Remembering legendary Ziglar with his words

Friday, December 7, 2012, Vol. 36, No. 49

Author, motivational speaker and consummate salesman Zig Ziglar died in late November at the age of 86. Heralding from Yazoo City, Miss., Ziglar impacted the lives of salespeople worldwide. His influence was undeniable and his legacy, long lasting. This compilation of “Zigisms” is in celebration of his life’s work. May they bring you inspiration.

“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.” The unfocused salesperson is rarely able to navigate his way through the clutter to success. Plan your work and work your plan. The rest is just noise.

“People don’t buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons.” Only after prospects like and trust you will they work to find a rational reason to buy from you. If you’re selling on logic alone, you’re pushing the proverbial boulder uphill.

“Stop selling. Start helping.” Walk into each prospective sales meeting with a genuine desire to help that prospect find a solution that’s right for them, even if the solution isn’t you. Then they’ll see you as an authentic business partner of value. In the end, you’ll close more business and generate more referrals.

“If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” Set specific sales activity targets every day. Loosely structured goals are loosely achieved.

“Timid salesmen have skinny kids.” Get your mind right. If you genuinely believe in what you’re selling – that you can truly help people – then you have an obligation to tell the world.

“Remember that failure is an event, not a person. Yesterday ended last night.” The path to success is paved with failures. If you’re afraid to fail, you may never have the courage to find success. Don’t fear failure. Learn from it and get past it, quickly.

“It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action, and discipline that enabled us to follow through.” Hire salespeople with all three and you can teach the rest. Skills can be learned. Character and commitment are either within us or not.

“Sometimes adversity is what you need to face in order to become successful.” Some of the greatest selling successes I’ve ever witnessed were predicated by great failure. Use that adversity to light a fire inside.

“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” Life is too short to surround yourself with negativity. Build an inner circle of positive thinkers with a can-do attitude. Enthusiasm is contagious.

Lori Turner-Wilson is an award-winning columnist and managing partner of RedRover Sales & Marketing,, with offices in Memphis and Nashville. Follow RedRover on Twitter (@redrovercompany and @loriturner) and Facebook (