Jeffrey Gitomer – King Of Sales Discusses Sales In Today\’s World

Jeffrey Gitomer is known as the King of Sales. A columnist, a speaker with over 2500 speeches given worldwide, a consultant, a sales trainer, and a multiple bestselling author of numerous books …



Jeffrey Gitomer is known as the King of Sales. A columnist, a speaker with over 2500 speeches given worldwide, a consultant, a sales trainer, and a multiple bestselling author of numerous books that have sold millions of copies including the #1 selling sales book of all time – \”The Little Red Book of Selling\”, and the #1 NYT Bestsellers \”The Sales Bible\” and \”The Little Gold book of YES! Attitude\”, and over a dozen and a half more, all of which have been #1 bestsellers on Amazon and appeared over 750 times on best-seller lists worldwide. He is one of the top 5 bestselling sales book authors of all time. His online content has millions of views, 100ks subscribers, and his podcast \”Sell or Die\” has over 1.5M downloads. Jeffrey has been featured in Time Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, Wall Street Journal, and countless more.

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Jeffrey Gitomer – King Of Sales Discusses Sales In Today\’s World

Joining us in this episode is Jeffrey Gitomer known as the King of Sales, a columnist and a speaker with over 2,500 speeches given worldwide. He’s also a consultant, a sales trainer, and a multiple best-selling author of numerous books selling millions of copies worldwide. That includes the number one selling sales book of all time, Little Red Book of Selling, and the New York Times bestseller, The Sales Bible, Little Gold Book of Yes Attitude and over a dozen and a half more. All of it has been number one bestsellers on Amazon and appeared on over 750 bestseller lists worldwide.

His online content has millions of views, hundreds of thousands of subscribers, and his podcast, Sell or Die, has over 1.5 million downloads. Jeffrey has been featured in Time Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, Wall Street Journal, and countless more. I\’m privileged to have him here with us. Please join me with the legendary Jeffrey Gitomer.

Jeffrey Gitomer, thank you for joining me on the show. How are you doing?

I\’m doing fine. I\’m on the other coast and we have winter weather here, which is depressing at some point in time, but you get over it. I always have sunny and 72. Here, the rest is I don\’t care.

I know that there\’s a lot of cold weather out there. We\’re hearing it all over the country and hopefully, everybody stays safe and warm. They can think of California and have California dreaming going on.

I own the song, a copy of it.

I\’m excited to have you. I\’ve been looking forward to this. A lot of people know you as the King of Sales and the author of lots of great books, including two well-known books, The Sales Bible and Little Red Book of Selling. One of my friends said that was the book that set him on his way as a salesman many years ago.

I have been blessed with thousands of those letters. The book has become the best-selling sales book of all time, Little Red Book of Selling. Globally, it\’ll never be beaten. There are millions of copies globally.

What is the difference between that book and the rest? I know that there are many other bestsellers there. The Sales Bible is great and you have different colors. You\’ve gone to gold, teal, and black.

Every book that I write is on a specific subject. The reason Little Red Book has gone viral the way it has is because it is the only sales book that teaches why people buy rather than how to sell. If I know why you buy and twenty people come in and give you a sales pitch and they don\’t know why you buy, you\’re going to buy from me.

\"VSP The Little Red Book of Selling: 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness

What\’s the differentiating factor between that and The Sales Bible, which I know is the other one of the other big books that you have?

The Sales Bible is a little bit about everything.

It\’s all the roles.

It\’s 100 articles that I had written over a period of time that I combined into sections and categories about networking, closing the sale, and asking the right questions, but the Little Red Book takes the prime subjects deeper. I\’m taking humor as an example, which is chapter eight, If You Can Make Them Laugh, You Can Make Them Buy, and I talk about how you engage someone to a point where you know that they\’re laughing with you, not at you. Humor lowers all those barriers. You go to a comedy club because you want to laugh.

You don\’t go to a salesman because you want to laugh.

