The 8 Best Zig Ziglar Quotes for Salespeople


Zig Ziglar was many things in life. He was am extremely persuasive salesperson, an author, a motivational speaker, a father, and a self-help guru. His books and lessons, although authored and published decades ago, have principles that are still highly relevant, even in this day of smartphones and computers. Some would even argue that his lessons are actually more relevant and needed today than ever before.

For the salespeople of the world, Zig Ziglar takes on the persona of an almost religious icon. Having mastered the sales process early on in his career, he spent the last portion of his life teaching his process to others. Although he spoke often about life lessons, we will focus on his quotes in relation to the sales process.


You cannot climb the ladder of success dressed in the costume of failure.

In many of our previous articles, we write about the power of positive thinking and how it can make or break a sales call. Zig takes it a step further – it can make or break a career. You have to believe in your abilities if you are to be successful.


People don’t buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons.

This is because people operate from the “why” portion of the brain. Successful people start with “why”. As Simon Sinek says, people buy why you do something, not what you do. If you are curious about how to tap in to the emotional part of people’s brain to make more sales, watch this short video on the golden circle by Simon Sinek.

If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.

Whether it’s a goal that you have set for yourself in terms of sales figures, or the goal of a particular sales call in terms of advancing the sales process, everything you do in your career needs to be for a purpose. You need to be aiming at something in every interaction you have. Goal setting and a pragmatic approach to the day is what separates those who are constantly on top from those who are not.

You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.

Sales is not about strong-arming people to make a purchase if they don’t want or need it. That tactic is often portrayed in movies, but it’s rarely a sustainable habit. The real successful people do a lot of discovery during the sales process, not for the purpose of finding something to exploit, but to really discover what the customer wants or needs. Sales is about satisfying that want/need.

Timid salesmen have skinny kids.

This one is actually pretty odd because it implies that skinny kids have parents who don’t make enough money to feed them. While we know this is not true, just take the lesson at face value. Timid salespeople rarely succeed. You have to be confident enough to control a conversation and control any room that you walk in to. Meekness is a death wish in sales.

For every sale you miss because you’re too enthusiastic, you will miss a hundred because you’re not enthusiastic enough.

This is great because it ties in perfectly with our article on the 3 E’s – Energy, Excitement, and Enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is so important to the sales process. While you will certainly have some customers who don’t respond to enthusiasm, most will. Don’t miss a sale because you were a debbie-downer during the process.


Stop selling. Start helping.

Try this next time you have a sales call. Rather than going in with the intention of selling somebody something, go in with the thought of “I’m just going to help them get what they want”. You will undoubtedly see a huge difference in your pitch. Rather than reading off a generic one size fits all script (which customers can sense from a mile away), you’ll actually custom tailor your pitch to that individual without even realizing it. Just by helping them, they will be able to see the real value in your product.

Your business is never really good or bad ‘out there.’ Your business is either good or bad right between your own two ears.

Although we have already published this quote in an earlier article, it’s so important that we decided to publish it again. It’s really easy to make excuses as to why a sales call failed. It’s easy to blame others and blame the economy. Those salespeople who understand that it’s not about the external environment are the ones who are successful. They look at themselves in the mirror and understand it’s all about their attitude and their emotions.



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Author: Jason Karaman

Hello! I’m a marketing, sales, and customer service author, blogger and doer. I live in the South Carolina Lowcountry with my wife. I enjoy reading, writing, hiking, kayaking, and all things beach. For media inquiries, send an email to

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