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The ABC of Sales: Lessons from a Superstar Paperback – June 1, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


"An experienced salesman provides advice on how to find clients, nurture long-term business relationships and always close the sale. Milstein's first job was cleaning toilets at a McDonald's restaurant at the age of 16. It's the type of job most teenagers do for spending money, but the author used his free time to read the words of company founder Ray Kroc and make plans to move into management. He soon discovered his love for sales and, after finding a job as a mortgage loan officer, made his first million by his mid-20s. Currently, Milstein devotes himself entirely to sales 100-hour work weeks are typical and to always putting the interests of his customers first. While giving a speech before 300 loan officers, the author paused to respond to an e-mail he received from a customer on his BlackBerry, and when a few members of the audience commented on this display of rudeness, Milstein advised, This is what it takes to be the best. You have to be ready to drop everything for your clients. The author provides dozens of tips and techniques to find clients and close sales, counseling readers on skills such as their elevator speeches. Milstein sells home loans for a living, but insists that his techniques would work just as well for all manner of products and services, and offers advice to those who sell menswear, automobiles, seafood and hotdogs. The author devotes the last chapter to the subprime mortgage mess, and boasts that he actually prospered during the meltdown because he refused to sell risky loans to his customers. Milstein's ideas are easy to grasp; in a chapter about 40 ways to botch a sale, he counsels salespeople to always remember the client s name, never interrupt the client and always accept the client's business no matter how small the profit. These appear to be simple rules, but they could easily be forgotten by many salespeople who may be wondering why business has fallen off. Milstein's enthusiasm is infectious; throughout the book, he counsels readers to brave snowstorms, fix their clients flat tires and even paint their clients porches if that's what it takes to make the sale sound advice for any budding sales superstar. His message is clear: love the product, love the customer and do whatever it takes to close the sale." --Kirkus

"Dan Milstein shows that the American Dream is alive and well for everyone, immigrant and natural born citizen alike. The skills he teaches can be used by anyone to develop their own business and sales efforts." --Ross Rojek San Francisco / Sacramento Book Review

"This little book glows with wisdom and a deep appreciation of mankind's ability to make the workplace and life happy, making it a volume that does indeed tell a story of how something great can grow from very little beginnings and also how a philosophy of a gentle immigrant lad can help us appreciate the true American Dream. --Grady Harp - Amazon Top Ten Reviewer

From the Author

As we were putting the finishing touches on this book, a friend who knew about the project said to me, "I can see why you would write about your experiences. But why would you want to give the secrets of your success to someone who might use them to compete against you?"

The answer is simple - I'm happy to share my secrets because there really are no secrets. I'm a born salesman, so what I do is sell. I wake up thinking about our clients, I spend my entire day taking care of our clients' needs, and I go to bed thinking about how we can improve on what we did today and what we can do for our clients tomorrow.

So if someone should learn how I do what I do and then finds ways to do it better, fine! Maybe I'll learn a few things from them.

To get to where I am today I have built a sales organization in which I count on every member to have the same kind of customer focus as I do. This is important, because more than 400 employees and 1,500 of their family members count on Gold Star for their financial security.

But I want every member of my team to be far more than just secure. I want them to achieve as much success as they possibly can and to be happy pursuing their own passions. This makes my organization stronger, and it makes me stronger.

In these pages you will find a lot of information about how to sell anything. In many respects it can be used as a textbook on how to approach the sales profession and how to build a professional sales team. I have also shared enough about my personal journey to help you understand where my own drive to succeed comes from.

Enjoy my book. Learn my secrets. Then go and find your own passion. And - Always Be Closing.

Daniel Milstein

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Gold Star Publishing; 1st edition (June 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983552703
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983552703
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,592,284 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

DANIEL MILSTEIN is the author of "The ABC of Sales: Lessons from a Superstar," "17 Cents & a Dream: My Incredible Journey from the USSR to Living the American Dream," and "Street Smart Selling: Street Smart Selling: How To Be A Sales Superstar." He is known as a successful business executive, author, job creator, company builder, entrepreneur, and founder and CEO of Gold Star Mortgage Financial Group, an Inc. 500 Company.

Born in Kiev, Ukraine, Dan and his family experienced hardship, religious persecution, and life-and-death situations, all in the shadows of one of the greatest disasters that ever occurred, the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear plant. Forced to escape the Soviet government, Dan's family fled to Ann Arbor, Michigan. Highly motivated to succeed, Dan worked his way up from mopping floors in a McDonald's restaurant, through a series of difficult and challenging jobs, to ultimately establish one of the 15 fastest-growing financial services companies in the United States.

He graduated with honors from Cleary University, earning a business degree, and was awarded an honorary doctorate from his alma mater. He is currently in his second term on the Cleary University Board of Trustees.

Under Dan's leadership, Gold Star has grown to be a national leader in the mortgage industry, with offices across the U.S. The company has been named a Top Workplace in Michigan by the Detroit Free Press, and a Michigan Economic Bright Spot by Corp! magazine.