No, but the humor will take away all the pressure in the room. Some people don\’t want to laugh. At least I know who they are. It tells me a lot about them. I\’m going to lead with a little bit of humor. I\’m not going to tell a joke because three Dallas Cowboys walk into a bar to watch the Super Bowl. The bottom line is people are looking for help and answers. They don\’t want a solution. They don\’t want something that\’s long-term. They want to know now. In Domino\’s Pizza, they deliver in 30 minutes or it\’s free. That\’s a great promise. They did it for years until they ran over somebody and they don\’t do it anymore, but it worked. They built a billion-dollar empire.

It’s being able to promise also what you do but also what they want. You\’re saying, “This is what you want. I know what you want and this is what we do and that\’s what you\’re going to get and we will follow through on that.” There are a few topics that I like of yours that are relevant in sales and sales teams. One of them that I feel is even more important now than ever in the world we\’re living in is mindset and attitude. I know you\’ve written books about these and you talk about that. Where are you coming from on those things?

This is attitude. Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude but attitude is universal. Regardless of what the circumstances are, you still need to have one. It’s not penetrable. You have to have a cast-iron positive attitude or yes attitude, which takes study. Luckily, when I was learning attitude, the only thing I could do was read books and watch movies or maybe if I had something going on, I had the new technology of a cassette tape. Now, there are millions of bites everywhere. It’s like, “Siri, give me something about a positive attitude.”

All of a sudden, Siri’s like, “Do you want the first million or the second million?” There are plenty of resources right now. The late great Jim Rohn said, “All the information you need to succeed already exists. The problem is you\’re not exposing yourself to it.” That challenge is there for anybody. For attitude, I have spent an hour every morning for the past 25 years or so reading, writing, preparing, thinking, and creating. Those are my five elements to start my day and I\’ve been doing that every day.

What do you read?

[bctt tweet=\”Humor lowers all the barriers. It takes away all the pressure in the room.\” username=\”calentertainmnt\”]

I read something positive, fun, and informational.

How do you know?

My library has 11,000 volumes.

You pick out something that you may have read before or you\’re looking for something new. I also love the story you tell about your mentor, who said to you that hard work begets luck. I heard that years ago, and I don\’t know if you\’re the one who put it out there in one of the books, but it\’s absolutely true. If you\’re passionate about what you\’re doing, working hard, and focused on what you\’re doing, opportunities and things are going to happen as a result of being there.

Woody Allen says, “Show up.” I say, “Show up prepared,” because if you\’re not prepared, you\’ll lose to someone who is.

These days, sales managers and people who are leading sales teams are probably trying to focus on certain aspects that can improve their salespeople. Maybe they are talking to them about how to get over the price problem and talk more about the value or problem people have with the fear of rejection. I know you love to talk about both of these topics.

I love rejection. It\’s the greatest thing on the planet. If you don\’t get rejected, you\’re never going to get the yes. Most people don\’t learn their own lessons. Most people wake up in the morning and they start with some drink, coffee, tea, oat milk, you name it and they do it alone. Why would you miss that opportunity? If you\’re in sales, make a morning cup of coffee meeting virtually with a customer. You do that once a day and at the end of the year, you\’ll have 250 virtual meetings for a cup of coffee if you take two weeks off, which most people do.

Monday through Friday, work five days a week and have 250 virtual cups of coffee. How do I know that they\’re going to show up? That\’s a good question. Let\’s look at it creatively. I\’m going to find out from that guy what his favorite K-cup is and I\’m going to send him a box of K-Cups and a mug. The mug may be something that\’s appropriate to him because mugs are easy and they\’re $10. I\’m going to be sending out mugs five times a week. When that guy gets the mug and the K-Cups are going to sit on it and not tell anybody or is he going to tell everybody? By the third month, you\’ll have people calling you saying, “Can we have coffee?”

When you say K-Cup, do you mean Keurig, those little cuts occurred in the coffee makers?

Yeah. The challenge is, what are you doing creatively? I know if I send that guy a box of his favorite coffee and a mug, he will be there 100% of the time.

\"VSP The Sales Bible: The Ultimate Sales Resource

You’ve got to do that 250 times, Jeffrey. How are you going to do that?

So what? What\’s that worth? It cost you $20. It\’s $100 a week. If you\’re not willing to invest $100 a week in your success, something\’s drastically wrong or you’re a cheap bastard. If you\’re a cheap bastard, this will not help you anyway because everything you do will be measured in nickels. I don\’t think end of the month. I think end of time.

