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If You're Not First, You're Last: Sales Strategies to Dominate Your Market and Beat Your Competition

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During economic contractions, it becomes much more difficult to sell your products, maintain your customer base, and gain market share. Mistakes become more costly, and failure becomes a real possibility for all those who are not able to make the transition. But imagine being able to sell your products when others cannot, being able to take market share from both your competitors, and knowing the precise formulas that would allow you to expand your sales while others make excuses. If You’re Not First, You’re Last is about how to sell your products and services―despite the economy―and provides the reader with ways to capitalize regardless of their product, service, or idea. Grant shares his proven strategies that will allow you to not just continue to sell, but create new products, increase margins, gain market share and much more. Key concepts in If You’re Not First, You’re Last

272 pages, Hardcover

First published May 27, 2010

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About the author

Grant Cardone

87 books1,151 followers
I am a NY Times Best Selling Author, internationally-recognized Sales Training Expert, Business Coach, and the Founder and CEO of 3 businesses: Cardone Training Technologies, Cardone Group, and Twin Capital Management. You may have seen me as the star and co-executive producer of a show, called TurnAround King.

In addition to speaking internationally to individuals, companies, and industry leaders on sales effectiveness, negotiating strategies, business development and business expansion, I am a regular contributor to networks including, Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC, Huffington Post, Business Week’s Business Exchange, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Reuters, CNBC, Today Show and over 600 radio shows.

I am the author of four published books, with a fifth book slated to release in 2012.
• "Sell To Survive" (2008): The definitive sales survival manual on how to SELL your way through any economy.
• "The Closers Survival Guide" (2009): The ultimate guide to getting sales done.
• "If You're Not First, You're Last" (2010): Sales strategies to dominate your market and beat your competition.
• "The 10X Rule": Where to start, what to do, and how to follow up each action you take with more action to 10X your success!

I have also authored a number of business and motivational audio and video programs; The Rules of Success Motivational Program, Control Without Confrontation, 21st Century Selling, Maximizing Every Opportunity and a customized program for the auto industry called The One a Day Sales and Management Program.

I first became known in the business world with the development of a revolutionary new selling process, known as, Information Assisted Selling (a non-confrontational 21st Century selling approach)

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5 stars
772 (44%)
4 stars
589 (34%)
3 stars
258 (14%)
2 stars
67 (3%)
1 star
37 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 148 reviews
Profile Image for Bryan Doughty.
25 reviews
May 19, 2014
This is an audio book review:

The ugly first:

To all authors, if your diction stinks or you cannot pronounce words find someone else to read your book.

If you challenge the listener to look up words in a dictionary to make sure they understand what you write/speak, make sure YOU can pronounce the words.

Under no circumstances should an author ever claim Columbus sailed on the Mayflower.

This book is a pure old school sales book. Annoying would be an understatement. The author is the sales person I run from whenever they come calling or I am approached in a store. The attitude and disdain for the reader or customer comes through with every word.

The good:

There are some solid ideas here and there if you can get by the ugly, but it is really hard to get past the ugly. There is just not enough good.

I would find another book and pass on this one unless you want to listen to an ego driven individual attempt to push his agenda and products.

But hey, maybe the regular book is better? I have no interest in ever finding out.
Profile Image for Mihaela Beresteanu.
71 reviews5 followers
April 6, 2021
Deși nu am mari cunoștințe în materie de antreprenoriat, am reușit să înțeleg anumite lucruri noi și străine pentru mine o bunăoară, dar utile și interesante din postura mea de începător.
Cartea e bună pentru debutanții în domeniul marketingului, care nu au avut niciodată contact cu clienții. Sunt prezentate o mulțime de idei pentru a-ți dezvolta relațiile cu prospecții ( potențialii clienți) pentru a avea succes pe viitor în afacere, însă nu văd cum cartea dată ar putea să ajute oamenii aflați deja de ceva timp în această sferă, mai ales pe timp de criză, cum promite denumirea, căci eu cred că aceștia cunosc deja "life hack-urile" oferite aici.
Profile Image for Chanpreet Singh.
47 reviews
December 31, 2022
It was MEH. I'm not trying to be a salesman so I guess I didn't find it "amazing" per say, but I found the title interesting so thought I give it a read.
Profile Image for Carl.
49 reviews
February 22, 2019
One of Hercules' Labors was to clean out the entire Augean Stables in one day. Reading this book I was envious of Hercules because he had to deal with less crap than readers of this book. Though some of the advice might be useful to anyone who needs to be told to try and develop a relationship with a client in order to be successful, most of us should have learned that already. It's also far more effective when the advice is not given by someone consumed by self-interest and "winning." It's more Alpha Male advice that I guess will be popular with car salesman and con men, as it's filled with platitudes and soulless tips. Seeing how popular this book is just reinforces why the vast majority of people don't like salespeople because they think this kind of self-obsessed communication is the best way to approach customers. Every time I heard another self-aggrandizing story from Cardone I was reminded of a quote from communication strategist Arch Lustberg, "Nobody likes a blowhard. Not even another blowhard."
Profile Image for Arne.
251 reviews
August 6, 2015
Nuggets of gold in a sea of hubris.

