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Staying Motivated: 16 Quotes to Inspire Your Sales Team

Jamie Johnson
Jamie Johnson

These quotes from sales professionals could give your staff the inspiration they need.

Everyone needs a little inspiration from time to time. However, in the dog-eat-dog world of sales, maintaining a positive outlook is essential. You can keep your salespeople focused with a little inspiration and insight from some of the most influential and experienced businessmen and women of our time. These quotes can allow you to learn from business and thought leaders.

Here's a list of 16 motivational quotes for sales teams.

1. "Nobody likes to be sold to, but everyone likes to buy."

– Earl Taylor, trainer in leadership, sales, and interpersonal and communication skills 

Whichever way you look at it, we're all consumers. However, we all like to feel that we are in control of every buying decision we make. For this reason, the moment people feel like they are being sold to, many will immediately become less receptive. As a result, pushy sales tactics rarely work.

[Read related article: The Psychology of Sales]

2. "90% of selling is conviction and 10% is persuasion."

– Shiv Khera, author and self-help expert 

If you don't personally believe in the product or service you're selling, how can you expect your prospects to? More than possessing top-notch powers of persuasion, selling is about having faith that what you're selling can do what you say it can.

3. "Most people think 'selling' is the same as 'talking.' But the most effective salespeople know that listening is the most important part of their job."

– Roy Bartell, online business and sales thought leader 

At one point or another, we have all encountered a motormouth salesperson. You know the type that thinks anyone can be talked into a sale if they somehow manage to find the right combination of words. What they don't realize is that selling is more about listening to what people want and how you can help them.

4. "One of the best predictors of ultimate success … isn't natural talent or even industry expertise, but how you explain your failures and rejections."

– Daniel H. Pink, author of six books about business, work and management 

Rejection is part and parcel of being a salesperson, so you'll have to learn to deal with it if you want to be good at your job. Better still, you will have to learn how to turn rejection into a positive.

TipTip: There are a couple of questions you should ask yourself after a rejection. What did you learn from the failure? What can you take from that lesson to help you succeed in the future?

5. "To build a long-term, successful enterprise, when you don't close a sale, open a relationship."

– Patricia Fripp, executive speech coach and sales presentation skills trainer 

It's easy to fixate solely on making sales, but it can make you a worse salesperson. On the surface, this might sound counterintuitive. However, if you start to see missed sales as the opportunity to start new relationships, there's every chance for later success.

[Read related article: Complete Guide to Building a Sales Process]

6. "As marketing converges with customer service and sales, marketing today is more about helping and less about hyping."

– Joel Book, award-winning podcaster and speaker on digital marketing and customer experience 

Segmentation is becoming rarer in the modern workplace, as the line between different departments continues to blur. Consequently, you need to ensure that your team understands exactly what is expected of them to avoid mixed messages across departments.

7. "Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don't quit."

– Conrad Hilton, American hotelier and founder of the Hilton Hotels chain 

One thing that all successful entrepreneurs have in common is that they didn't give up when faced with adversity. The same applies to many successful salespeople. If things don't go your way, don't get discouraged; simply try something else.

8. "Engaging people is about meeting their needs – not yours."

– Tony Robbins, motivational speaker 

A bad salesperson concentrates solely on what they want to say. A good salesperson puts the customer's needs first and engages with them by listening and reacting to what they say.

9. "Don't sell life insurance. Sell what life insurance can do."

– Ben Feldman, American businessman and one of the most prolific salespeople in history 

Almost every salesperson, at one time or another, has fallen into the trap of selling the features of a product or service, rather than the benefits. However, it's the benefits and not the features that make a sale. You should always remember to describe how a product and service can improve a prospect's life or business when trying to close a sale.

[Read related article: 40 Inspiring Quotes From Trailblazing Women We Admire]

10. "People don't buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons."

– Zig Ziglar, author, salesman and motivational speaker 

People are complex; everyone is different. Therefore, a one-size-fits-all sales technique is doomed to failure. Instead, a salesperson needs to take the mantle of a would-be psychologist and take the time to understand the reasons why people buy. 

11. "80% of prospects who eventually buy are originally marked as bad leads. Don't totally count them out."

– Atri Chatterjee, CMO of Act-On Software 

Don't dismiss so-called bad leads. Keep working on making the conversion. The majority of eventual customers don't come in as warm leads.

12. "Value the relationship more than your quota."

– Jeffrey Gitomer, bestselling author known as "the king of sales" 

Relationships are your most valuable asset. A good relationship will lead to customer loyalty and word-of-mouth advertising. These are more valuable than any single sale.

13. "If you're not taking care of your customer, your competitor will."

– Bob Hooey, author and speaker

For most sales reps, it’s easy to focus on doing the hard work of landing a new customer, only to neglect the relationship once they're successful. But signing a new customer doesn't mean the work is done. Once in the fold, you need to focus on keeping them there. If you stop building the relationship with your current customers, it’s likely they’ll turn to one of your competitors.

14. "Don't find customers for your products, find products for your customers."

– Seth Godin, entrepreneur and best-selling author

It's easy to focus on selling your products, but your ultimate goal should be to meet the needs of your customers. By focusing on who they are and how you can solve their problems, you'll be more successful in the long-run.

15. "In sales, a referral is a key to the door of resistance."

Bo Bennett, businessman, author and philanthropist

One of the best ways to find new business is by asking for a referral from your current happy customers. Referrals are one of the best ways to build rapport and gain trust with prospects.

Did you know?Did you know?More than 80% of customers trust referrals from people they know.

16. "Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning."

Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, investor, author and philanthropist

Nobody likes dealing with a dissatisfied customer, but if you listen and pay attention, you can learn a lot from these interactions. Unhappy customers can give you valuable insight into the shortcomings of your product or service. And they can help you become a better salesperson over time.

Image Credit: Prostock_Studio / Getty Images
Jamie Johnson
Jamie Johnson
business.com Contributing Writer
Jamie Johnson is a Kansas City-based freelance writer who writes about finance and business. She has also written for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Fox Business and Business Insider. Jamie has written about a variety of B2B topics like finance, business funding options and accounting. She also writes about how businesses can grow through effective social media and email marketing strategies.