You think of relationships. You\’re always thinking of relationships.

Let me take it a little deeper. Once I build the relationship, then I look to build a friendship because friendship will beat relationships every day.

You talk about the psychology of how you think to yourself about what you\’re doing as a salesman and how to connect with the people you\’re doing business with.

I\’m going to connect as deeply as I can and as fast as I can.

You did that with me immediately when we met. You immediately could see the guy I was. We had some things in common, not just our haircuts. We can talk about what we like and we both love to do the same thing. We got along right from the get-go. You\’ve written a lot of books. We\’re coming out of, we\’re in the middle of, we\’re going to be in a pandemic forever, who knows? Which book would you say is the most important one for people to look at that might help?

The Yes! Attitude. If you don\’t have a good attitude about what\’s going on and you\’re pissing and moaning about, “You’ve got to wear a mask. Nobody\’s there. No one\’s in their office anymore. I\’m going to die,” you\’re going to die. That\’s number one. Number two, learn how to master going live. My book is all about what you have to do to look like we look right now. Look at how you look. You look nice. Your hair’s all combed. Your shirt looks nice. It is what it is.

The challenge is, are you comfortable? I\’m on with clients and I\’m going, “Why are you looking like this? You look crap. Your laptop is in your lap, not at your eye level. You look like you woke up. There\’s nothing on your wall to make you look any different than anybody else on the planet. There\’s nothing intriguing about you.” It\’s the responsibility of the salesperson to create a look, a speed of internet, and be comfortable with how you speak. You need to do twenty things differently than when you were face to face. You have to be the master of both virtual and face-to-face. It\’s not an option.

Also phone. What is your favorite way to sell? How did you start selling?

[bctt tweet=\”Attitude is universal. Regardless of what the circumstances are, you still need to have one.\” username=\”calentertainmnt\”]

I started when I was pretty young. I was in my neighborhood and I would go door to door. I was selling candy bars. When I was in grade school, in the 7th and 8th grades, I sold firecrackers that my parents brought me from Florida. I made a bloody fortune. I sold homework in college. I owned a couple of racehorses when I was in college. I ran football pools for my bookie in college. It\’s Philly. You do things in Philly that you wouldn\’t do anywhere else. The bottom line is when I started to sell, I had a product that I believed in and I was willing to call anybody and talk to them about it. I sold in New York City, where up yours is a greeting and everybody wants to bribe. Make $1 million sales in that environment and you can go anywhere.

If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.

I\’ve heard Paul Anka say that. People think it\’s Frank Sinatra, but it\’s not.

Sinatra picked out the good songs to redo for sure.

So did Elvis

That\’s not a bad way to go as a musician. I still want to talk to you a little bit about mindset. One of the things I brought up a moment back there that we didn\’t get into yet, is this fear of rejection that you believe is not true, expand on that a little bit and tell me what you\’re talking about.

If you\’re prepared, you walk in, and you\’re confident that you can help this person, and if they\’re better off having purchased from you, it\’s a whole different pitch than if you walk in and go, “I don\’t know. This guy didn\’t seem too happy. He gave me five minutes of time, but his reputation is not good for paying his bills.” You walk in with a mindset that is either yes or no. You construct it yourself. You make it happen yourself. When I go into a sale and believe that guy is in, he has to talk his way out of it. That\’s how I walk into a sales call. Chris, I\’ve gone into Fortune 500 company CEOs and said, “Do you want to buy now or do you won\’t hear the pitch?” Why am I in their office?

They\’ve done some research already.

They say, “Jeffrey, we\’re probably going to do something.” I say, “Great. Let\’s go eat.”

The fear of rejection is that people are afraid that the person will say no and they\’re not going to be able to handle all the noes that they\’re going to get.

\"VSP King Of Sales: All the information you need to succeed already exists. The problem is you\’re not exposing yourself to it.


That\’s called unprepared. Let\’s talk about our business. Let\’s talk about the speaking business.

Sure. Speakers go all the time.

I get so nervous before I give a speech. Why? I\’ve given 2,500 speeches and never have been nervous.

That’s you.

No. I\’m prepared. The average speaker is unprepared.

