The passing of a Great Man that should not go unrecognized

The passing of a Great Man that should not go unrecognized


I am not sure if you are aware, but Zig Ziglar passed away yesterday after a bout of pneumonia. And the passing of this great man should not go unrecognized. Certainly simply for the reason he’s played in my success and may be then yours.

Surprisingly enough, a Zig Ziglar Sales Seminar in Perth, if my memory serves me well, was the first ever seminar I attended. At that time, I was a 21 year old sales rep for ACI Crown Corning. And it was the “done” thing at that time for the Corporate suites and sales guy to get along and see Zig.

Crown Corning may have even paid for me to attend with the sales managers and the sales folk of the time. Anyway, there was, I think, 5000 people there although don’t hold me to it. I’ve consumed a bit of red wine since then and unlike red wine my memory doesn’t improve over time.

I was inspired by a bunch of the things Zig said that day and I am still inspired by them today and I think it is timely that I bring one of them to your attention here under the circumstances of his passing.

Something that has always stood out for me was that Zig said “wimpy sales people have skinny kids”. What he was getting at there was of course that the way to put “food on the table” was to make a sale. After all, nothing happens until the sale is made.

No one’s life is improved – not the seller, not the buyer, not the manufacturer, not the supplier, not the maker, no one benefits.

To this day, I witness more hang ups around selling and money than any other issue I confront. People generally go to bits when it comes to making a sale or asking for an order. Arguably, there is a good reason for it.

After all, what do you think of when you think of the stereo- type salesperson or sales?

  • Pushy
  • Lying and cheating
  • Fast talking
  • Sleazy
  • Snake oil salesman
  • Arrogant and rude
  • Cannot trust them

So who wants their child to be a salesperson?

What do you think of when you think of a doctor?

  • Educated
  • Knowledgeable
  • Trusted
  • Confident
  • Capable
  • Qualified

Doctors diagnose and prescribe solutions to people’s problems.

Right there is why sales has got such a bad name.

Then we come to the money stuff.

Most of your money problems are between your ears. People think money is taken at the expense of one person for the gain of another. Labor politicians either believe it or pander to it.

Thinking there is a “shortage of money” affects… what you charge for your products or services and who you will ask for money.

In many cases, sales people can’t sell and “throw the game” even when somebody is keen to buy. All of this is more of a reflection of what is going on internally about money with you, than them.

People without money who you perceive to be disadvantaged for one reason or another will be without money next week regardless of whether you sell to them or not. You have NO right to question whether you should sell to them or not.

The reason they are without money has absolutely nothing to do with your existence. Nor does it have anything to do with how money “works in the real world”. Whether you take their money or not, I promise you somebody’s is getting it. Because if they are without money now they will be without money again.

And they are going to be without money permanently because they never fix the stuff we are fixing here that has to do with whether you have money or not. Understand the reason they are where they are, has nothing to do with you, the guy who came before you and the guy who comes after you.

You should take their money, play fair and give them your very very best stuff.

A lot of people who buy coaching and mentoring from me can’t afford it but they can’t afford not to either. I can’t afford to ask the question or get queasy about taking the money unless you are a pain in the ass and I can’t help you.

Understand there is NO shortage of money, there is money everywhere.

You’ve probably heard the term “Hard Earned Money”. Where did we get that from? What did our parents tell us? What do we tell our kids? “Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees”. It annoyed you when your parents said it to you and now you are saying it to your kids and it’s annoying your kids also. It’s been programmed in, at a certain point in your life and now we regurgitate it.

All without a thought to the damage it’s doing to us or them.

The belief we are communicating is that MONEY is “hard to get”, and any reinforcement of that is detrimental.

So when the late great Zig Ziglar said “wimpy salesmen have skinny kids” he meant a number of things…

Firstly, you have to ask for the order and get rid of your hang ups around sales. After all, no one wins when a sale isn’t made. Secondly, he wanted you to understand there is an abundance of money. Money isn’t taken at the expense of one person and given to another. And finally, your problems around sales and money are all in your head.

