5 Yiddish Words That Remind Me Of Sales Reps... Oy Vey!


It's everywhere! Sales bullpens filled with sales reps complaining about lack of leads, crappy comp plans, too much paperwork, losing deals based on price; you name it they find something to bitch about. One could say it’s a completely natural part of the sales culture and comes with the territory.

Granted, some of the griping may be legitimate, but you'll never hear sales professionals complain as they are laser focused on finding solutions to help achieve their client's initiatives. I get it, venting makes sales reps feel better though it rarely helps their sales numbers.


Who do you think ranks hire on the complaining, whining and moaning scale; a sales rep or a Jewish grandmother? I should know as I have witnessed both in action.

Jews have a long, proud and stereotypically history of whining and complaining (aka, "kvetching"). It's wrapped up in their DNA. They enjoy complaining about all sorts of things, whether it's Hypochondria, having to go to work, having to come home from work, paying too much for something, paying too little for something and then worrying it's not good, friends' bad habits, Jewish mothers thinking they aren't good enough, or the worst, mothers themselves thinking their children aren't good enough (oh lord can I attest to this one).

Sales reps chitter chatter, their moaning, groaning and bitching is no different. "Why does Bob always get special treatment?", "Can't get anyone to return my calls", "Our prices are too high", "Our competitors are killing us", "We don't get enough support", "No one is returning my calls".


Listening to sales reps moan, gripe and bitch reminds me of my younger days and the summers I spent in New York City with my grandparents. The only thing worse than listening to sales reps complain was experiencing my grandma and three old Jewish ladies playing mah-jongg as they complained about all of their ailments or better yet, talking smack about family members.

For those not of Jewish faith and wondering, "Where is Larry going with this?" allow me to humor you with a little twist from an old Jewish comedian Marty Allen.

The Italian grandma says, I'm tired and thirsty. I must have wine.

The Scottish grandma says, I'm tired and thirsty. I must have Scotch.

The Russian grandma says, I'm tired and thirsty. I must have vodka.

The Jewish grandma says, I'm tired and thirsty. I must have diabetes.

What would a sales rep say?


My grandma would always tell me...

"Quit your kvetching and get over it"

TUCHES - Get off of your lazy butt and start prospecting! What are you waiting for? This is part of your job, now get to work!

SHMATTE - You come to work wearing business attire but your online appearance looks like you're wearing Shmatte or ragged clothes. Pay attention to how you dress online as you never know who may be window shopping for a new sales rep.

BUPKES - When you can't refresh your client base and you haven't prospected in months or in some cases years - You've put virtually no effort into developing new business, guess what? You are left with bupkes at the end of the month... nothing, zip, zero, zilch, not even a matzah ball!

SHPILKES - Walking into a new meeting with a C-level executive without being prepared and they notice you have shpilkes... nerves! Oh, would l love to be a fly on that wall!

SHMENDRIK - Seasoned, tenured sales reps with massive inflated egos who haven't prospected for months, OOOPPPS I meant years are Shmendrik's, fools! I would love to see the expression on their ego inflated faces as they are asked to articulate the value proposition they use for prospecting.

Bonus Time - One last Yiddish word for all sales reps, a true classic...

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! Show them how much you know and care about helping them.

Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Oy Vey!



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

He went on to say... "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.

Passed down from my Zayde to all those in sales... 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. Quite frankly, who wouldn’t want that combination?


I understand, I get where you all are coming from. Every day, I walk in your shoes. I am fully committed to helping your sales team integrate social aspects and modern strategies into your current sales process to grow new business. I want you to get results. This is why I am passionate about doing this the right way, the genuine way, the authentic way!

In 2016, I was recognized by ENX Magazine as, “The Difference Maker,” as someone who is making a difference inside the B2B office technology sector. I am passionate about helping sales reps succeed in creating their online brand image.

You can find more advanced training material inside the Social Sales Academy website.

I appreciate getting the opportunity to share my stories. Integrating the use of social and sharing my story on LinkedIn was my “game-changer” in the highly competitive office technology world. With great pride I transform, challenge, coach and inspire sales teams to grow new business by helping them share their story and how they communicate it out by integrating the use of social inside the sales process. You can follow me on LinkedInTwitterSocial Sales Academy and on my podcast by clicking on Selling from the Heart.

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