Let’s face it….Sales is a Tough Gig

But Sales is also one of the coolest ways to make a good living.SalesWit

As sales pros we get to meet and work with all kinds of people…and often we are blessed to find things that we can laugh about, and things that stick with us for a long time.

As sales people and leaders, we’ve all heard a few witticisms that stick with us.  Some of them weren’t devised with sales in mind, but they hit home in our world.

If you have some to share, please send them my way.  We could all use a thoughtful word….or a good chuckle. Even if it’s a rueful chuckle.

Here are a few of my favourites.

  • “People are best convinced by reasons they themselves discover.” ~ Voltaire…. (author’s note – The best way to make a ‘sale’ is to ask questions that lead the other party to coming up with the answers you are trying to convey).
  • “The big deals make you famous – for a little while – all the little deals keep you employed.” ~ Clark Hunter. (author’s note – For the Elephant Hunters out there.)
  • “The things you say you know – but you don’t do – are the things that you don’t know.” ~ George Brown (CEO at Salesworks Systems).
  • “You’d rather look GOOD and LOSE, than look BAD and WIN”. ~ Woody Harrelson to Wesley Snipes in ‘White Men Can’t Jump’. (author’s note – Sales is about reaching the goal, but some people are OK with failing, as long as they have a good story….. or a ‘reason’ for why they failed.)
  • “If you win every deal that you compete in, then you aren’t competing in enough deals”. ~ Mike Guido (former Senior VP Sales at Computer Associates).
  • “Yes I agree that having a sales process is important…in most cases…but in THIS territory, things are different”. ~  Spoken by every sales person that is not making quota.
  • “Ask me for anything else, but don’t ask me for more time”. ~ Napoleon (author’s note: selling $2,000,000 in software is EASY…but selling $2,000,000 of software in a year is a tad more challenging. We all have quotas and we need to deliver in a certain period of time).
  • “I’ve had lots of troubles in my life, and most of them have never happened”.  ~ Mark Twain (author’s note – sometimes as sales professionals, we get hung up on things we don’t need to get hung up on.)
  • “When in doubt DO SOMETHING”. (author’s note, I don’t remember who said this to me the first time, but you’ve gotta admit, that taking some action is better than sitting there and waiting for things to happen to us.)
  • “Are we managing the Sale cycle, or we servicing the Buying cycle”? (author’s note – I don’t recall where this concept occurred to me originally. As Sales Pros, if we’re just helping the Prospect buy something they were likely to buy anyway, then we aren’t really ‘selling’, are we?)
  • “ ‘Hell’, is ‘other people’ ”. ~ Sartre
  • Definition of Insanity – Doing something the same way, and always expecting a different result.
  • “Problems cannot be solved at the same level of thinking that created them.” ~ Albert Einstein.
  • “Do not let what you cannot do, interfere with what you can do”.  ~ John Wooden
  • “Leadership is action, not position”. ~ Donald H. McGannon
  • “Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries”. ~ James A. Michener
  • “Let me tell you the secret that has led to my goal. My strength lies solely in my tenacity”. ~ Louis Pasteur.
  • “What we hope ever to do with ease we may learn first to do with diligence”. Samuel Johnson.
  • “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~ Sun Tzu
  • “All know the way; few actually walk it.” ~ Bodhidharma
  • “Vision without Action is a daydream. Action without Vision is a nightmare.” ~ Japanese Proverb
  • “An idea not coupled with action will never get any bigger than the brain cell it occupied”. ~ Arnold Glasgow.
  • “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal”. ~ Henry Ford.

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