needs and values and genuinely putting the customer’s best interest over making the sale may be refreshing and encouraging advice for many.


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