So, if there was a case study on why people hate Americans I wouldn't be surprised if Grant Cardone came up. It's not often that just by listening to someone you realise that they are real assholes. Some keepers were "be irrational, illogical, put the freak on them, man, you know, shrinking economy, advance and conquer, etc etc". And he really lost me when he started quoting L.Ron.Hubbard.

But, to be honest, he is what he is. Unrepentant positively sales oriented and I respect that. His point of rather working and getting nothing than not working and getting nothing is sublime. Work is it's own reward and unpaid work leads to paid work. High five Grant, very good point there.

At one point I thought I'd listen to it twice, just to recap on the lessons but no, once is more than enough.
Profile Image for Todor V. Todorov.
22 reviews7 followers
February 26, 2022
В книгата си авторът ни подтиква да излезем от зоната си на комфорт, използвайки техники и способи, позволяващи ни да се справим в период на икономическа криза и рецесия. Лично аз намерих доста интересни и полезни подходи, които могат да ми бъдат в полза. Особено подходяща е за млади хора, които имат амбицията да покоряват върхове и да бъдат глухи за хора, които им повтарят, че това е непостижимо.
Profile Image for Renata R..
78 reviews1 follower
March 30, 2016
I picked out this one just because it was on Scribd Selects of the month and I figured it could bring me some insight. Oh boy, I had no idea of how irritated I was going to be.

I was going to rate it 1 star, but since I heard the audiobook I decided otherwise. It gets 1 star for a couple of ideas that are good and could change how you deal with your job and the world around it and 1 star because Grant has a passion for what he is preaching even though I didn't like most of it.
If I had read the book instead of listening to it my rating would be just 1 lonely star.

At first I though "ok, he likes doing things out of the box", then I went for "a little agressive, not my style", then I arrived at "now you got me mad".
It was not just the incentive to be pushy and throw yourself at the world head first, it was not the repetitive use of 'middle classes' and the hidden suggestion that being this is pretty bad thing and it was not by the fact that he considers himself larger than life that got me mad.
The fact that he rates success by amount of money received is what threw me off.
"There are so many other things in life" I kept thinking. Maybe he heard my thoughts because at some point way after the middle of the book he actually said that success is not equal money.
How ironic, he used money as a thermomether every step of the way and says that? Really? It was the same thing when he used something like "I don't want to be offensive but..." and then he said something slightly offensive and he knew it.

Well, that is definitely not for me. I don't want to be the richest person in the world, I don't think I am nothing just because I'm not crashing the competition and personally I didn't really like the 'lets be full of ourselves' tone. If he ever read this, he will probably say that is jealousy talking...