What I\’m saying is that people are afraid of rejection because it hurts. They can\’t get the motivation up once they\’ve heard 100 noes. I think about the speakers a lot, and I don\’t like to place holds with speakers unless this client has told me, “We like that speaker and we want that hold because this guy is on our shortlist.” There are people out there who will place holds because they recommend you, which is silly. The speakers have to be quite resilient.

I\’ve noticed that 90%-some odd of them are resilient because they realize, “Chris is great. Whoever\’s out there selling me is great. I am great.” People are going to say yes and people are going to say no, but I bet you there are some speakers, and if you\’re a speaker, you\’re probably a more resilient, positive person to begin with. In any game, when you have a lot of noes and rejection, and going door to door must be a nightmare. I\’ve never done that. I did that when I was a kid like you were when you were selling candy, but I was trying to win a contest and I was a cute little smiley kid in my neighborhood. That’s different.

Let me go address these two things. Number one is the rejection and number two is the objection. Your price is too high. There\’s one universal answer for objections that works to completely throw the other person off guard. It’s like, “Chris, your price is too high. Chris, I was hoping you would say that our best customers always come from people who think we\’re too expensive. It\’s my fault that I haven\’t explained our value so let me go back a little bit.” Do you get where I\’m going?

You\’re coming out and saying and defining the value we need to focus on here.

Let\’s talk about rejection, “I\’m not interested.” I go, “Great. You’re not interested. It usually takes me four, ‘Not interested,’ before I can get to one, ‘Interested’ and you are only my second ‘Not interested,’ today. Do you know somebody else that might not be interested?”

[bctt tweet=\”Five elements to start your day: read, write, prepare, think, create.\” username=\”calentertainmnt\”]

It\’s saying to yourself that you know that you\’re going to get rejections.

I\’m going to have fun with it.

It\’s normal. Not everybody can say yes to everything. I love what you said there, though. Was there a turning point in your career when you realized you were good, you were on to something and you needed to write these books and you were the best? Was it always in you, probably, with Tom Brady being picked in the sixth round and wanting to go out there with a chip on your shoulder and he wanted to always prove everybody wrong? What was it about you? What happened? Was there a turning point?

Here\’s a statement. You don\’t get great at sales in a day. You get great at sales day by day.

You\’ve taught that anybody can learn it and it\’s not something you\’re born with.

For me, I learned it day by day in Manhattan for years and I read an article. You have to look for opportunities because if you don\’t see the opportunities, you end up with a chip on your shoulder and you\’re pissed off for your whole life. A column came out in the Charlotte Observer where the sales guru guy answered questions. He posed them one week and answered them the next week. I read the paper and I go, “This is full of crap. He has no idea what he\’s talking about.” I call the paper and I say, “You\’re so stupid. You bought this guy\’s answers and now thousands of your readers have the wrong answer.” The guy comes over.

The next Monday, my column was in the paper about what I think. My phone is ringing off the hook and I go, “There\’s an opportunity here. This guy\’s a crappy writer. I\’m a better writer than he is and I don\’t do it for a living.” I go to the paper, and I say, “Let me write a column on sales.” I got rejected big time. They’re like, “You\’re going to do this and we don\’t do that.” I leave and I go around the corner to the Business Journal, where I\’ve been selling them sales leads.

The guy meets me in the middle of the street, crossing the street. Tell me there’s no God. He says, “What were you doing in the Observer?” They have already read their competitive paper. He said, “Do you have time for a cup of coffee?” I go, “Sure.” I tell him the story and he goes, “30% of our readers are in sales and we don’t do anything for him.” I said, “Why don’t I read a column every week on selling skills?” As we’re talking, the people who rejected me walk by our booth. There’s a God.

They knew who you were sitting with.

I go to this guy\’s office and we strike a deal. I spin around to walk out of the office and he yells to me, “By the way, can you write?” We\’ll see. It was based on his trust in me. Not on my writing skills.

\"\" King Of Sales: If you\’re in sales, make a morning cup of coffee meeting virtually with a customer. If you do that once a day, you\’ll have 250 virtual meetings for a cup of coffee at the end of the year.


