After teaching Ninja Selling for 22 years, Larry Kendall decided to put it in writing.
by Steve Murray, publisher
It’s been 22 years since The Group, Inc. co-founder and chairman Larry Kendall launched the first Ninja Selling course. As much a life-philosophy as a professional tool, that first class held 430 real estate professionals and shifted the sales conversation from pressure to solutions. After decades spent teaching and honing his system, Kendall decided to put it all into print for the first time.
Why a Book? Why Now?
When Kendall first set out to write Ninja Selling, his publisher pointed out the irony. “I did this backward. Most people write books so they can be a teacher. I’ve been teaching for 22 years, and now I write a book,” Kendall recalls. “[But] I wanted to create a permanent document for the system.”
More than 55,000 people from the United States to Spain have graduated from Ninja Selling classes, retreats and workshops. Over the years, Kendall watched demand grow for something concrete to bring home at the end of the day. “I’ve had a lot of people ask if I’ve written it in the form of a book,” he says. “They have the notebooks, but not a small portable book. A lot of people are visual learners, so they’ll take the class but want to read it again. [Another] thing that was happening is people were using the system or teaching parts of it. I had the disciples out preaching the word, but I didn’t have the bible from which they could preach. So, I wanted to put it together in a format people could use.”
What Makes Ninja Selling Unique?
The cover of Ninja Selling is a lot like the product: simple, foundational, elegant. A monarch perches atop a cairn of balanced river rocks. “This book will show you the path,” says Kendall. “The butterfly symbolizes transformation. If you follow this path, it will transform your life.” But what’s the path, and what makes it worth following?
The Ninja Selling System has changed the way many real estate professionals approach their work and personal lives. Like the classes, the book is built around three areas that Kendall says are key to success: Your Mindset, Your Skillset, and Your Actions. But, it’s the underlying philosophy that makes the system special. That takes the program out of the conference room or sales transaction and into peoples’ everyday realities.
First, Kendall explains, “It’s a pull versus push selling system. As a Ninja, you never put your customer in a position of feeling pressure. Stop selling, start solving. Solve the customer’s problem.”
Second, because it doesn’t depend on the tension between pressure and rejection, Ninja Selling works for most every type of person. “Most sales books are written by power people whose success is built on their personality. What about everybody else? What about introverts? What about the women? This is the book for any personality,” Kendall says.
Will the Book Replace or Change the Classes?
As a system, Ninja Selling was ahead of its time. When Kendall started teaching his classes, salespeople relied on resilience to withstand 10 “No’s” for every “Yes” they received. But his system prevailed, even in the days of the high-pressure market. Today, in a world that values a more collaborative sales relationship, Kendall’s approach seems downright logical.
Perhaps a unique aspect of Ninja Selling—the system and the book—is the timelessness of the principles. Sure, markets change, but Ninja Selling hasn’t. This timelessness bodes well for the book’s ability to stand the test of time.
While Kendall hopes that Ninja Selling becomes central to the real estate canon, he doesn’t foresee it replacing the classes. “I don’t think it’ll change how we teach,” he says. “I think it could change the number of classes we’re teaching. It could increase demand. But for those who take the course and read the book, it’ll help them become better salespeople and people.”
In its first three months, Kendall’s book, Ninja Selling, has sold 7,500 pre-released copies to Ninjas and Ninja companies. In early November, it hit the National Association of Realtors® 2016 Convention by storm, selling out in fewer than 24 hours.
On January 3, 2017, Ninja Selling will be available to the public on Amazon.com, at local and national bookstores, and in 175 airport locations throughout the country. If you don’t want to wait, early copies can be purchased through ninjaselling.com.