Book review: Niraj Kapur, Everybody Works In Sales

Everybody Works In Sales

Something a little different on the blog today, but as I know there are fellow writers out there, as well as readers, this was a book of particular interest to me, and could be to you. Whether traditionally or self-published, we all have a role to play in finding our readers, and, to be brutal, selling to them! So I was keen to read this book, and am glad to also bring an extract to you.

Everybody Works in Sales

Everybody Works In Sales - Cover

We all work in sales. If you work for somebody, you earn a living by selling their product or service.

If you are self-employed, you earn a living by selling your product or service.

When you buy from Amazon, they always recommended other products similar to the ones you are purchasing or have already purchased – that’s selling.

When you download a song, movie or TV show from iTunes, they always recommend more similar products. That’s selling.

When you register for most websites, they sell their products or services to you through a regular email.

When you attend an exhibition at the NEC, London ExCel, Olympia, Manchester or even a local market, everyone is trying to sell you their product.

We all work in sales, yet few people know how to sell. Until now.

Containing 27 valuable lessons, plus 17 interviews with experts, Everybody Works in Sales combines unique storytelling and personal development to ensure you have the tools you need to do better in your career.

Purchase from Amazon


I met Pia, a tall Scandinavian make-up artist. Nobody could understand why a tall, beautiful, mysterious blonde woman from Norway would be interested in me. Neither did I, but I wasn’t going to complain. Maybe she thought I was somebody else. Again, I wasn’t going to complain.

It was a whirlwind romance and the first place I took her was Bella Italia in Leicester Square. After being stood up and spending so many nights alone, happiness was finally coming my way. I helped her find work on a short movie a friend TAM was directing – yes, that was his nickname, Trouble At Mill. It should have warned me something bad was about to happen, but when you’re in love, you often don’t see the warning signs.

Pia was working on set and was too tired to see me during the short movie. So, I decided to surprise her one day with flowers and chocolates over lunch.

When I strutted on the movie set of the Edgar Allen Poe project, you could hear a pin drop. Everyone avoided eye contact. My strut became a walk, then a slouch.

Something was wrong.

An elderly woman approached and asked me to leave. I couldn’t understand why. She said that Pia was no longer interested in me and was having an affair behind my back.

I was devastated.

I asked to speak with them, but she said to allow Pia and her son, TAM, some privacy. I lost my energy and strength. It was so humiliating, Self-pity, eating myself into a sugar coma and swearing I would never fall in love again followed fast and hard. I lost track of time and the next thing I knew it was November and Christmas was around the corner. The thought of spending yet another Christmas alone was unbearable.

So, I decided to escape London and go somewhere I never thought I would go. A place that changed my life. I spent Christmas 1997 in India and ended up marrying a woman I knew for 20 minutes.

We all make mistakes when we’re lonely. When desperation becomes so unbearable, you end up talking to yourself on Saturday night for company. Or even worse, visiting the Samaritans which I did for many years on Marshall Street, Soho, just to have someone who would listen and stop me from killing myself. They’re an amazing charity and I’m so grateful they were there to listen.

So, when I was 25 years old, I met 18-year-old Shweta in India.

We sat in a small room, both nervous, in her industrial smoggy town of Ghaziabad, one hour drive from New Delhi, where everyone beeps their horn when driving. She had large brown eyes, long dark hair and was stunning. Pia had broken my heart, so I wasn’t going to focus on looks, I wanted kindness and authenticity.

I was relieved Shweta wanted to have kids. She had no money so didn’t ask me stupid questions about my salary and how big my house was. Similarly, I would get no dowry which is common in Indian marriages where the woman’s family gives a “financial gift” varying from new bedroom, to a lump sum of money to a car. Shweta also spoke good English and was an amazing cook. She liked The Simpsons, enjoyed movies and wanted to get married and have kids. So, after 20 minutes, I agreed to marry her.


Four days later on our wedding day, 600 people I had never met in my life turned up. 600 people I didn’t know! It was so scary. All those years of getting my heart broken and humiliated, as a teen, then as an adult… but I never gave up. I believed in love and was convinced it would make me happy. When you want something, go after it with your heart and soul. You endure the pain, learn from mistakes, believe in the impossible and persist. After years of heartbreak, loneliness and rejection, I had got what I wanted. Yes, I did it in the most unusual way – unusual by western society’s standards – but a win is a win.


  • It’s an oldie, but a goodie. Never give up.
  • Good opportunities come your way if you have faith and persist.
  • Nothing happens when you whine and complain about it.

“Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th.” – Julie Andrews


In the introduction to this book, the author outlines some of the examples of ‘selling’ that people might not immediately see as selling. These include, as well as the examples above, things like negotiating with a child who wants a particular toy, or persuading your friends which restaurant you want to eat at that evening. Going through this book, there was a lot of the author’s personal story, which, although inspiring, was perhaps a sidetrack in some ways; a clearer presentation of what is clearly good advice might have been more useful. However, it is full of useful tips, many of which fall into that category of “of course!” – those things that, deep-down, we sort of know (like the ones listed above), and yet somehow, we manage not to heed them. Of course nothing is going to happen if all you do is whinge about your current situation without looking to change anything, but there we go, once again, complaining to friends and colleagues!

The book is written in a friendly, approachable style, which makes it a quick read, but the regular recaps give you ample scope to jot down notes, or other ideas which spring to mind as you read through it.

About Niraj Kapur

Everybody Works In Sales - Niraj's business photo 2018

Award-winning executive, Niraj Kapur, has worked in corporate London for 23 years. From small businesses to a national newspaper to FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies, he’s experienced it all and shares his insight, knowledge, big wins and horrible failures. Containing 27 valuable lessons, plus 17 interviews with experts, Everybody Works in Sales combines unique storytelling and personal development to ensure you have the tools you need to do better in your career. Niraj has also had several screenplays optioned, sitcoms commissioned, kids’ shows on Channel 5’s Milkshake and CBBC. His movie, Naachle London, was released in select cinemas across the UK. He’s working on his next book while advising companies and coaching individuals on how to improve their sales.



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