He could tell that you were smart. He loved your charisma and your confidence. That\’s the other thing. It’s not it takes one to know one, but my theory and mantra that I\’ve had selling on the phone for over a quarter-century is my style, my truth and my passion for what I do is going to come through every time, but some people are going to like it and some people aren\’t. Some people are going to recognize it as great and that\’s who they want to work with and simply are not.

The people who recognize me for who I am, who appreciate me, and see who I am as a talented, caring, authentic, and smart person want to work with me. That\’s all that matters. You cannot please everyone and the people who don\’t recognize you as being great or good for them aren\’t the people for you anyway. It\’s like dating. You don\’t want to be with the girl who doesn\’t want to be with you.

5% of your customers are 95% of your problems and you already know who they are. You should have never done business with them in the first place because they\’re paying the butt and they’re cheap bastards. You look at yourself and you go, “Not only to the people who you will do business with you, but they\’ll also do business with you for a decade and they\’re not going to hammer you for little nickels and dimes.”

It\’s funny you can have people say to you, “Thank you for being so persistent. Thank you for being so communicative, staying on top of me, and keeping in touch,” were the exact same stuff that you\’re doing with that guy, somebody else doesn\’t like it and somebody else doesn\’t work that way and that\’s fine.

There’s nothing you could do about it. You\’re entitled to the wrong opinion.

I have heard a lot of people talk about sales. I\’ve been in sales. I love it. It\’s what we do. This is a question I want to ask you. I know you\’ve made great sales and we don\’t have to go back decades and decades but, it doesn\’t matter to me what your best sale was. I have a couple of moments where something cool happened, like that one you talked about with the two business journals and how you ended up making a deal with the other one. Is there one that sticks out to you that\’s this shining star amazing deal that happened only because of what you did and it\’s something you\’ll never forget?

A fortune 500 company has a big program. Unbeknownst to me, they invited eight people to give them a pitch. They reject them all. I get a call saying, “We\’re going to invite three more people. Would you like to come?” I go, “Sure. I\’ll show up.” I show up, give my talk to them, and win.

What were you selling?

I was selling customer loyalty training, not customer satisfaction. I threw all that crap out of the window. I asked a group, “Would you rather have your spouse be satisfied or loyal?” These are Fortune 500 company people. We got in the room where we\’re going to talk about money and I said, “Before we start anything, I want to know why you picked me?” The answer was, “Because you weren\’t buttoned down.”

What does that mean?

[bctt tweet=\”If you\’re not willing to invest a hundred dollars a week in your success, something\’s drastically wrong or you\’re cheap.\” username=\”calentertainmnt\”]

“You were yourself. You weren\’t full of crap, full of a corporate pitch and 28 slides.” I had no slides. I talked to them about what they wanted and told them that not only could I do it, but I\’d also do this. Not only would this happen, but this would happen. You\’re not only going to get new customers, but you\’re going to retain existing customers. I said, “How much does one lost customer cost you?” I\’m asking them questions that they didn\’t even know the answer to.

If they don\’t know, I go, “Not only do you not know, you don\’t want to know.” They say, “Our churn.” I said, “Hold on one second. Let\’s talk about churn for a second. My definition of churn is the management\’s inability to keep customers loyal.” They\’re like, “Okay.” I give them facts they may be uncomfortable with, but they\’re challenging facts they want to take advantage of and win with. I don\’t tell them they\’re doing something wrong. I tell them, “Here\’s the opportunity to get it better.”

In the last couple of years, during the pandemic, what is the thing that most of the clients have been asking you to solve or discuss or focus on when you\’re giving presentations? What\’s the thing you\’re hearing? Is there something that\’s consistent?

Yes. Most people want to do better virtual talk. I say, “Here\’s the deal with virtual. When you see your people and they look crap. That\’s what they look like when they\’re going in front of a customer.” Whether they\’re face-to-face or virtual, they\’re sloppy. They don\’t look good. They don\’t look like they\’re ready. I\’m going to get them ready virtually, which will automatically get them ready when they go face-to-face.

Dive deeper into the look. Does that mean that they weren\’t wearing a suit and tie? What do you mean by that?

