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Summary: Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got: 21 Ways You Can Out-Think, Out-Perform, and Out-Earn the Competition by Jay Abraham

  • “Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got” by Jay Abraham offers 21 practical strategies to enhance business success.
  • The book emphasizes innovative thinking, actionable execution, and profit maximization through strategic approaches.
  • Abraham’s insights on customer relationships and collaboration make this a valuable resource for business leaders.

Focused primarily on marketing, sales, and clients, the strategies you’ll learn in this book summary of Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got – 21 Ways You Can Out-Think, Out-Perform, and Out-Earn the Competition fall into two categories: sales techniques used to recruit and retain clients, and techniques to multiply the successes. In this summary, you’ll learn some of these time-tested techniques to help you get ahead in business.

Recruit more clients, improve your personal relationships, and do everything better.


  • Want to increase your sales and the number of clients you sell to
  • Care to use powerful sales strategies in your personal life
  • Need to see results quickly


There are only three ways to increase your business:

  1. Increase the number of clients.
  2. Increase the amount your clients purchase from you.
  3. Increase the frequency of client purchases.

Everyone has clients and everyone sells. There are many strategies for gaining clients, selling more to them, and selling to them more often — and they have all been shown to work.

Many firms and people don’t use all the strategies simply because they’re not aware of them. Some industries focus on advertising while others focus on referrals, but there’s no reason not to use both advertising and referrals.

Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got focuses on 21 strategies that help salespeople get ahead, and in this summary, you’ll learn about some of them. By maximizing and then multiplying results, you’ll be able to get ahead and outperform the competition.

Book Summary: Getting Everything You Can Out of All You've Got - 21 Ways You Can Out-Think, Out-Perform, and Out-Earn the Competition

Maximize What You Have

The first handful of strategies will let you maximize what you already have: your existing client base and the services you currently provide.

A flight plan

The key to this strategy is understanding that no matter what your position in a firm, or no matter what your business, you are in the sales business, and you have clients. Sometimes your client will be “internal” to the company: Your supervisors, bosses, and shareholders all want solutions to the problems their businesses face.

Why “client” instead of “customer”? A client is someone under the protection of another; a customer is someone buying a good or a service. You want to cultivate a client-focus: Clients want solutions, and seek out products and services to meet those solutions. If you run a hardware store and someone purchases a power drill from you, they did not come to your store because they needed a drill. They came to your store because they needed holes. Your job is to make sure they get the holes they need, even if they initially think they need a drill. Eliminate the customer focus and the notion of short-term gains.

Breakthrough ideas

All industries have standard ways of doing business. Realtors work on a commission basis, retail outlets sell a certain set of products. These strategies are successful, which is why everyone uses them, but because everyone uses them these strategies can only be so successful. Breakthrough ideas, radical new ways of serving clients, is necessary to succeed.

One important source of breakthrough ideas is other industries. Dave Linger, founder of Re/MAX, let his Realtors keep 100% of their commissions, from which they paid a monthly fee for office services. When Linger was getting his haircut at a barber who was having trouble keeping his best employees because they would leave to start their own shops, he told the barber the secret to retention, and it worked: Only charging for chair space and letting barbers keep all tips and fees was not industry standard, but implementing it solved a problem. The clients in this case were high-quality barbers.

Breakthrough ideas are important for any part of business: operations, marketing, distribution, technology, sales systems, etc. Split your firm’s activities into small subsections and brainstorm 20 to 30 potential breakthrough opportunities for all subsections, using breakthrough ideas from other industries, from the past — what is but a giant mail-order catalog like Sears & Roebucks? — and from “outside the box.”

Assess current business strengths

You won’t be able to innovate if you don’t know what your current strengths are. A 50-question checklist can help you focus on your current strengths, how you came to have them, and how you are currently serving your clients.

The checklist starts with a historical analysis — what motivated you to start your current business or career track, where has your progress come from, what did you originally sell to or buy from your clients, what do you sell/buy now? Then ask yourself about your unique selling proposition, how much it costs to recruit and retain new clients, what have been your biggest marketing successes, and what is your largest current marketing challenge? The last few questions involve joint ventures and working with other firms within your industry. Consider this checklist a diagnostic checkup of your current state.

