Oy To The Vey... Yiddish Words And Sales Reps!

blog clients larry levine sales sales professionals sales rep selling from the heart Jun 21, 2021
"The heaviest thing in the world is an empty pocket."
Yiddish Proverb

Let's translate this for all of you sales reps...

The heaviest burden a sales rep can carry is an empty pipeline.
  • Get off your Tuches (Butt) and start prospecting!
  • If you fail to prospect you will have Bupkes (zero, nothing) at the end of the month
  • Seasoned sales reps who feel they don't need to prospect any longer are Shmendriks (idiots).

To all in sales... stop the kvetching (complaining) and start taking ownership and responsibility when it comes to prospecting.

I love my heritage. From my grandparents through to my parents, a series of life-long lessons were instilled or should I say drilled into me.


My father was a rocket scientist for the U.S. Air Force. The first question I was asked when he got home from work, "So, tell me son and be honest, did you complete your homework?"

Being raised with an 'Ivy League' educated father was pressure all by itself. That single question became the measuring stick throughout my early years.

Salespeople are products of the environments they were raised in

What I took into my sales career was honesty and integrity. I believe it got me to where I am today. There is no greater temptation to cut corners than in sales, where one can earn a massive amount of commissions.

Sales professionals overcome this great temptation, as they rise to the occasion with high levels of character, one in which others revere. Your clients and future clients will soon covet what you have to offer.

Simple stuff... When you are honest, your business grows.


In my younger days, I ate a tremendous amount of humble pie. I had to learn how to accept and deal with criticism, as school wasn't my favorite pastime.

Pride, ego, and fear tend to get in our way of success. We're human and we all make mistakes. Never think you're always right. Accept and encourage criticism, feedback, and help - especially from those more experienced than you.

Some of my best sales ideas over the years have come from my clients, centers of influence, and my mentors. I realized there was a wealth of information sitting right in front of me.

Unfortunately, I see many sales reps who struggle with listening to their clients or even asking for help.

What a monumental mistake.

Be humble, be genuine, act on suggestions, and accept criticism, as you can greatly improve your sales career.

Sales professionals accept critique, sales reps take it personal.


The Yiddish language is a fabulous source of rich expressions, especially terms of endearment, complaints, and insults. Doesn't this sound like a day in the life of a sales rep?

Let's get the party started...

Far gelt bakumt men alts, nor keyn sechel nit. Translated... Money buys everything except common sense. Trust me on this one, if a sales rep could finance common sense they would, oy to they vey!

KIBBITZ - Walk into a sales bullpen from 7:45 AM to 9:00 AM on any given day and listen to all the sales reps discuss non-work-related chitter-chatter. "Hey Bob, did you catch the football scores from the past weekend?", "Saw a great movie last night, you ought to check it out." Small talk amongst team members is healthy but get to work and stop the kibbitzing!

You just lost an hour of productive work time. Sales professionals protect their time and pay attention to what's important... growing their business and taking care of their clients.

SCHMOOZE - Listening to a sales rep schmooze a client that they haven't seen for quite some time is fascinating. You wouldn't have to schmooze if you made a conscious effort to maintain a healthy, proactive, and intentional business relationship. This is what sales professionals do best!

TCHATCHKE - All the company-branded USB devices, calendars, pens, and notepads... stop it as your clients have enough of your Tchatchke's or crapola!

Sales professionals consistently educate, engage, and excite their clients by building rock-solid relationships. It is not based gifting based but what they bring to the business table which is themselves.

SCHLEP - “I had to schlep through traffic for over two hours for a meeting and it lasted only 15 minutes, OY VEY!” Suck it up sales reps as this stuff happens. A true sales professional will find a positive outcome in those precious 15 minutes.

NUDNIK - Do not allow your clients to view you as a nudnik, a pain in the ass, nagger, and nuisance! Sales reps who consistently bring zero value, take their clients for granted but expect them to continue to do business with them are nudniks.

The mark of a true sales professional is that they build a relational fortress around their clients and consistently deliver on their promises.

SPIEL - When you meet with a new prospect, they don't want to hear your spiel... Your long-winded sales presentation around how great you are, how great your company is, and all the promises I know you'll break.

Make it about them! Share with them how much you know about their business, why you, and how much you care about them.


My grandfather was a self-educated man. He dropped out of school to help support his family. He always stressed to me you must have "Chutzpah" in order to succeed out in the real world.

My grandfather faced a ton of fears, as do I and as do you. He would always tell me... "Each time you face your fears, you make a deposit into your chutzpah account."

The battles in life whether won or lost produce more chutzpah. Think about how this can play out for you in your sales career.

Chutzpah seasoned with charm translates as enthusiasm.

Charm strengthened by chutzpah reminds your clients and prospects you have a respectable, professional purpose.

Loaded with both, you can win and sell with confidence.

I will leave you all with a quote from Rabbi Tzvi Freeman,

"You have to recognize the world is not about you. There is some purpose, something that you and only you are going to have to get done. So chutzpah is the attitude where you say, ‘Nothing is going to stop me from making that happen.’"

Used in the appropriate way, chutzpah is “the new charisma” that has the ability to connect you in deeper ways with your clients and keeps them coming back and referring others.

I encourage you, give chutzpah a try. Chances are that your real clients and future clients will find it to be a refreshing change.

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