I think if Zig had his way, someone would be selling his inspirational CDs at his funeral, he loved sales. With a bit of luck, posthumously the great man’s sales will increase with his passing and more people will benefit from his teachings.


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  1. ABC
    You know it in sales. Always Be CLosing. We should always be leading to a close where the buyer just can’t live without your product or service beause it camm from you and you listened and matched it to their need. If we take the time buyers will tell you what they want/need even better buyers with a lot of money frequently will swap money for time. The worst that can happen is you ask for the sale and you don;t get it. If you don’t ask you won’t get. Even more asking upfront, What it is you need to do to win their business they will tell you. ASK ASK ASK and the close will come naturally. WEll done Mel your blunt upfront approach is what is neeeded. From a pizza shop to a multinational dumb marketing is all around. time to get streetsmart and stand out…

  2. Hi Mal, Thanks for letting me know that Zig Ziglar had passed away. That’s sad, Zig was a dedicated and genuine person and I agree that his passing should not go unnoticed. Like you, I attended that early Zig Ziglar seminar in Perth ( I was a bit older than 21 !! ), but unlike you, while I was influenced by what Zig had to say I didn’t take enough of his teachings on board.

    I had too much ingrained ‘ conventional wisdom,’ even at that early stage of life. Am still working on it though and can finally feel that I’m getting closer to the BIG SWITCH.

    Thanks for your support, and for keeping in touch,
    Best Regards,


  3. I am or was a carpenter by trade. my greatest learning curb, on life, people and a whole bunch of other things was.

    back in the 60s going door to door between 6.00pm and 10.00 pm selling encyclopedias. the only reason i survived it was attitude and that was i looked at it as having fun, a licence to just knock on any door i had a mind to just to say hello and meet people, the sale was there as a consequence.


  4. Hello Mal Emery, how are you going? 🙂 That story that you said about how some people tell their kids that money doesn’t grow on trees, because that’s what they heard as kids, it reminds me of that story where this lady always would cut off both ends off her Christmas ham every year before she put it in the roasting dish to cook, and when asked why she did that, she replied “because that’s what my Mother did” SO they went and asked the Mother why she did that and she said “because that’s what my Mum did” So they went and found the grandmother and asked her why she did that and she said “oh because my baking dish was too small to fit the whole ham in, so I always cut the ends off the ham first, so it would fit in the baking dish”

  5. Zig Zigler has left us all an outstanding legacy for future generations with his many educational materials,CD’s & tapes.

    His book entited “Secrets of Closing the Sale” is a world reknown classic by one the worlds top experts in this field.

  6. Great stuff Mal, this info you have just shared can triple sales people’s incomes if they only put the fear away and applied it.

    Through listening to you I have achieved massive results in sales simply by asking for the order, at the end of great presentation. If they only knew it was that easy. Love your work


  7. Thanks Mal for another great message.

    Zig Ziglar certainly left the world a better place with his positive influence on sales and success in life. warn regards

    Coach Cameron Roberts

  8. Thanks Mal, I appreciate what you say. We are very fortunate to have you here in Western Australia, It’s because of you that I have a hope of a brighter future, You have always passed on the message from those whom guided you in your journey. I have so many times read material of those you have mentioned and their words back up the truth you have shared.

    I just pondered for awhile on your post above about Zig and wondered if people really understand the value of information such as you have shared.

    I hope people realize the need to come back and re read your posts for them to become reality.

    Thanks again for your guidance

  9. I have also had the advantage of listening to Zig Ziglar, though only on tape, not personally. The message I took away from that experience was, ‘ treat EVERY customer like a (movie) star.

  10. I am 58 years old from the uk ,never met Zig but his tapes way back in the day were so inspirational …you felt like you knew the man …in feel like a family member has died ..sad very sad.

    i am sure his words “and will see you at the top”will live on.

    my best wishes to his family what a remarkable man

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