Calculate the lifetime value of your client

Long-term clients are the most profitable. They spend more, and spend more often. Client acquisition needs to take into account the marginal net worth of a client to your business over the client’s lifetime, which might be years, or decades.

Understanding this margin is your guide to how much you should spend to recruit a client. Spend to break even, or even take a small loss, in the short term, and profit in the long term. A classic example would be the old book and record clubs that sold CDs for a penny, and hardcover books for a dollar for new subscribers. These first purchases attracted a large number of clients who spent regularly and became profitable over the long term.

This sort of break-even strategy even works with existing clients. One HVAC company offers a $19.95 tune-up of air-conditioning systems to existing clients every year. The actual cost of the tune-up to the company is $30. But fully half the clients have some unknown problem with their systems that needs immediate repair, and the average repair is profitable at $125. So this firm essentially pays the client $10 to look at their air-conditioners, and then performs a profitable repair on the spot, all while cementing a relationship and a reputation for quality care and service.

Starting with a loss-leader is only one way to use the break-even strategy. Diverting profits from a first sale to a new client to salespeople as incentives on their sales end also works. Or rather than lowering the price of the service, you can add additional services for the package for new clients without raising the price. The secret of this strategy is utilizing the margin for new sales to increase value for clients and cement that relationship.


The unique selling proposition (USP) is what you or your company does, or can start doing, differently — and better! — than your competitors to support and protect your clients. Your USP must be integrated into every part of the business, from marketing/branding to operations. Without a USP, your business is “just there,” a random company that offers nothing in particular to clients. There are many types of USP, including:

  • large product selection
  • discounts/low prices
  • convenience
  • quality product
  • superior service

And the USP must be part of corporate identity. Recall’s old slogan: “Earth’s biggest bookstore.” Its USP was that its selection of books was much higher than even the largest brick-and-mortar store. That benefit overcame the problem of being a mail-order store in which browsing was difficult. Clients who knew what they wanted didn’t have to leave home to buy virtually any book they could want.

Or consider Domino’s Pizza: its USP was speed of delivery, promising a hot pizza to your door in 30 minutes. Most chains at the time didn’t deliver, and didn’t offer a money-back guarantee. The USP was integrated not only into the marketing, but operations (making those pizzas quick!) and client-service representatives (enough delivery people on staff to fulfill the promise). And, of course, the delivery vehicles themselves were branded, so every speedy delivery was public proof of the USP.

Eliminate client risk

The greatest obstacle to a client purchase is risk. Products may break or fail, services come late or be useless. Any transaction with a client is a negotiation between you and the client, and the essential question is, “Which of us is going to take on most of the risk?” The answer has to be: “I will.” This means full refunds, or free replacements, or whatever it takes.

You can even go a step further, and offer better-than-risk-free terms (BTRF) to your clients. This may mean giving a bonus along with the purchase, or paying a client for their time in addition to making good any failure of your product or service. It may mean “double your money back,” or it may mean actually paying for a competitor’s product or service to place the client.

Guarantees can be flexible: You can offer a 30-day return guarantee, or a lifetime maintenance contract for a product with a long lifespan, or anything else. Test various guarantees to see what your clients most feel protected by.

And guarantees must be honest. Don’t use weasel words, or create obstacles to returning products or giving money back to clients. Don’t be like the boat company that guarantees its water-heaters, so long as the client uninstalls and return-ships a faulty water-heater on their own dime.

When you have embraced the policy of reversing risk, it must be integrated into your marketing messages and your service. Sales will increase, and stay high, if you do this. Clients don’t want to feel as though they may get the short end of the stick in a deal.

Test it out

Marketing messages need to be tested, changed according to the results of the test, and tested again. Sales staff salaries, ad buys, and the like cost the same amount whether they’re effective or not. So test and tabulate results.

Change and test old favorites. A precious metals dealer who did well with an ad featuring the headline “Two-thirds bank financing on silver and gold” had a much more powerful ad after he changed the headline to “If gold is selling for $300 an ounce, send us $100 an ounce and we’ll buy you all the gold you like!” Not only was the USP more prominent, and the risk-reversal obvious, the simpler language reached more people.