If you're into this kind of reading, you'll love this.
Go Brain, conquer the world!
Profile Image for Howard.
283 reviews4 followers
June 11, 2022
Another fun Grant Cardone book. He has quizzes at the end of each chapter, to see if you remember his points. After hearing the two books on Asian educational values, his points make a lot more sense. A lot of the middle-class in the US is based on making things easy, he prefers that you put more work into things in order to succeed. The book is focused on the beginning of the Great Recession, basically saying that if you are aggressive enough, you will succeed in sales. Of course when you are selling courses to a bunch of unemployed people, you will probably do well :-) But I think his principles are sound that nobody is going to give you income. This book will give you tactics to be a better salesperson through action, and action alone. His concept of keeping in touch with your network and prior clients keeps you at top-of-mind when someone is randomly ready to buy something, I think is good advice. He does use the book to push his sales-training products, so be warned.
150 reviews1 follower
January 5, 2019
Written with a focus on economic downturns in the industry, it applies in any market environment. The main focus is to become independent in your pursuit of success. Like many books focused on "sales", it can apply to any industry, and emphasizes that point repeatedly. If you work with people, you are in sales. Grant's sign off at the end of the book "May the actions you take daily set a good example for those around you".
Profile Image for Anastasia.
54 reviews1 follower
February 6, 2017
Talk about a motivational book! I really loved it. It brought things into perspective for me like never before and clarified things that I was doing. Loved it! I will definitely be rereading this book often
Profile Image for Samantha.
84 reviews2 followers
April 23, 2019
Even though this was written nine years ago, it is still relevant now. The economy is doing a bit better than it was nine years ago but these concepts all still apply. Although the book may seem repetitive at times, I think it was a necessary repetitiveness. Mr. Cardone hits hard on making things happen for yourself, regardless of the environment that is currently available. I appreciate his words on having a 'Middle-class Mindset'. I never really thought about this being a state of mind but after hearing what the author wrote about it, it truly changed my perspective. There are many lessons to be learned in this book.
10 reviews
July 8, 2021
"Contrary to what Frank Sinatra claims in his song “My Way,” most people will have many regrets in their lifetime—not just a few. I expect that a fair number of individuals will look back and wish they had done more—not less—and really gone after their dreams with more energy, tenacity, and an unreasonable level of effort. I also think most will wish in hindsight that they had “swung for the fences,” taken the big gamble, and really put themselves all out there. So why wait until the end of your life to wish for these things? Start now, and approach every day as though your future depends upon an almost insane-like pursuit of success."

I had not heard of Grant Cardone until sometime in 2013 or 14 when I came across this post . I immediately liked his style and shortly thereafter found out I was already late to the party. Grant has built himself a cult following of sales a marketing people worldwide who follow his tweets, videos, programs and shows. I found this out in a big way after appearing on one of GCTV’s shows in September and the subsequent social media/email barrage once it went public.
If You’re Not First, You’re Last is a sales strategy and mindset book Grant wrote during the recession of 2007-10ish. It is about sales on a direct level, but it’s just as much a personal development book that just so happens to use sales as its vehicle.

Grant’s purpose is to inspire the reader to maneuver your personal economy to a position higher than the challenges of competitors and any possible economic downturns by being completely unreasonable in your actions and expectations of what you’re capable of doing.

The practices are all of the simple-but-not-easy brand; anyone who cannot apply the techniques in If You’re Not First, You’re Last is not stopped by a lack of understanding but a lack of willingness to step outside of their comfort zone. Just reading the book makes it clear to me that the strategies within would produce results. And like I like to say, once you’ve acquired knowledge, you’re responsible for acting on it.
Profile Image for Adam.
465 reviews9 followers
August 29, 2017
To describe Grant Cardone the first thing that came to mind is a human firework then I thought 10x he's the grand finale except it's not the grand finale he's the grand finale for the entire show. Reignite being in control of your future; read this book!

Nuggets of Truth:

Doom is the time to bloom
Wealth equity
Advance n conquer
Take your tentacles and grab the entire market to yourself
He's so rich it's incredible
Call a brotha upp
Contacts turn to contracts
Move them up in the buying process
Push some traffic my way
Who do you know who might be in the market for my product
Vibrating with fear
Get over the resistance of your old beliefs
The only difference between a contact and a contract is an r and that's relationships
Winners never quit and quitters never win
Prospecting technologies
If you didn't know someone who would it be
Too brittle with them or they won't pay
Money will find or seek out value not the lowest price
Make yourself in the buyers mind
Low-cost or no cost visibility
I'm the Columbus of the economy I want to conquer it
If your good with living small ok more for the others
Retreat to his roach hole

Profile Image for Seemy.
766 reviews7 followers
March 2, 2018
Not sure why some people rated this poorly, especially with reasons like the authors dictation of the audio version of the book? - it’s his energy and drive ( authors ) that makes this special.

Clearly talented and tells it how it is ... I enjoyed this book which not only highlights how to do sales which generates sales - whether you believe it’s the right way or not - this is real like stuff without the theory fluff which is so common in other so called “sales programs”

I would have given it 5 stars but it was similar to his other books like ‘10x’ and ‘Sell or Be Sold” so not entirely ground breaking - and wasn’t too sure about his recommendation of RON Hubbard books?!

