25 Facts About Sales People

A Sales Director asked Father Christmas for the ability to really understand sales people. Having Santa as a strategic partner has allowed us a sneak preview of the Sales Director’s present.


  1. All salespeople believe that when they succeed its all down to them, and when they fail it’s down to factors beyond their control.
  2. The best salespeople are secure enough to cope with rejection, but insecure enough to need the constant reassurance of success.
  3. Sale people have learnt it’s not how confident they feel that matters, but how confident they appear.
  4. Technicians/engineers who sell dislike salespeople or even being thought of as ‘in sales’.
  5. Sales people live, and are encouraged to think, in the world of the possible; so don’t be surprised (or too critical) when they apply the same thinking to their sales forecast.
  6. Sales people are hugely conflicted when they think of customers. They love them and hate them – at the same time.
  7. The worse a salesperson is doing the less they think about how to improve things. They often need to be pushed in front of difficult customers by someone else.
  8. Top performing, high earning salespeople are hated by the rest of the organisation.
  9. Salespeople love anything that signifies differentiated status.
  10. More salespeople than you might think don’t like other people very much.
  11. Because field based salespeople are dislocated from the physical organisation their rumour/gossip dial is turned to 11. If you want to find something out, ask a sales person.
  12. If you want to upset a sales person, change something. Regular changing of their incentive scheme is a guaranteed hostility generator.
  13. Sales people love a short training course where they learn something genuinely new and implementable. They hate training based on old ideas wrapped up in new language.
  14. Sales people aren’t negative about company policy, simply misunderstood.
  15. All sales people under the age of 30 believe they are immortal and can only fail if their employer gets in their way.
  16. All sales people over 50 have developed hugely finessed ways of working that they are reluctant to reveal to anyone else.
  17. A sales person will offer to mother/father your children if you deliver them a reliable, easy to use, sales generating, non-time consuming CRM system.
  18. Only being as successful as their last set of numbers eats into salespeople’ souls to varying degrees.
  19. Sales conferences are attended for the craic, the rest is management propaganda.
  20. Having to sometimes bend the truth, suspend disbelief, deal in misinformation or give the briefest of detail creates a kind of interpersonal hysteria, which can lead to odd behaviour.
  21. Leaving a customer with a big order/contract that smashes their target and wins their favourite incentive is the daydream of choice.
  22. Salespeople love a manager who knows when to get out the way and when to pile in and save them, and then pretends they didn’t (save them).
  23. The words role-play make sales people die a little.
  24. The best sales team contain both men and women.
  25. Sales peoples’ biggest fear is that they will be found out.


It will be really interesting to see what this Sales Director does with this information.