Editor’s note: This article is among our most popular, so we’ve updated it recently to keep things fresh.
Expert salespeople provide insightful tips and advice — and sometimes the best advice is served with a side of humor. We pulled some great comedic lines from our interviews with sales experts, plus a few favorites from around the web, for this worth-sharing-around-the-office article. If you have a funny sales quote that belongs on this list, tweet it to us.
14 sales quotes to make you laugh (or at least smile)
- “I design, manufacture, distribute, and sell elevator buttons. I specialize in the fourth floor. And I don’t mean to brag, but I’m such a good salesman that I could sell one of my fourth-floor elevator buttons to the owner of a three-story building.” — Jarod Kintz
- “My favorite sales book? The Bible. I would improve it. You know how we people are.” — Kare Anderson
- “[Sales is] trying to get to a decision. Now, preferably a yes, but sometimes a quick no is almost as good an answer. But a long no maybe will kill you.” —Alston Gardner, in “The Story of Sales”
- “If we are smart, we make a lot of mistakes.” — Raman Frey
- “‘Hey, here’s a gourd!’ is not so different as, ‘Hey, here’s enterprise sales software!’ The language changes, but the humans are the same.” — Chris Penn
- “[Sales and marketing] have to start talking to each other. They’ve got to stop spilling each other’s beers.” — Ann Handley
- “With technology, you have to be careful because you can really be kind of cyberstalkerish.” — Eric T. Tung
- “My favorite sales book? Harvey Mackay’s Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive. Why? Well, it’s the only sales book I ever read.” — Tristan Bishhop
- “People like to buy things they need from people they like. And somewhere we screwed it all up by making it some kind of crazy thing. It’s simply, ‘What do you need? What are you trying to solve? Do I have it?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Is it the right price?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Next.'” — Irreverent Sales Girl
- “This is a metaphor for a brand-to-customer conversation. The brand will be played by the ogre, Shrek, and the customer will be played by his stalwart friend, Donkey. The brand wants to define itself. They want to put their position out there and say what they are, but the customer is reflecting back how they’re experiencing the brand and they have their own story. It goes a little something like this. ‘You know, for your information, there is a lot more to ogres than people think.’ ‘Example?’ ‘Ah, okay. Ogres are like onions!’ ‘They stink?’ ‘No!’ ‘Oh, they make you cry?’ ‘No!’ ‘Oh, you leave them out in the sun and they get all brown and start sprouting little white hairs?’ ‘No! Layers! Onions have layers! Ogres have layers.’” — Tristan Bishhop
- “If I tell you I want to be a door-to-door salesman, don’t knock it.” — Jarod Kintz
- “I think the biggest mistake that salespeople make today is that they try to pretend they’re not salespeople.” — Irreverent Sales Girl
- “On an important call late in the sales cycle, negotiations were getting intense. Neither side wanted to back down from the numbers that had been shared. But at a crucial point in the conversation, the party we were selling to forgot to hit the mute button on their conference line. We overheard them raving on and on about how much they liked the product, and we knew they were completely sold. Knowing this gave us the leverage we needed to close the deal on our terms. The moral of the story? Always check that mute button; it could save you some money.” — George Gallegos
- “Some people are naturally funny and can drop some profanity, but I can’t pull that off.” — Lori Richardson
If you liked this article, check out interviews with sales experts in “The Story of Sales” video.