When you’re chasing sales success, it helps to learn from the best. The sales world is full of entrepreneurs who started with little and built successful enterprises through perseverance and shrewd sales strategy.
If you’re starting a small business of your own, you can reach out to successful colleagues in your networks. You can also look to established business leaders for inspiration. Consider these motivational sales quotes from entrepreneurs who built thriving companies.
“We really see ourselves as disruptors in an industry that is in need of disruption.” —Mike Salguero, founder, Butcher Box
Inspirational sales insights from leading entrepreneurs
Successful entrepreneurs are human beings, after all. They underwent struggles to build their businesses and learned plenty about the sales process along the way. Take inspiration from these sales leaders, and learn from their insights.
Every negotiation is an opening for future business
“Whether or not you end up closing the business, you should always strive to get the prospect’s contact details. You’ll be setting yourself up for future possibilities to follow up.” ―Jay Soni, marketing director, Yorkshire Fabric Shop
The takeaway: Customer acquisition doesn’t always happen on a quick timeline. Don’t let a failed sale get you down—it could still be the start of a fruitful long-term relationship.
Your company story is part of your sales process
“When we tell our story to people, the message resonates. People lock onto those same truths that inspired us to go down this road in the first place. Hundreds of thousands of our customers are now marching with us, demanding change.” —Scott Tannen, co-founder, Boll & Branch
The takeaway: A relatable story can help a customer emotionally invest in your brand. If the customer sees themselves as a partner in your company’s mission, a sale can feel like part of a mutually beneficial business relationship. It’s a two-way exchange: Your sales team closes the deal, and your client gets to support a brand they believe in.
Selling can be an act of vulnerability
“One thing I’ve really learned over the years is, actually putting that thing that you’ve been working on on a really personal level out there into the world is such a test of vulnerability.” —Natalie Gordon, founder, Babylist
The takeaway: You may be better able to connect with your clients by showing vulnerability and revealing how your company is a reflection of yourself. Try adopting a sales mentality that prioritizes quality human interaction and emotional honesty—acknowledging and expressing your true feelings. Whether you’re selling to a friend or making cold sales calls, let the other person see you as a human being.
Your industry’s greatest weakness can be your company’s greatest strength
“Once we launched, it became clear very quickly that we had struck a nerve, that we had hit on something that was absolutely needed in the market, and we just started to grow. And, without any outside capital in our company, we’ve been able to keep to our values. We are trying to move animal welfare claims forward and improve the quality of what’s happening in the meat industry. We really see ourselves as disruptors in an industry that is in need of disruption.” —Mike Salguero, founder, Butcher Box
The takeaway: When customers complain about a problem within an industry, they may be highlighting a sales opportunity. Mike Salguero started Butcher Box without specific industry expertise, but he identified an untapped market within the broader meat industry and saw a potential sales pipeline. By embracing his role as disruptor, Salguero found his sales niche.
Invest in your most loyal customers
“People who love what you do and are happy with it are the biggest asset of any business that is directly going after the consumer.” —Katia Beauchamp, CEO, Victoria Beckham Beauty
The takeaway: While sales teams should always be scouting new prospects, don’t overlook the loyal customers you already have. Not only can they become repeat buyers, they can become advocates for your brand.
Your brand is only as strong as its people
“SPANX got here not by me, but by the team, by all of us. Everybody’s thumbprint is on what we’ve done in some way.” —Sara Blakely, founder, SPANX
The takeaway: Your employees, including sales reps, are all contributors to your business’s success. Invest in them and offer them what they need to be a successful person within your organization.
Learn to embrace risk
“When you’re a small company because you basically have to go all-in on every one of your bets, even though they're obviously risky, and even just going all-in on anything is risky…sometimes things don’t play out. Then you just dust yourself off and try something else.” —Tobi Lütke, founder and CEO, Shopify
The takeaway: Adaptability is a key component of owning a small business. Decisions come with risk, but every decision is also an opportunity to try something new. Take advantage of this level of flexibility while you can.
Sales quotes FAQ
What is the purpose of inspiring sales quotes?
Inspirational sales quotes can help motivate us as sales professionals and give us an opportunity to create a positive outlook on life and work when we need it most. It can also give us strategies to approach sales work.
What can we learn from sales quotes?
- Patience. Customer acquisition doesn’t always happen on a quick timeline.
- Cultivate vulnerability. Whether you’re selling to a friend or making cold sales calls, let the other person see you as a human being.
- Partners matter. Your employees, including sales reps, are all contributors to your business’s success.
- Resilience. Decisions come with risk, but every decision is also an opportunity to try something new.
How do sales quotes help you with your sales strategy?
Sales quotes can remind you that some well-known entrepreneurs have had similar challenges and their quotes provide insights into how they might’ve dealt with the same experiences. For example, Shopify founder and CEO Tobi Lütke has taken risks that haven’t panned out, but he’s been able to recover from them. “When you’re a small company because you basically have to go all-in on every one of your bets, even though they're obviously risky, and even just going all-in on anything is risky…sometimes things don’t play out. Then you just dust yourself off and try something else.”