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Sales Leadership
The Canadian Professional Sales Association

We all need a little inspiration and motivation sometimes to re-shape our attitudes and our actions, and keep us on the road to success. Seasoned sales professionals have to learn early on how to maintain a thick skin and a positive attitude. A great way to keep both yourself and your sales team motivated, especially during tough times, is to remind them of why they do what they do, the impact their efforts have on others, and how to stay resilient.

We’ve compiled this list of what we felt to be the best motivational quotes for you to use with your team. Try picking out a pertinent quote for a given sales or coaching meeting and initiate a discussion on it. For example, encourage your team to discuss ways they overcome rejection and stay positive. It may seem like an unnecessary use of meeting time, but sometimes it can be difficult for sales reps to voice the difficulties they are experiencing. Starting with a quote as a basis allows for open discussion, demonstrating that they are not alone in their frustrations, and it may lead to ideas for dealing with these challenges. Remember, your sales professionals are an integral part of your company. Be sure that you are addressing the pressure and strain they are under before it causes serious damage.

CPSA’s Top 50 Sales Quotes:

1. You will never find time for anything. If you want time you must make it. – Charles Robert Buxton

2. The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will. – Vince Lombardi

3. The man who will use his skill and constructive imagination to see how much he can give for a dollar, instead of how little he can give for a dollar, is bound to succeed. – Henry Ford

4. The difference between try and triumph is just a little umph! – Marvin Phillips

5. Every brand isn’t for everybody, and everybody isn’t for every brand. – Liz Lange

6. The most unprofitable item ever manufactured is an excuse. – John Mason

7. Success is the culmination of failures, mistakes, false starts, confusion, and the determination to keep going anyway. – Nick Gleason

8. Most people think "selling" is the same as "talking". But the most effective salespeople know that listening is the most important part of their job. – Roy Bartell

9. You don't close a sale; you open a relationship if you want to build a long-term, successful enterprise. – Patricia Fripp

10. If you are not taking care of your customer, your competitor will. – Bob Hooey

11. There are no shortcuts to any place worth going. – Beverly Sills

12. Life’s battles don’t always go to the strongest or fastest; sooner or later those who win are those who think they can. – Richard Bach

13. If we learn from losing, we become winners in the end. – Anonymous

14. If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves. – Thomas Edison

15. Obstacles can't stop you. Problems can't stop you. Most of all, other people can't stop you. Only you can stop you. – Jeffrey Gitomer

16. Leadership is doing what is right when no one is watching. – George Van Valkenburg

17. Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance. – Samuel Johnson

18. Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm. – Winston Churchill

19. Some men see things as they are and ask why…I dream of things that never were and ask why not? – Robert Kennedy

20. Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough. – Og Mandino

21. Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don’t recognize them. – Ann Landers

22. The majority of men meet with failure because of their lack of persistence in creating new plans to take the place of those which fail. – Napoleon Hill

23. You can do anything if you have enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is the yeast that makes your hopes rise to the stars. With it, there is accomplishment. Without it there are only alibis. – Henry Ford

24. Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do. – John Wooden

25. Take risks.  If you win, you’ll be happy; if you lose, you’ll be wise. – Anonymous

26. Don’t be distracted by criticism. Remember the only taste of success some people have is when they take a bite out of you. – Zig Ziglar

27. The best sales questions have your expertise wrapped into them. – Jill Konrath

28. Make a customer, not a sale. – Katherine Barchetti

29. Tough times never last, but tough people do. – Robert Schuller

30. Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all. – Dale Carnegie

31. Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days. – Zig Ziglar

32. Integrity is what we do, what we say and what we say we do. – Don Galer

33. Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better. – Jim Rohn

34. He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else. – Benjamin Franklin

35. Fear is the destroyer of dreams and the killer of ambitions. – Jeffrey Benjamin

36. The questions you ask are more important than the things you could ever say. – Tom  Freese

37. Excellence is not a skill. It’s an attitude. – Ralph Marston

38. Today is always the most productive day of your week. – Mark Hunter

39. Goals allow you to control the direction of change in your favour. – Brian Tracy

40. For every sale you miss because you're too enthusiastic, you will miss a hundred because you're not enthusiastic enough. – Zig Ziglar

41. Try not to become a person of success, but try to become a person of value. – Albert Einstein

42. Self-pity is an acid which eats holes in happiness. – Earl Nightingale

43. Your competition is EVERYTHING else your prospect could conceivably spend their money on. – Don Cooper

44. If people like you, they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you, they’ll do business with you. – Zig Ziglar

45. Prospecting - Find the man with the problem. – Ben Friedman

46. If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door. – Milton Berle

47. The way you position yourself at the beginning of a relationship has profound impact on where you end up. – Ron Karr

48. It’s easier to explain price once than to apologize for quality forever. – Zig Ziglar

49. A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he knows something. – Wilson Mizner

50. Goals aren't enough. You need goals plus deadlines: goals big enough to get excited about and deadline to make you run. One isn’t much good without the other, but together they can be tremendous. – Ben Feldman 

About the Canadian Professional Sales Association
Since 1874, we’ve been developing and serving sales professionals by providing programs, benefits, and resources that help you sell more, and sell smarter.

Contact us today at or 1-888-267-2772 to see how we can help you and your team reach new heights in sales success.

Copyright ©2012 by The Canadian Professional Sales Association | For permissions, contact

Recommended Reading:
The Motivation First Aid Kit
Get Happy or Get Out! Attitude is the Key to Organizational Success
10 Tips to Keep Motivated Employees and Bring the Passion Back into the Workplace

View more sales articles from CPSA’s Knowledge Centre.

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