The Greatest Salesman in The World: Summary & Review

the greatest salesman in the world book cover

The Greatest Salesman in the World is the best selling book on how to become better salesmen. Og Mandino, the author, encourage readers to sell more by developing love and care for both people and prospects alike.

Bullet Summary

  • Excellence starts with great habits
  • Trust and caring sell: develop love for all people
  • Learn to control your emotions

Full Summary

About The Author: Og Mandino was an American author, best known for this book, which has sold over 50 million copies. That easily makes “The Greatest Salesman in The World” the best-selling book on sales.

Habits Are the Foundations

The foundation of any excellent performance begins with the habits you shape (also read The Power of Habits).

Sadly, says Mandino, most of us are full of bad habits.
And they often start the very first moment we wake up: we snooze the alarm 4 times, then rush to work because we’re late and we’re grumpy and dozing off the whole morning.

Your first step will hence be to replace your poor habits with positive ones.

Love Sells: Sell With Love

Selling is about being good with people and gaining trust. And the best way you can show trust is with love.

The author recommends you internalize your love for people by repeating every morning:

I will love everything and everyone

And when you talk to someone, repeat in your head:

I love you

When you communicate to people from a place of love, they will also warm up towards you.
It’s amazing when you do it with people you don’t have a good relationship with, and they will often turn from enemies into friends.


Don’t give up. Your next customer, your next call, your next reach out can be your sale.

If you start stringing failure after failure, stop and regroup before going into the next. And never end the day with a failure.

And if you just can’t manage: put everything behind in your night’s sleep and raise up on the next day fresh and invigorated.

Don’t Copy: Forge Your Own Path

Do what other successful people do is a common suggestion.
“The Greatest Salesman in the World” proposes instead that you don’t imitate others, but find your own secret sauce for success.

Control Your Emotions

Controlling emotions is a key skill for Og Mandino (also read Emotional Intelligence).

The Greatest Salesman in the World recommends you keep an even keel without getting too arrogant or too depressed.

A great way to change your emotional state, says Mandino, is to stop taking things so seriously. And to laugh at yourself and the world.

Take Action

Procrastination is an ever so seductive muse. And you must destroy her with action.
Set up a plan of successive action steps and goals instead and get going right away.

Have Faith

Have faith in God above and ask for guidance.

the greatest salesman in the world book cover


No hands on techniques
The Greatest Salesman in the World is all about mindsets. That means there are no actual sales techniques.


Much more than selling
The Greatest Salesman in the World is about much more than selling. It’s about self improvement.

Fictional story
If the author had shared the concepts in bullet points, The Greatest Salesman in the World wouldn’t have been nearly as successful.
This book is a testament to the power of storytelling. Teaching with stories is much more powerful because we project our own personality in the story and we’re more open to accepting and retaining the lessons.


Sharing the concepts through a fictional story can be a great way of teaching.

The reader feels closer to the main character, projects his own persona onto him, and thus is more open to absorbing the books’ lessons.

However, I’m not convinced that love and caring are either the only or most effective tools to selling a lot.

As a last note, “The Greatest Salesman in the World” is based on Christian beliefs and faith, which might be a pro for some and a con for some others.

Read more summaries or get the book on Amazon

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