With Christmas just around the corner, images of Santa Claus are everywhere. Kids are making Christmas lists, and getting their photos taken with Santa.   

Santa is the icon of the season. Why is he so popular? Maybe because he has a reputation for doing things the right way. Below are lessons your sales team can learn from Santa.

Lessons Your Sales Team can Learn from Santa

1. Make a List

Santa doesn’t wing it. He doesn’t just bop around on Christmas day hoping he doesn’t forget anyone. He has a list (and he checks it twice), and he works his list. Your salespeople have a list too. It’s called a funnel or pipeline. By working their funnels consistently your salespeople will keep the opportunities moving forward. 

2. Discover Needs

Santa doesn’t try to convince people to accept something they don’t want. He asks what they want and then figures out how to deliver it. Salespeople often assume that they know what their customers want. Help your salespeople learn to ask questions that help them discover what their customers need, then determine if you can deliver it. 

3. Count on the Team

Santa doesn’t go it alone. He has elves, reindeer and, of course, Mrs. Claus. Help your salespeople leverage their entire team. It may include customer success, sales support, product development, sales engineers or your sales leadership. Don’t let them go it alone. Encourage your salespeople to engage the team members they need to help the buyers on their journey. 

4. People like Gifts

The reason Santa is so popular is that people like gifts, especially when it’s something they want. OK, so you can’t give your products away, but if your company and your sales team are delivering what people want, they will be excited to get it purchased and implemented. If it works, they will think of you right up there with Santa.

5. The Wrapping Matters

Santa doesn’t just plunk stuff down under the tree without so much as a ribbon. Your value proposition is a lot like the wrapping. Don’t let your sales reps’ plunk down all the features and benefits. Make sure your salespeople understand what problem your company solves for your clients, how you do it, and why that is different from anyone else. Your value proposition is your wrapping paper, and it matters. 

6. Smile

Have you ever seen a grumpy Santa? Of course not. When Santa smiles, it makes people feel good. When your team is smiling, your clients can hear it in their voices, and it makes them feel good. A simple smile makes a difference in how customers react and how they feel about your team and your company. How can you help your sales reps feel like smiling?   

7. Be Nice

Santa is always nice. No matter how the sales process is going or how upset a customer is, your sales team needs to be nice. When sales reps are patient, listen and help customers solve problems, especially ones your company created, customers end up happy.  It never hurts to be nice no matter how unpleasant the message you deliver. 

8. Be Helpful

Santa helps his team get ready for Christmas. Create a culture that supports helping each other and your customers. If your sales team focuses on helping people instead of selling products, your company will be more successful every time. 

9. Make Sure it’s a Fit

Santa wouldn’t bring you size 12 boots if you are a size 6. He delivers solutions that work. If your solution isn’t a good fit, encourage sales reps to walk away. Help them find clients with size 12 feet they can deliver those boots to. 

10. Know who is on the Naughty List

Santa doesn’t bring presents to people on the Naughty List, and neither should your sales reps. If you have clients that don’t fit your ideal customer profile and are challenging to work with, don’t keep selling to them. Find customers who will make your Nice List and focus on them instead. They will be more profitable, buy more, and they will stay with you longer. 

11. Communicate the Timeline

Santa doesn’t just show up at any old-time, he shows up on Christmas Eve. Imagine the confusion if he showed up June 1st. Your customers should know when to expect a call, a proposal, and a delivery. Limit surprises. 

12. Set Expectations

Everyone knows that Santa is going to show up in his sleigh with a bag full of presents and leave goodies under the tree. Make sure they know what to expect throughout the sales process. Provide a clear path for them to make a purchase, sell only what you can deliver, and deliver what you sold.


People don’t love Santa just because he brings presents; they love him because he is jolly, consistent, and delivers things people want. Create a sales team that sells like Santa and see how it goes. 

What did you learn from Santa that you will take to your sales team? Leave a comment below!

About the Author Liz Heiman

A strategic thinker, sales strategist, Japanist, and Rotarian, Liz is a coach, trainer, and prolific speaker on the topics of sales and sales leadership. Liz loves sales, and enjoys working with sales leaders to create strategies and processes that make sense AND bring in results.

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  • Craig Meyer says:

    Parody annotations to Alice’s Santa Sales List!

    1. Work the list, bottom to top. Promote them suspects to prospects OR demote them to none-spects (and send ‘em to t’other guys.) New Year’s Eve is a Great time to do this. Don’t get this confused with Santa.
    2. What your top Prospects need is unlikely what your Marketing Department tells you. Like everything else, ya GOTTA ASK! TWICE to be sure. And repeat it so you know they AGREE.
    3. Get everyone in the act in front and behind the scenes. Some are best left in their closets doing Spread Sheets—to support YOUR Value Proposition. Feed them ALL.
    4. Your product/service value is not a gift. Your excellent service and support IS. And the added value Industry Insights and market intelligence (without violating confidences) is your real GIFT.
    5. What it does FOR them is the wrapping! Never forget, one customer’s feature is another’s VALUE. Trust Alice!
    6. Smiles are the Universal Communication tool and Social Currency. Even when you don’t get the business, they assure the door stays open for you. Better than LUNCH.
    7. Being NOT NICE is death. Bad for the Holiday mood.
    8. Nobody wants to be SOLD, but everybody appreciates help buying what’s right for them from a trusted source.
    9. It is up to the sales Rep to know the difference. One size fits one prospect—ONLY.
    10. The best productivity move is to concentrate on the ones who want YOU! Paraphrased from David Lee Roth of Van Halen Fame. ?? Ask Alice.
    11. Timing is the most under rated Sales Factor. In time, on time and call at the BEST time. Time is precious. It is all you have to sell, and you have to earn every second of your customer’s time by delivering value EVERY TIME
    12. Expectations are meant to be EXCEEDED. Easier to do if YOU are the one setting them.

  • Liz Heiman says:

    Hi Craig,

    I love the additions! Thanks for adding to my post.

    Best,
    Liz

  • Barry Hall says:

    Many thanks for a great Santa Post Liz. All the best — Barry.

  • DEB Bowman says:

    This is a great list for all biz owners! Thanks Liz

  • Liz Heiman says:

    Thanks Deb, hope it is helpful

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