Little Red Book of Selling


  • Title: “Little Red Book of Selling
  • Author: Jeffrey Gitomer
  • Publisher: Bard Press Austin, Texas
  • Copyright: 2005
  • No. of Pages: 219
  • No. of Chapters: 26


Readability: 5

Maintains Attention: 5

Applicability of Information: 5


As a student of effective sales and sales processes, Jeffrey Gitomer’s “Little Red Book of Selling” is one of the best self-help books I have ever read. He writes in a clear, concise and practical manner. Gitomer has a very direct approach to sharing information. If you are looking for a “feel-good” book, this is not it. If you are looking for a book that will challenge you and give you tools that can be used starting from the minute you read it, then this is the book for you.

Gitomer’s “Little Red Book of Selling” offers hands-on support in enhancing your sales efforts. He has a tremendous sense of humor and shares it throughout his entire book. Gitomer also offers more strategies that one can keep track of in one reading. I found it necessary and beneficial to read his book multiple times. “Little Red Book of Selling” is easy and quick to read. Although it is quick to read, it is not easy and quick to implement what you learn through this book. Gitomer offers numerous resources through his web site that is directly connected to his book. As you read through the “Little Red Book of Selling” there are easy to note tips and strategies. Gitomer also offers a phenomenal number of specific strategies in each chapter that can be found via his web site.

Gitomer’s “Little Red Book of Selling” is one of, if not the best book I have read regarding effective sales strategies and tips. Gitmoer’s book requires reading and practicing. This is not a book to simply read through it and then let it go. Gitomer as an “in your face” style of writing that will drive you to want to reread his book over and over again in an effort to develop the skills and strategies he shares.


Gitomer’s “Little Red Book of Selling” discusses numerous strategies and concepts of effective sales. Gitomer focuses on twelve and a half principles:

1. “Kick your own ass.” A salesperson needs to motivate themselves. There is no room for whining or blaming others. Determine the problem and find solutions. Ultimately you need to make things happen and not wait for others to do it for you. This principle focuses on developing a yes attitude.

2. “Prepare to win, or lose to someone who is.” Salespeople need to use their time wisely. Too many people waste their time watching television rather than preparing for a sales meeting. This principle provides a number of strategies for gathering information about a prospect. This principle focuses on being prepared.

3. “Personal branding IS sales: It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you.” The question in this section is “Who knows you?” What are you doing to promote yourself and provide the opportunity for others to know who you are. “… it’s how hard you work, how smart you work, and how dedicated you are, combined with your self-belief, that will help your brand proliferate more than anything.”

4. “It’s all about value, it’s all about relationship, it’s not all about price.” Giving value to prospective clients/customers and focusing on building long-lasting relationships are the focus of this principle. Be willing to develop friendships. The main point is what are you doing for the customer and not what are you getting out of the relationship.

5. “It’s NOT work. It’s NETwork.” Get face to face with people. Meet and get to know people on a personal level. Networking eliminates the need for cold calling and increases the number of referrals you will receive. “Networking works best when you employ the three-word secret: Show up prepared.”

6. “If you can’t get in front of the real decision-maker, you suck.” This principle discusses the reasons salespeople can’t get appointments, can’t get past the gatekeeper and why your voicemail messages never get returned. Then it focuses on the specific strategies for overcoming the difficult challenges.

7. “Engage me and you can make me convince myself.” Effective questions are one of the key concepts to effective selling. “It’s not about hard-selling, it’s about heart selling.” “Good questions get to the heart of the problem/need/situation very quickly – without the buyer feeling like he or she is being pushed.”

8. “If you can make them laugh, you can make them buy!” Humor is a universal bond between people. There are varying types of humor and various times to use humor. This principle discusses what, where and when humor is most appropriate. Gitomer also discussed strategies for increasing and developing your humor for the sales arena.

9. “Use CREATIVITY to differentiate and dominate.” This principle addresses the significance of creativity in three areas of sales: your opening question, your image and brand, and your follow up. Gitomer states that “creativity is a science that you can learn.” He demonstrates how creativity can help you address some of the reasons prospects say no.

10. “Reduce their risk and you’ll convert selling to buying.” “The obvious way to sell – eliminate the risk of buying.” The prospect has two primary questions of risk on their mind: what is the risk of buying versus what’s the reward of ownership and what’s the need versus what’s the value. You need to understand the risks that your prospective client has and then address those risks upfront.

11. “When you say it about yourself it’s bragging. When someone else says it about you it’s proof.” This principle focuses on the importance of acquiring customer testimonials. It is far more powerful to have a client speak of how good you are then to have to speak it yourself. This principle discusses how to help your clients write a powerful testimonial and how to effectively use the testimonials to acquire.

12. “Antennas up!” Always be prepared to sell. This principle talks about successful sales depends on how attentive you are to your surroundings and what messages you are sending. Effective salespeople are always looking for an opportunity to meet someone and make a sale. This principle also discusses how to overcome the negative messages we feel and send such as fear, rejection, and nervousness.

12.5 “Resign your position as general manager of the universe.” This principle discusses how to make the other twelve principles your own. Gitomer clearly states that it is critical to stay out of other people’s business and focus on mastering these principles in you.


The following five strategies are recommended to enhance the effectiveness of your sales efforts:

  1. Develop healthy belief systems about yourself. Have a positive can-do attitude.
  2. “Invest your time wisely. Invest your time in things that will help you succeed.”
  3. Learn. Challenge yourself to learn, especially in the areas where you struggle the most.
  4. “Give value first.”
  5. Gitomer states that reading his book once is not sufficient. I agree. This is a book that needs to be reread again and again while practicing the various strategies and skills he shares.

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