More sales turtles

But Robroy, you say.  In sales, you can’t catch every turtle by pouncing on it.  It would be overkill to catch a box turtle that way.  A snapping turtle would make you very sorry for trying.  So would a sea turtle, most likely.  What are the best ways to catch other kinds of sales turtles?

Box – she may be slow and shy, but deep down this buyer is motivated by the chance to make a difference in the lives of others.  To catch her, be persistent.  Be steady.  Look for ways to let her help you.

Snapping – he’s dominant and forceful and feared by all.  Be prepared.  Be bold.  State your business and skip the niceties.  Show him how you can make him more dangerous.  But stay in front of him – and keep your distance.

Sea – she’s powerful and beautiful and loves to ride the waves.  Research this buyer’s business associations and community connections.  Attend her groups’ activities, and see if you can have fun together.  That’s all she wants.

Painted – he’s smooth and polished but very cautious and rarely visible.  This buyer is motivated by what the facts tell him.  He does all the research and won’t talk to you until he’s ready to buy – then, he’ll reveal himself.  Be ready to jump.

Understand the sales turtle types, and what motivates them, and you’re on your way to becoming a sales turtlogist.

What turtles am I missing?

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11 Responses to “More sales turtles”

  1. Adam Edelman says:


    Funny that you should use turtles in this analogy. We both know that sales is a marathon process, not a sprint. Turtles seem to remind me of that marathon. Nice post…


    • Robroy says:

      Adam, that’s an excellent point. Sales is a process not a marathon, and turtles would not be a bad mascot for our team. Thanks for your input!

  2. Robert Taylor says:

    Madman, Craftsman, Critic, Turtle. The cadence of your last two posts reads sort of like John le Carre’s book title Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

    The Madman, Craftsman, Critic piece most resonated with me. I create paintings. To do so requires a constant balancing act between unbridled creativity, detail-oriented craft, and ‘Will it sell’…!

    I am also a strategic branding specialist. The same process applies here too. To develop a brand for a company, service or product, you must start with open-ended creative exploration (guided to some degree by strategic parameters); then, in order to refine the 2 or 3 lead concepts, you have to bring your craft and detail orientation into the mix; and finally, the work must past muster with the critic before you share it with your client (lest you dare present without considering the ‘what ifs’)!

    Good stuff, Robroy…

  3. I love the new turtle visuals! Turtles are not typically the most popular pet, are often overlooked and used as a metaphor for very slow moving and thinking people that others try to pass.

    By embracing the characteristics you outlined, sales professionals can better understand their prospects, and achieve higher success.

    Nice post!

    • Robroy says:

      Interesting, Andrew. I hadn’t considered that turtles were misjudged, but I think you’re right. Hopefully this discussion will raise their lowly stature ;).

      Many thanks for your comments!

  4. […] Blog Stories of Selling and Marketing « Madman, craftsman, critic More sales turtles […]

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