Sales is a tough gig. As you and your team go through the grind, it can be helpful to examine inspirational sales quotes from business leaders such as Estée Lauder and Andrew Carnegie. Their experience and wisdom can provide incredible insight! You can share the quotes with your team at meetings, put them on a poster for the office, or slot them into your next PowerPoint presentation.
Whatever you do, get these eleven inspirational sales quotes into your team’s consciousness:
1. “Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.”
–Conrad Hilton, founder of Hilton Hotels
Over the course of your career in sales, you will make mistakes. There will be deals you don’t close. But, like Hilton says, the key is to keep moving. When you are willing to take action, success will eventually come your way. Becoming unable to act because you’re so afraid of failure, however, is a surefire way to not achieve success as a sales representative.
2. “Ninety percent of selling is conviction and ten percent is persuasion.”
–Shiv Khera, author and business consultant
Newer sales representatives may think that they must have the ability to argue like a politician in order to make sales. Instead, you should cultivate an earnest belief in the value of the product you’re selling. Meet your prospect halfway, and show that you care enough to stake your reputation on the pitch. Your customer will feel much better about putting their money where your mouth is!
3. “An Olympian does not obsess over winning a gold medal; they focus on doing the things they need to do to win the gold medal. If they execute according to their plan the result will be gold.”
It’s natural to want to make the sale. However, if that’s your main goal, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Instead, set goals for yourself that are entirely within your control: reach out to a certain number of new prospects, follow up on older leads, etc. When you do those things, sales will naturally follow.
4. “Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have 24-hour days.”
It can feel as though there just isn’t enough time in the workday to do everything you have to do to make your quota. But if you really sit down to document how you spend your time at work, you may find that you’re spending more time than you need to on administrative tasks not directly related to making sales. Take inventory of your daily work activities and look for areas where you can work smarter.
5. “Approach each customer with the idea of helping him or her to solve a problem or achieve a goal, not of selling a product or service.”
In sales—B2B sales especially—prospects make purchases because they have pressing problems that require solutions. If you can help your prospect to solve the problem before they sign a contract, you can demonstrate your value and improve your chances of ultimately closing the deal. Position yourself as a problem-solver in all interactions with prospects.
6. “You have to drop your sales mentality and start working with your prospects as if they’ve already hired you.”
—Jill Konrath, author and sales strategist
Many sales representatives have a voice in their head telling them to sell more, talk more, and offer the prospect one more selling point. Stop. Instead, act like you’ve already landed the deal. Treat your prospect to the same level of care and attention that you would give to your best clients; they may just become a client themselves in response!
7. “Being on par in terms of price and quality only gets you into the game. Service wins the game.”
Even if your product and price point are great, you can’t expect those factors alone to carry you to a sale. Deliver outstanding service to prospective customers in order to win business. You may even be able to make a sale over a lower-priced competitor with truly exceptional service.
8. “To build a long-term, successful enterprise, when you don’t close a sale, open a relationship.”
The disappointment of failing to close a sale is real. When this happens, allow yourself to mourn privately, but you absolutely should not throw away the relationship you’ve worked to build. It is still very possible that this prospect can turn into a customer. Keep in contact with your prospects, remaining friendly and professional in all interactions.
9. “A rep who uses pauses and silence to their advantage comes across as far more confident than their overly chatty peers. If you’re confident in your product, there’s no need to go overboard.”
The best sales representatives resist the urge to talk too much. If silence doesn’t come naturally to you, practice until it becomes more comfortable. You will be able to connect to more prospects by talking less and listening more.
10. “There is little success where there is little laughter.”
—Andrew Carnegie, founder of Carnegie Steel Company
Carnegie, one of the absolute titans of early twentieth century business, knew a lot about success. He also knew that a little fun is an essential ingredient for successful business. Anxiety is terrible for sales, so be sure to exude warmth, confidence and bit of humor thrown into your everyday demeanor.
11. “Opportunity often comes disguised in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat.”
Last but not least is putting the very real possibility of failure into perspective. While rejection certainly stings, there is always an opportunity to reexamine your approach and shore up your deficiencies on the next attempt. The most experienced salesmen have failed more times than the amateur has even tried, so get out there and roll with the punches until you land one of your own!
The next time you encounter a difficulty on the job, remember these words from some of the most successful business people in history. Come back to these inspirational sales quotes when you need some quick motivation, their wisdom can help guide you to success.
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