Even as we mourn fallen hero mountaineer Joshua Kirui and debate the punitive Financial Bill 2024, let’s try cheer ourselves up as I’m sure Kirui would have wanted. So, keeping it sales here are seven lessons in selling from sales jokes.

The problem with the direct approach

A salesman approached a potential client and asked: “Would you like to buy a pocket calculator?” “No thanks,” the man replied. “I know how many pockets I have.”

Lessons in selling from sales jokes: When the demo backfires

A salesman was demonstrating unbreakable combs in a department store. He was impressing the people who stopped by to look by putting the comb through all sorts of torture and stress. Finally, to impress even the sceptics in the crowd, he bent the comb completely in half, and it snapped with a loud crack. Without missing a beat, he bravely held up both halves of the “unbreakable” comb for everyone to see and said, “And this, ladies and gentlemen, is what an unbreakable comb looks like on the inside.”

Positive thinking

Boss: Did you get any orders today?

Salesman: Yes, I got two! Boss: Congratulations! What were they?

Salesman: “Get out!” and “Stay out!”

When leadership believes they’ve done everything and the problem are the salespeople

The entire sales force of Irresistible Dog Food was gathered together for their annual sales convention. In the great auditorium the marketing director was giving a performance that any evangelist would have been proud of. Using the old pattern of call and response, he was really working up the spirits of his sales team.

“How do you like the new advertising campaign?” “It’s great” they replied. The best in the business.” “Who’s got the greatest dog food in the country?” “We have!” the audience thundered. “

“What do you think of the product?” “Fantastic!” they replied. “Who’s got the most attractive packages?” “We have!” “Who’s got the biggest distribution?” “WE HAVE!” “How about the salesforce?”, he asked. They were the salesforce so of course they responded positively saying they were the best. 

“Okay. So, if we have the best brand, the best packaging, the best advertising program, and the best salesforce, why are we in the twenty third place in our industry? Why aren’t we selling more of the product?” After an awkward silence one bold voice from the crowd shouted: “It’s those dogs – they just won’t eat the stuff!”

lessons in selling from sales jokes

Now then. Here are the last three lessons in selling from sales jokes

Lessons in selling from sales jokes: When the promotion was unmerited

The boss called one of his employees into the office. “Rob,” he said, “you’ve been with the company for a year. You started off as an office clerk, one week later you were promoted to a sales position, and one month after that you were promoted to district manager of the sales department. Just four short months later, you were promoted to vice-chairman. Now it’s time for me to retire, and I want you to take over the company. What do you say to that?” “Thanks,” said the employee. “Thanks?” the boss replied. “Is that all you can say?” “I suppose not,” the employee said. “Thanks, Dad.”

When you imagine you know better than your predecessor sales manager

A new sales manager spends a week at his new office with the manager he is replacing. On the last day the departing manager tells him, “I have left three numbered envelopes in the desk drawer. Open an envelope if you encounter a crisis you can’t solve.” Three months down the track there is a major drama, everything goes wrong – the usual stuff – and the manager feels very threatened by it all. He remembers the parting words of his predecessor and opens the first envelope. The message inside says “Blame your predecessor!”

He does this and gets off the hook. About half a year later, the company is experiencing a dip in sales, combined with serious product problems. The manager quickly opens the second envelope. The message read, “Reorganize!” This he does, and the company quickly rebounds. Three months later, at his next crisis, he opens the third envelope. The message inside says “Prepare three envelopes”

Lessons in selling from sales jokes: Why you should first seek to understand

And finally.

A door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesperson manages to bull his way into a woman’s home in a rural area. “This machine is the best ever” he exclaims, whilst pouring a bag of dirt over the lounge floor. The woman says she’s really worried it may not all come off, so the salesperson says, “If this machine doesn’t remove all the dust completely, I’ll lick it off myself.” “Do you want tomato sauce on it?” she says, “we’re not connected for electricity yet!”


Rest In Peace Joshua Cheruiyot Kirui. You died perusing your dreams. As the late Martin Luther King said, ““If a man has not found something worth dying for, he is not fit to live.” May we be as brave in pursuing that we so cherish.


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