They thought, “I\’m online. I\’m okay.” “I got the Zoom thing down. Thank God, the guy can see me.” They go, “He can see me.” I tell everyone to take a picture of themselves and ask, “Is this who you want to have a conversation with?” If it didn\’t, fix it. I give them specific things they can do and specific things they can ask.

It\’s not about appearance. You\’re saying ask, not say.

I\’m a proponent of ask before tell. What do you care about me if it\’s not affecting you the right way? I\’m going to ask you questions and start out innocuously like, “Where did you grow up?” I\’m going to end up by saying, “What\’s the best part about your job? What do you love about this?” “If you could make anything go away, except me, what would you say?” Do you know what I mean? Chris, I\’m going to make them laugh.

It’s still hard. That\’s more scary than anything for people. The fear of rejection is one thing, but asking somebody to make somebody else laugh, you have to take a huge risk in order to make somebody laugh.

However, there is a new thing out it\’s called read. There are books on humor.

\"\" King Of Sales: If you\’re prepared and you walk in confident that you can help this person and that they\’re better off having purchased from you, it\’s a whole different pitch.


There are speakers on humor. Judy Carter is one of them.

Some are funny, but I made it my business to learn humor from my peers. The challenge that anybody has is what they are doing that can move that needle, move their needle, not yours. It comes with conversation. It comes with being relaxed. It comes with being prepared. It comes to show that you do give a crap and your humanity comes through every time.

It’s like what you said before about being confident and being in the belief in your product in your company, that it is the best.

If you don\’t believe that, go somewhere where you can believe that because that will show up immediately. The second best in sales is the first loser. There\’s no ribbon. No participation trophy. I named our podcast Sell or Die. That\’s what it is.

I’ve heard that you have over 1.5 million downloads on your podcast.

Let me throw this at you. The one thing that I bank myself on is consistency. We have 500 and some podcasts, but we do them every week. I\’ve been on Facebook Live every day since the pandemic started. Now, I’m 650 straight days doing a little sales talk at 9:59 AM. People from all over the world show up every day because they want that kick in the butt. I\’m going to be giving a three-day talk in Charlotte in March 2022 and people can go to and find it, but people are going to come in from all over the world. They\’ve been waiting for this. Three days, kick-butt, eat food, have a good time, and take my upsell, please.

As we come towards the end here, you said something that reminded me of something else that you said. You said they wanted you to give them a kick in the butt to start the day, but how do we kick ourselves in the butt every day? How do we kick our own butts?

Chapter one in the 12.5 chapters of Little Red Book of Selling is kick your own butt. I can\’t come to your house every day and go, “Come on, Chris. You can get up. You can do it. It’s all on you.” You have to have the internal belief and love of what you do in order to get up and do it

Is the desire to make money a part of it?

Yeah, but it can\’t be the prime motivator. The desire to help has to supersede the desire to make money. If you help enough people, you make a ton of money. The desire to make money is lower on the totem pole for me.

[bctt tweet=\”You don\’t get great at sales in a day. You get great at sales day by day. \” username=\”calentertainmnt\”]

To kick our own butts, what is it that is the way for us to go through that hopefully now or in the morning or anytime?

You love what you do. You believe that what you do will help other people and you strive to help those people to own what it is that you sell. You do it consistently and you concentrate. The mindset is the new word. It used to be focus, but before that, it was concentration. If you concentrate on what you\’re looking for, you concentrate on what you\’re trying to do to help other people. It\’ll automatically come into a clearer view. I\’m looking to be able to make certain that the people that I talk to and people that I help have that mindset of, “I love what I\’m doing. I\’m helping other people, and I believe they\’re better off having purchased from me. If I believe that, I\’m going to win.” Every time I\’m going to win.

That\’s amazing, Jeffrey. You are always inspirational and fun. You have helped countless millions of people to get better at this over the years and you\’re a living legend in this world. It has been such a privilege to finally connect with you and have you on the show. Thanks so much for doing it.

My pleasure, Chris.


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About Jeffrey Gitomer

\"\"Jeffrey Gitomer is an American author, professional speaker, and business trainer, who writes and lectures internationally on sales, customer loyalty, and personal development. He lives with his wife Jennifer Gluckow in Charlotte, North Carolina.



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