Dan has been ranked the #1 loan officer in the United States, out of more than 550,000 professionals in the lending industry. He has been included in the prestigious "40 Under 40" in Crain's magazine, "30 in Their Thirties" in DBusiness magazine, and has been named one of the nation's 40 Top Finance Professionals by National Mortgage Professional magazine.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By buttonfly on March 28, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm very glad that I got this book for free during a promotion. I hate to give bad reviews, and this review isn't horrible because the book isn't horrible. It's simply a book about what a great salesman the author is, and how he started with 17 cents, a desire to succeed, and some well-connected friends. The ABCs that the title refers to is simply the author's own catchphrase: Always Be Closing. In his world, that means to try to sell your product to your friends at football games and dance recitals.

His story is interesting, but the advice boils down to 'be nice to people,' 'work hard' and 'always try to help'. I read the whole thing, but contemplated putting it away several times. What I came away with is "Yay! Look how wonderful I am!" Normally I wouldn't leave a review at all, but I would be angry if I had paid for this book, and feel that others should maybe be given a heads up.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Afia TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 24, 2011
Format: Paperback
I trust this book completely in its description of what works and what doesn't in sales. The author made it big through sustained and systematic effort. He didn't even mention any shortcuts.

One thing that impressed me was how Dan Milstein persevered. He experienced certain setbacks that could cause most of us to change our minds and find another career. Instead, he determined that these "failures" signaled that he needed more preparation. This was what helped him decide to get into underwriting before trying again to get into loan origination.

Some of Dan's principles and methods were new to me. For example, the notion of staying in the office rather than going out for lunch contradicted most of what I've seen in the sales success literature. However, the reasons given make perfect sense and also demonstrate productivity-enhancing potentials that technology and systems have provided. An even better example is Dan's advice about building one's network, which he says takes a lot of time and we shouldn't believe that handing out business cards and the like can be any substitute.

As a word of caution, Dan showed why we must believe in what we're doing to earn a lot the sure way. Knowing that we're really helping people and providing a good service/product is necessary. Otherwise, how can we put the customer first and follow through in a way that generates referrals? Also, it may take years working various jobs within an industry just to get positioned to begin selling high-value services/products.

I hope this review helps viewers to feel confident in the substance of this book while being realistic that the big success, like Dan has achieved, is unlikely to materialize before years of effort and persistence.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 12, 2011
Format: Paperback
The ABCs of Sales may be a book about how a loan company can succeed, but it is far more than that. This little books glows with wisdom and a deep appreciation of mankind's ability to make the workplace and life happy, making it a volume that does indeed tell a story of how something great can grow from very little beginnings and also how a philosophy of a gentle immigrant lad can help us appreciate the true American Dream.

Daniel Milstein immigrated to the US from the USSR just when the Communist giant was crumbling. Dan and his family settled in Michigan, where despite the fact that Dan spoke no English he managed to succeed not only in school but in taking jobs in McDonalds and other places to support his family and pay his own tuition for college. A `born salesman' he entered the field of loan writing and through applying his own philosophy in how to relate to people - customers, employees, potential clients, and competitors - to eventually create a highly successful nationwide business.

While there are many `success in business' stories in publication, the journey of Daniel Milstein form Russian immigrant to business superstar is a lesson in humanity: `Be Somebody Some Day' was his motto and in this enormously successful book he leads us all through the principles of applying trust, courtesy, respect, and passion for people and for work into a recipe for success. One of his leading goal is to make everyone - employees, clients, businesses, family - feel appreciated.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. Scott Lorenz on August 30, 2011
Format: Paperback
Some good advice to follow in life is that when an expert talks, listen closely. That's why, as a publicist I am an avid reader of books in my field including sales, marketing and social media. There are a lot of experts in all spheres of knowledge who are willing to share what they know.

One such expert that I paid very close attention to because of his business savvy is Daniel Milstein, a sales superstar and author who became a CEO at a very young age. Millstein, author of The ABC of Sales, is ranked as the number one loan officer in America, is listed in the top 40 professionals in the U.S., and his company has been listed by Inc. 500 as one of the fastest growing companies in the nation for two straight years.

The ABC of Sales is packed with tips on how to discover clients and, more importantly, on how to close sales. His jewels include some pretty solid advice such as always remembering the client's name, never interrupt, never turn away a prospective client because of small profit potential and the idea that building a business and building relationships are the same task.

Milstein stresses that you must believe your product or service is the absolute best out there - "Essentially," he writes, "if you don't believe in oranges sell apples." The author's favorite phrase is Always Be Closing - ABC, a motto that he lives by and which he says is the driving force to him becoming a super salesman. In order to ensure prompt customer follow-up, Milstein eliminated the normal voice-mail system by giving his sales force an 800 number that is also connected to their cell phones. After the phone rings four times, it connects to the cell, thus minimizing response time.
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