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Holding Jell-O

Holding Jell-o

“Sales is a game of holding Jell-O”

Patti Dwyer

I’ll admit I BURST out laughing when Patti said “Sales is a game of holding Jell-O.” Of course, it stuck in my brain because she made me laugh.

Then I started thinking about sales and Jell-O (independent of what Patti was actually talking about).

NOT Easy

  • I’ll admit, I don’t know that I’ve ever held Jell-O in my hand… have you? Even if you haven’t either – I’m guessing you can imagine how difficult it would be.

Sales is not an easy career, there are people who say doing it virtually makes it even more difficult. This is a major reason I look for ways to make it simple.

Complexity in a: call plan, account strategy, deal structure, compensation plan – all make an already difficult job even harder. Inside sales success can be more easily achieved through simplicity.


  • Even without holding it you KNOW Jell-O is wiggly.

Sales is wiggly too! Things change… all – the – time. Markets change, priorities shift, deadlines jiggle. In this ever-changing, dare I say squishy world we work in, the only firmness is in sales self-belief.

The notion(s) that we hold about our own abilities are the keys to success. Kind of like deciding to put that Jell-O in a bowl instead of holding it, self-belief will make the constantly wiggly sales universe simpler to navigate.

Susceptible to Heat

  • If you were to hold Jell-O (or leave it out on the counter) as it warms up it begins to revert to being a liquid, losing its shape… it’s integrity.

The stress of sales can make us start to sweat too. There are times when a situation comes along, and a choice must be made: make the sale OR keep my integrity.

Notice I said TIMES, it’s not a one-and-done choice (in my experience) and many times those choices are seemingly insignificant dissolution of integrity. Yet just like trying to store Jell-O on the counter instead of in the refrigerator, eventually, yours loses its shape.

Jell-O is still yummy

I’m not sure any of this changes the fact that “Sales is a game of holding Jell-O” and I know that this wasn’t what Patti was thinking about when she said it.

I do believe that by sticking with simplicity, working on self-belief, and making decisions that keep our integrity strong – we can eat our Jell-O, instead of holding it in our hand.

Thanks for coming along on another journey through how my brain looks at things.

Jiggling & wiggling along with you,
ps: If you want a scientific explanation on why gelatin does what it does you can check out What is Jell-O? How does it turn from a liquid to a solid when it cools? in Scientific American from October 21, 1999

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