But this guys great and gives just not solid Sales, Business and Growth advice - but much more which is so important to ones life which goes well beyond sales.

To Our Continued Success!
Waseem Mirza
Profile Image for Fabrizio Poli.
Author 11 books24 followers
January 30, 2015
This is a great book on sales. I would say this is a book more about strategy than tactics. Grant Cardone talks about not competing in the market but setting-up a plan to dominate. He talks about not reducing your prices but adding value for your customers, a philosophy I 100% agree with.

In the world of online business Grant Cardone advocates visiting potential clients in person in order to build the relationship. Then you need to follow-up and never take no for an answer, keep investing in the relationship.

A good book if you are looking to design a winning sales strategy.
Profile Image for RJ Martino.
62 reviews
February 13, 2017
Let me make it clear that I really like Grant Cardone. I just read 10X and reading two books of his in the same month was a little intense. It feels like hanging out with that friend that has a TON of energy 24/7... Or, going to Vegas for a full week. It's great... I would recommend it. But, it's intense. If you want a jump start or a reason to get started, listen to this book.

It could be seen as a period piece because it talks a lot about growing your business in a down economy. But, the message holds true in up and down economies.
Profile Image for Edmund Ricker.
4 reviews4 followers
January 13, 2018
I love this book and all of Grant's work. If you want advice from someone who has been there, this book is for you. I keep all of his books on Itunes and loop them on a daily basis to help keep myself focused on helping others. That in turn will lead to my business blowing up.
Profile Image for Catherine.
37 reviews1 follower
April 7, 2014
The title is a bit misleading, as this book focused mainly on how to survive an economic downturn. A few interesting insights, but not much I haven't heard before.
Profile Image for Brendan Barrett.
39 reviews5 followers
November 5, 2018
I'm listening to Grant Cardone books just to get in the mind of good ole GC.

Everyone knows he's the greatest salesman in the game. The man who can sell sand in the desert and water to a fish. He's here for you to give you a lil' pep talk on how to do the same. He's here with all his mispronunciations (including "futher" instead of "further"), tangents, rants, and Grant Cardone humor in the audio version. If you know, you know.

What's in this book? Well, Grant Cardone is in this book. He's on every page and in every letter, many times over. He's 10x on every page and in every piece of punctuation whether it's there or not.

Oh, and you'll probably learn that sales are applicable in all areas of life and vital to your survival. This is what's important and where I give him the most credit. If he needs to say is 10x10x10 times, he will. If you don't know how to sell anything, if you think sales are for sleaze-bags, if you refuse to learn to be better, you'll end up last. Whatever that means. It doesn't matter if you're the employee, the employer, or the owner.

Go ahead and let GC take you on a ride on the GC train. You might get worn out at times. Don't forget you can always hit pause; you'll probably have to. This man's momentum is unbelievable.
March 4, 2019
I listened to the Audio Book Version
This book is a mix of self-help and a few nuggets of gold for driving sales in an economic recession and even in a thriving economy. The writer was kind of hubristic as the other reviewers let out, but I don’t really care.
Overall, I loved his enthusiasm and all his unreasonable tactics, it was quite a breath of fresh air honestly. He spoke of the fundamentals of driving sales growth and how to make your company survive (he prefers thrive and being number 1 but I am not that optimistic) in an economy. He emphasized that you have to work hard and to always be hungry which gives off a self-help book vibe but he also provided multiple sales strategy practices that were cost-efficient and doable even without the money.
I have yet to implement his practices but when I do get the chance I will mix his suggestions with others sales strategies.
It was a good book that provided multiple sales strategies and I absolutely loved the way the author delivered the audio book with much passion and enthusiasm. Overall, I liked the book, it was a quick and easy read and really gets you pumped up with how Grant Cardone narrates his book.
Profile Image for Andy Avellan.
8 reviews
June 11, 2020
If you are not first, you’re last by @grantcardone
I wish Grant would read all my audiobooks, because it’s hard to get lost or not pay attention. I know Audiobooks are tough to keep up, but anything done by him has kept all my attention!
The book is basically about motivating you and teaching you how to start making calls and connecting with people. Yes, it’s a sales book. But it’s also a motivational book as to why you need to make these sales calls. 🤪
If you’re anything like me, you hate sales. I just like to help people. But sales is helping people. Helping them get on something that you offer that is going to make their life better. When you see it this way, the whole game changes! 🤯
So if you need to learn how to sale and/or need some motivation I recommend this book 10000%. It’s available in Hoopla for free with your library card that literally takes 3 seconds to get online through the Broward library website. 💖
February 22, 2023
The book is literally a motivational talk !
Mostly , the author talks about sales and how to conquer your market when there is recession or economy contraction. He advices us throughout the book to have a unique and different approach on those periods. People tend to shrink and be afraid during those times and this is why Grant Cardone commands us to be more aggressive to make the difference. This book is a powerful tool to get a little boost to do crazy things. To act from gut without a lot of mental or thinking process. It’s different. He reminds us that every successful business or person at some point needed boldness in their action to make difference. In conclusion, the book is that little push to get from thinking to acting.
12 reviews
February 28, 2018
"Chẳng 1 võ sĩ quyền anh nào chỉ học tập trong 90 ngày mà có thể trở nên điêu luyện, bán hàng cũng giống như vậy."
"Sự phi lí trí, phi logic luôn làm nên 1 con người đáng ngưỡng mộ. Nếu có kẻ nào phản đối ý tưởng Điên Rồ của bạn, hãy bơ họ đi. Họ chỉ đang kéo bạn xuống vũng lầy của tuyệt vọng của nô lệ mà thôi."

