The Language of Sales-aka Wherein My Brother Gets All “Glenngarry Glenn Ross” On Me

Did you ever notice that each and every profession seems to have its own special language?

I.T. professionals talk about servers, IP addresses and cold boots.

Attorneys seem to like throwing around Latin phrases like habeus corpus and jurisprudence.

And doctors are always talking in acronyms and saying things like “Get me a CAT Scan!” stat!  or “Get me a CT and an MRISTAT!.

Everything’s always ‘stat’ with them, you know?  Given their fondness for acronyms you’d think Doctors would prefer the term “ASAP” to the term “STAT” but what do I know?

My brother is a sales guy and earlier this week I got to over-hear half of a phone conversation he had with one of his reps.

Here are a couple things he said:

Oh yeah, he’s a real grinder……that’s great man….you’re bringing the fish in the boat……as long as you’re moving the chains that’s all that counts…..layups count as baskets too…..” and my personal favorite, “you can’t boil the ocean, you know?”

Now I’m a radio guy so I realize I’m out of my element here, but in my world a grinder is a hoagie like sandwich, bringing fish into the boat is something you do on vacation in the Florida keys,  moving the chains is football terminology, you don’t have to be an NBA coach to know that lay-ups count as baskets, and boil the ocean?

I don’t even know where in the name of God’s green earth to start with that one.

Aside from its enormity, doesn’t salt water boil faster than tap water?  Wouldn’t that make it EASIER To boil the ocean than a similar sized body of fresh water?

And why would you want to do that anyway?

As I was listening to my brother’s phone conversation, two thoughts occurred to me:

1–      I always thought he was in sales, but apparently my brother is a sandwich making fisherman who does oceanography work on the side when he’s not busy refereeing NFL and NBA games.

2–      I would make a really really REALLY lousy sales person.

Just remember: ABC.

A, Always.

B, be.

C, closing.

Because 2nd prize is a set of steak knives.

3rd prize?  You’re fired.


  • Second place is the first loser.

    Also? This is exactly why I had to get out of sales. I was always in the box and blamestorming with the team.

  • Kathie Regan wrote:

    FUNNY! Some of those I haven’t heard before. My favorite is “you should start by picking the low hanging fruit”. Love,k

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