stock business briefcase computer

I am going to keep this clean and real at the same time. I heard this term very recently and laughed so hard because it is true. Let’s describe FIGJAM, but I will keep it graceful.

I’m good, just ask me.

Well, did I keep my promise with no obscenities and did you as they say, connect the dots? This is a great line that says it all. We have all met these kind of people in our lives that have to tell us how good they are and must explain about all their past success as a way to justify their value.

Imagine not hearing this only once in a while, but every day. Salespeople have some need to do this and since I am not a psychologist, I cannot explain the scientific reasons behind it. All I can do is to take an educated guess and simply call it insecurity.

So many of us whether we are sales trainers, sales consultants, sales managers, vice presidents of sales, or anyone that is day in and day out around salespeople will be saying to themselves as they read this article “He’s right, FIGJAM is a part of my daily routine.”

When someone is truly great at their career it speaks for itself. For example if a sales person is a real professional the numbers always tell the story. If a salesperson is consistently over quota, and let us use a very realistic number of 175% to 225% of their budget for the past two years, then they have done a great job. When a salesperson says “Hey, I made quota” that means they just hit average and can keep their job.

To me, that is like a pilot coming on the PA system right after they landed the plane and saying, “Hey we didn’t crash, we did a great job.” Imagine a surgeon coming into the waiting room after your kid had their tonsils taken out and they say, “Your son is alive and he didn’t die.” Not too impressive.

I have always said that salespeople need a mirror to look into and see what they truly are. If they take their profession seriously by trying to up their game by continual learning, reading sales books, going to seminars, studying their companies material, etc, they are now on their path to success. To be great at anything takes extra effort, more diligence and increased knowledge of their area of expertise. The key is to keep moving forward and not to stay stagnant.

Study after study shows that most salespeople aren’t even at quota and in fact well below their forecasted sales. This is why companies are always looking for salespeople, and yes, much of the blame goes on the company itself. Sure, they need to hire the right people who have the temperament to hear “no” all the time and have the discipline to work hard, but they also need a little help from the company.

That help comes in the form of training and I am not just talking about product training. By not providing sales training you have guaranteed that they will just go on and on about the product, or even FIGJAM. They need to be professionally trained in the science of selling through any course that offers questions-based selling skills. Pick any one you like and stick to it and watch what happens.

Trust me, if you find the right salespeople through proper interviewing, train them on your companies product or service, manage them correctly and above all train them on how to sell with a consultative selling approach, you will have less turnover and way less FIGJAM.

Hal Becker is a nationally known speaker on sales and customer service. He is the author of numerous business books including two national best sellers “Can I Have 5 Minutes Of Your Time?” and “Lip Service.” Hal’s newest book on sales is titled “Ultimate Sales Book.” He can be reached at


Letters, commentaries and opinions appearing in the Cleveland Jewish News do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Cleveland Jewish Publication Company, its board, officers or staff.

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