Cuốn sách tạo motivation rất mạnh mẽ về Mài Dũa Nghệ thuật Bán hàng. Bên cạnh đó, tác giã cũng cung cấp 1 số kiến thức hữu dụng trong kinh doanh cũng như Lên kế hoạch hằng ngày.
😊 Đáng để đầu tư thời gian :))
Profile Image for Tim Moran.
63 reviews
April 23, 2021
Audiobook. Grant’s 10X book is far superior to this one. This book was more of a Sales 101 book which wasnt really what I was looking for.

There are a few gems in here, but overall I thought it was meandering and too salesy. Also found it ironic that he talked about doubling down and expanding in a recession when he laid off half his workforce during the covid pandemic...

Other cons is he randomly pitches Scientology books at the end, and he said Chris Columbus came over on the Mayflower...

Overall it had some good sales motivation but definitely not his best work.
Profile Image for Monica.
162 reviews2 followers
February 14, 2023
I recently became an Avon Sales Rep, and I want to learn about the art of selling. This is a new business area for me, so I am a bit clueless about approaching people and mentioning Avon as a company.

I enjoyed this book as Grant keeps it short and to the point. It was enjoyable, and I read a chapter daily in the morning while having my coffee.

I highly recommend this book if you're in sales or going into a sales position.

And yes, I know Avon is an MLM company. For me, it isn't about income. It is about learning a new skill set: Sales.
January 12, 2021
Este libro lo leí cuando empezaba la Pandemia 2020, y me abrió mucho el panorama actual, te da esa dosis necesarias de motivación y estrategias para ponerte en marcha en tus proyectos personales y sobre todo profesionales o de negocios. En base a su amplia experiencia, Cardone pone ejemplos claros y da pasos para también aplicarlos a nuestra rutina diaria. No tenía muchas expectativas y realmente me ayudó mucho leerlo, disfruté de inicio a fin y aún recurro a sus conceptos de vez en cuando 🙌
March 13, 2021
Anyone who reads this book and uses it as a guide will achieve what is laid out by Grant Cardone. I built a successful business and many of the elements that are in this book are spot on. It really does require for you to feel uncomfortable in many of the things that you need to do on a day to day basis, but that's what separates you from the mass. Read the book if your interested in succeeding in your financial endeavors.
Profile Image for Sandra Navarro.
115 reviews3 followers
May 8, 2021
This book could have been half the length or maybe even less. There are some cool nuggets of wisdom in a sea of self aggrandizement. I listened to the audio version and I’m divided about it. It’s nice to hear it from the author and indeed he has his own energy which is great, but if you’re reading your own book, at least take the time to do a second take when you miss pronounce something or miss a line.
Profile Image for Costantine Plassaras.
29 reviews15 followers
February 16, 2017
It's 70% motivational and 30% practical. It's also one easy to understand book wich has also a very good 30% practical advice with feedback questions at the end of each chapter. There, the reader can answer those questions if his comprehension of the chapter is good enough.

Sure enough, Grant's writing is for all people and I would definitely recommend it if you are new to sales! :)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 148 reviews

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