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Lead, Sell, or Get Out of the Way

Lead, Sell, or Get Out of the Way: The 7 Traits of Great Sellers

Ron Karr

Retail Price: $24.95
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Format: Hardcover, 272pp.
ISBN: 9780470402184
Publisher: Wiley
Pub. Date: March 23, 2009

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Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

In today's sales world there's no room for followers. But there's plenty of room for leaders. Competition is intense, and if you don't take a leadership role in producing results for your clients, someone else will. In Lead, Sell, or Get Out of the Way, Ron Karr outlines a repeatable process based on the powerful idea that great sellers lead relationships in the same way that great leaders sell ideas.

No matter what you sell, you must communicate persuasively and effectively what it is you can offer clients. However, sales leaders do even more than that. They raise the bar by finding new opportunities and creating new levels of performance for their customers. They don't just sell products or services; they sell outcomes that transform a customer's world, and they assume personal responsibility for those outcomes.

This customer-focused mindset is the key to Karr's proven leadership selling process. Based on decades of research with companies of all sizes, Karr reveals what great sellers do and shows how anyone can implement the same powerful principles. He offers an in-depth exploration of the seven critical traits all sales leaders share. Today's top sales leaders:
  • Have a clear vision of where they're going
    • Position themselves powerfully in the minds of customers
    • Build alliances rather than go it alone
    • Ask powerful questions that result in new sales opportunities
    • Create a value proposition that neutralizes the competition
    • Communicate well and persuasively
    • Embrace accountability and responsibility
    Many sales leaders learn these principles through trial and error. This book helps you avoid the trial and error part and skip straight to the success part. Why learn the hard way when you can read this book, learn these principles, and start—today—selling more, faster, and at a higher profit? If you sell things for a living or manage people who sell, you face a stark choice that you had better get right—to Lead, Sell, or Get Out of the Way. Choose wisely and sales success will be yours.


"Karr's book, Lead, Sell, or Get Out of the Way, illustrates what we believe: that knowing your customers' needs is the single most important factor in building sales. Business starts with the sale. To make profitable sales, you need to understand your customer and create a timely value proposition. This book shows you how to do both."
—Larry Kellner, Chairman and CEO, Continental Airlines

"As CEO and Chairman of the Board of three publicly traded companies, I felt that Karr's strategies in Lead, Sell, or Get Out of the Way absolutely provided the powerful results he predicted. In one case, we completely eliminated a competitor who posed a strategic threat. I guess you can say they 'got out of the way.' Karr will show you what is required and how to be a top producer in your market. This book is a must-read."
—James T. Treace, President and Managing Member, J&A Group, LLC, former chairman of the board, Wright Medical, Inc., and Kyphon, Inc.

"Karr captures a lifetime of winning strategies and experiences and puts them in a practical context for sales leaders and sellers. This book challenges many of the older paradigms of selling and emphasizes the importance of keeping the focus on the customers and providing positive outcomes. In today's challenging market conditions, where the primary focus is on market share, this is a must-read."
—Barry S. Goldstein, Senior Vice President, Global Sales Strategy & Operations, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

"Karr's book clearly identifies what it takes to be a highly effective sales leader. The principles in Karr's book are concise and illuminating. Follow his system and your sales organization will succeed in any market. An absolute must-read."
—Mike Beaudry, Division President, United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI)

"Karr does it again! Lead, Sell, or Get Out of the Way gives you the ultimate approach to giving added value to customers and creating value for yourself . . . The seven traits are what's needed in today's world, and this book is an outstanding guide to becoming proficient in all of them."
—David Preng, Preng & Associates, The Global Energy Search Leader

readers index
Reader's Index 
Send us your favorite quotes or passages from this book.

• "Your job is to manage multiple constituencies and alliances, and to use those alliances to identify new and better ways of generating the desired results. Your job is to do what most salespeople don’t do: lead the conversation with your prospects and customers about the results they need, the problems they have, and the obstacles they face." Pg. 5


About the Author

Ron Karr is a popular public speaker and in-demand business consultant known internationally as a business development expert. As President of Karr Associates, Inc., he specializes in helping organizations and professionals generate remarkable sales and operational results. His client list includes such companies as Agfa, Morgan Stanley, MetLife, Wright Medical, and UPS.

Table of Contents


Introduction. Lead, Sell, or Get Out of the Way.

You can sell from a leadership position, or you can make room for the competition. The choice is yours! By following the SALES LEADERSHIP system in this book, you will sell more in less time, and move your career to a new level.

Chapter One. The Case for Leadership

Why “Lone Ranger” selling doesn't do the job anymore; what does; why you can make much more money through the efforts of others than you ever could solely through your own efforts.

Chapter Two. The Seven Traits.

The key attributes that distinguish sales leaders from everyone else. A preview of the LEAD, SELL, OR GET OUT OF THE WAY system that follows.

Chapter Three. Visualizing

The first sales leadership trait. Sales leaders look to the future, dare to challenge the status quo, and set the agenda based on their vision and their plan.

Chapter Four. Positioning.

The second sales leadership trait. Sales leaders manage first impressions strategically.

Chapter Five. Building Alliances.

The third sales leadership trait. Sales leaders build and support mutually beneficial relationships in both the selling organization and the buying organization.

Chapter Six. Asking Good Questions.

The fourth sales leadership trait. Sales leaders establish themselves as trusted advisors by asking the right questions at the right time.

Chapter Seven. Creating Powerful Value Propositions.

The fifth sales leadership trait. Sales leaders make the case for action based on a stark assessment of the true costs of inaction.

Chapter Eight.Communicating Persuasively.

The sixth sales leadership trait. When they communicate their value, sales leaders engage their audiences, land the most important points on a personal level, and win allies who share their vision of the future.

Chapter Nine. Holding Yourself Accountable.

The seventh sales leadership trait. Sales leaders take personal responsibility and hold themselves to higher standards than anyone else could hold them.


Sales leadership as a way of looking at the world – and a way of life.


Resources for sales leaders.

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