Testing goes beyond A/B testing of two different ads in the newspaper, or two different package offers to clients. Every variable — catalog and ad copy, sales staff dress and conduct, constant contact emails, accounts receivable, tech support, pricing strategies — should be tested. Create two versions of a variable, test them in small ways, and stick with the one that brings better results.

Multiply Your Maximum

These next strategies are about taking your relationships with your clients to the next level. Once you have developed that deep, protective relationship with your clients it is time to multiply.

Develop host-beneficiary relationships

A host-beneficiary relationship is a way to gain additional clients without the extensive work and expenditure of recruitment by simply sending a sales message through another firm’s channels. Open your credit card bill, and you’ll most often see an advertisement for some other, noncompetitive service or product, such as an airline or automobile. Clients often use their credit card on these services — they’re related, but noncompetitive.

Find a good host and make them a no-risk offer: You pay for placement, you provide the marketing materials, and you hold them harmless. You may offer the host a flat fee, or perhaps a split of the profits from your new clients. The latter will let you fully test the host’s leverage over their clients as well.

Set up a formal referral system

You already know that positive word-of-mouth is the best marketing, but a formal referral service can radically expand the power of word of mouth. Ten times the business from referrals would not be unreasonable.

Formal systems need not involve payouts to the referrer. A land company selling homesites wouldn’t accept checks from buyers unless the check came along with five names — perhaps a little harsh, but it worked as people enjoy the idea of getting to pick their own neighbors. When your clients already love you, and you love them, simply systematically asking for referrals will lead to them coming in.

Direct mail

Direct mail is more than just sending easily recyclable letters to people on a purchased mailing list. It includes brochures, constant contact email, formal proposals and anything else that takes the form of text.

Direct mail may feel old-fashioned, but it does work. It’s less expensive than a salesforce making cold calls, and even marginal response can be profitable, given how inexpensive a mailing or a mass email are to send.

Open the letter or email with a gripping headline or subject, and in the first paragraph of the body articulate your USP in a straightforward way. Then muster facts to demonstrate your USP and finally, close with a call to action. The letter may be long or short — a letter will be read all the way to the end as long as it is interesting to the client and meets their needs.

Target high-quality prospects

A “prospect” is a potential client who needs your help today. Prospects should be the main focus of all your client-recruitment strategies. Direct mail and other sales messages should focus on what prospects want. Don’t just say that your business makes a great product, explain that a particular product is available now for a discount, or that salespeople are standing by to close a particular type of service deal…and don’t forget bonuses and add-ons!

There are two types of mailing lists you can use: compiled and direct response. Compiled lists are basically demographically arranged — people of a certain age, or in a certain neighborhood for example. Direct-response lists are of clients who have previously responded to a sales message in a niche similar to yours. These lists are easy enough to purchase from other firms.

You should also develop lists of your own, based on your existing client base. Though they are direct-response lists by definition, compile them demographically.


Communicate regularly with all clients, vendors, employees, and other contributors to your business. Even as an employee you should communicate with colleagues, people in other departments, and employees in noncompetitive firms. Postpurchase communications are a good time to reinforce the USP, make sure that the client is satisfied, offer bonuses and coupons, and offer new goods and services.

Formalize these communications by making a list of active and inactive clients, the frequent buyers, suppliers, and industry contacts, and determine how to best communicate with them — some may need a holiday card or lunch, others may get regular phone calls and direct mailings.


You make your own rules in life. Find your clients, whether they are employers, customers, or your family, and work to give them the products and services they need. But you are also your own client, with intrinsic skills and knowledge to offer. If you are not being served as a client by others, find or create a situation where you will be appreciated and allowed to succeed.

The key to success is simple: Treat everyone as though they are under your protection. Care for your clients, employees, employers, vendors, and friends/family deeply, and work with them to meet their goals. This mindset will enrich your life financially and emotionally.

About the author

Jay Abraham is a marketing consultant and executive who pioneered the idea of direct response marketing in the 1970s. He is CEO of The Abraham Group and has worked with more than 10,000 companies, with a focus on marketing messages that lead to instant measurable responses from consumers.


