Remembering Zig; 50 quotes by the late, great sales trainer Zig Zigler

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We miss Zig. For those of you in the business of selling real estate, mortgages, or any other type of sales who were lucky enough to hear him speak or even meet him, you probably miss him, too. In fact, ‘Zig’ Zigler (his real name was Hilary Hinton Zigler) left a lasting legacy when he passed away of pneumonia at the age of 86 in 2012. His sales wisdom and motivation techniques not only inspired us to be better sales professionals, but better people.

From humble beginnings born into a family of 12 children in Coffee County, Alabama, serving in the Navy during World War II and settling in Plano, Texas, Zig became the most succsssful sales trainer in the nation, hopping around the country to speak, teach, and give seminars for top corporations. Along the way, Zig Zigler wrote two-dozen books on sales, motivation, and how to succeed because of honesty and integrity – not just with it, including See You at the Top and Secrets of Closing the Sale.

But more than speaking at sold out arenas, amassing a fortune, and becoming the best at his craft, Zig touched a whole generation of professionals with his warm southern twang, motivating us to realize our potential at work, life, and whatever dream we chased – and to do it with a big smile while always in service to others.

For that, we miss you, Zig.

I  started pulling a couple quotes from Zig Zigler for this article but ended up rereading so many of his familiar sayings – and even one’s I’ve never heard – that I’ll share them all here, the top 50 Zig Zigler quotes:

  1. “Remember that failure is an event, not a person.”
  2. “You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.”
  3. “People often say motivation doesn’t last. Neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”
  4. “There has never been a statue erected to honor a critic.”
  5. “People don’t buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons.”
  6. “Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.”
  7. “If you go looking for a friend, you’re going to find they’re scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere.”
  8. “A goal properly set is halfway reached.”
  9. “Your attitude, not you aptitude, will determine your altitude.”
  10. “If you can dream it, you can achieve it.”
  11. “Building a better you is the first step to building a better America.”
  12. “An optimist is someone who goes after Moby Dick in a rowboat and takes the tartar sauce with them.”
  13. “For every sale you miss because you’re enthusiastic, you will miss a hundred because you’re not enthusiastic enough.”
  14. “Success is dependent upon the glands – the sweat glands.”
  15. “Honesty and integrity are absolutely essential for success in life – all areas of life. The really good news is that anyone can develop both honesty and integrity.”
  16. “Timid salesmen have skinny kids.”
  17. “The most important persuasion tool you have in your arsenal is integrity.”
  18. “Money isn’t the most important thing in life, but it’s reasonably close to oxygen on the ‘gotta have it’ scale.”
  19. “Stop selling. Start helping.”
  20. “What you get by achieveing your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”
  21. “Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.”
  22. “Failure is a detour, not a dead-end street.”
  23. “You cannot tailor-make your situation in life, but you can tailor make your attitudes to fit those situations.”
  24. “Our favorite attitude should be gratitude.”
  25. “Every choice you make has an end result.”
  26. “It’s not what you’re got, it’s what you use that makes a difference.”
  27. “Success is the maximum utilization of the ability that you have.”
  28. “You cannot perform in a manner inconsistent with the way you see yourself.”
  29. “Don’t become a wandering generality. Be a meaningful specific.”
  30. “Winning is not everything, but the effort to win is.”
  31. “When you put faith, hope, and love together, you can raise positive kids in a negative world.”
  32. “You are the only person on earth who can use your ability.”
  33. “This I do know beyond a reasonable doubt. Regardless of what you are doing, if you pump long enough, hard enough, and enthusiastically enough, sooner or later the effort will bring forth the reward.”
  34. “You were born to win, but to be a winner you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win.”
  35. “You have to be before you can do, and do before you can have.”
  36. “Happiness is not pleasure, it is victory.”
  37. “Many people spend more time in planning the wedding than they do planning the marriage.”
  38. “Every sale has five obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust.”
  39. “Sometimes adversity is what you need to face in order to become successful.”
  40. “You cannot climb the ladder of success dressed in the costume of failure.”
  41. “You don’t pay the price for success. You enjoy the price for success.”
  42. “The way you see people is the way you treat them.”
  43. “If you have enough push, you don’t have to worry about the pull.”
  44. “People who have good relationships at home are more effective in the marketplace.”
  45. “Are you a SNIOP? Someone who is Sensitive to the Negative Influences of Others?”
  46. “You can make positive deposits in your own economy every day by reading and listening to powerful, positive, life-changing content and by associating with encouraging and hope-building people.”
  47. “Courage is on display every day, and only the courageous wring the most out of life.”
  48. “Do it, and then you will feel motivated to do it.”
  49. “The foundation stones for a balances success are honesty, character, integrity, faith, love, and loyalty.”
  50. In his autobiography, Zig wrote: “If my life has been a theme, I suppose it has been a typical American theme in that, for most of it, I have been looking for happiness and success.”
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