Motivational, Business, Self Help, Nonfiction, Entrepreneurship, Personal Development, Leadership, Buisness, Management, Productivity, Psychology, Business Life, Business Skills, Creativity, Marketing, Success, Self-Esteem, Relationships, Personal Growth, Small Business, Sales

Table of Contents

Part I How to Maximize What You Have,
1. Your Flight Plan,
2. Great Expectations,
3. How Can You Go Forward If You Don’t Know Which Way You’re Facing?,
4. Your Business Soul-the Strategy of Preeminence,
5. Break Even Today, Break the Bank Tomorrow,
6. Vive la Différence,
7. Make ‘Em an Offer They Can’t Refuse,
8. Would You Like the Left Shoe, Too?,
9. How to Never Fall off a Cliff,
Part II How to Multiply Your Maximum,
10. With a Little Help from My Friends,
11. Someone You Should Meet,
12. The Prodigal Client,
13. Your Ten-Thousand-Person Sales Department,
14. Fish Where the Big Fish Are,
15. Watson, Come Here, I Need You,
16. Big,
17. Manhattan for $29 Worth of Beads,
18. Leave a Message After the Beep,
19. Somewhere over the Rainbow,
20. Your Never-Ending Success,
21. You Are Richer than You Think,
One Last Thought,
Read On, Discover, and Prosper,


Jay Abraham’s book is a comprehensive guide for individuals and businesses seeking to maximize their potential. Abraham emphasizes the importance of thinking creatively and strategically, challenging traditional business norms, and discovering hidden opportunities. He provides a structured approach to achieving success by offering a set of 21 strategies that cover a wide range of business and marketing concepts.

In the “Out-Think” section, Abraham explores the idea that success begins with innovative thinking. He encourages readers to question assumptions, tap into overlooked resources, and leverage their unique strengths. Some strategies in this section include creating joint ventures, defining unique selling propositions, and finding untapped profit centers.

The “Out-Perform” section delves into the practical execution of ideas. Abraham suggests that to succeed, you must not only think differently but also take action. He discusses the importance of improving customer relationships, utilizing effective marketing and advertising, and delivering outstanding value.

The final section, “Out-Earn,” focuses on maximizing profits. Abraham introduces concepts such as risk reversal, subscription models, and long-term customer value to increase earnings. He stresses the significance of establishing trust with customers, clients, and partners, as it can lead to long-term success.

“Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got” is a treasure trove of actionable strategies that can benefit both budding entrepreneurs and established business leaders. Jay Abraham’s insights are profound and, most importantly, practical. His emphasis on thinking outside the box and taking calculated risks resonates with readers looking to stand out in competitive markets.

One of the book’s strengths is its organization into clear, manageable strategies. Each section provides a step-by-step roadmap for implementing the ideas discussed. Abraham’s emphasis on forming strategic alliances and joint ventures is particularly noteworthy, as it highlights the potential for collaboration in business growth.

The book does an excellent job of emphasizing the value of customer relationships, underscoring that success is not solely about acquiring new customers but also about retaining and nurturing existing ones. This customer-centric approach aligns with modern business practices and is a testament to the book’s timelessness.

However, some readers may find the sheer volume of strategies and ideas overwhelming. While the book offers a wealth of knowledge, it may require time and effort to digest and implement all the concepts presented.

In conclusion, “Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got” by Jay Abraham is a must-read for anyone looking to excel in the business world. The book’s comprehensive approach, coupled with its emphasis on innovation, strategic thinking, and practical execution, make it a valuable resource for individuals and organizations seeking to outperform the competition and maximize their potential.

Alex Lim is a certified book reviewer and editor with over 10 years of experience in the publishing industry. He has reviewed hundreds of books for reputable magazines and websites, such as The New York Times, The Guardian, and Goodreads. Alex has a master’s degree in comparative literature from Harvard University and a PhD in literary criticism from Oxford University. He is also the author of several acclaimed books on literary theory and analysis, such as The Art of Reading and How to Write a Book Review. Alex lives in London, England with his wife and two children. You can contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Website | Twitter | Facebook

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