120+ Phrases & Idioms about Sales and Marketing
Idioms about Sales and Marketing! The following article provides a useful list of idioms relating to Sales and Marketing in English with their meaning and examples.
Idioms about Sales and Marketing
List of 120+ Useful Phrases & Idioms about Sales and Marketing
Meaning: all the time, every day
Example: We offer 24/7 customer support to ensure our clients are always satisfied.
A foot in the door
Meaning: a small opportunity that could lead to a larger one
Example: Getting a referral from a satisfied customer can be a great way to get a foot in the door with a new prospect.
Meaning: honest and transparent
Example: Our pricing is above board and clearly outlined in our contracts.
Ace up your sleeve
Meaning: a hidden advantage
Example: Our sales team always has an ace up their sleeve when negotiating deals.
All It’s Cracked Up To Be
Meaning: As good as claims or reputation would suggest
Example: Everyone’s talking about the Apple Watch, but I think it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
Barking up the wrong tree
Meaning: pursuing the wrong approach
Example: Trying to sell to someone who doesn’t have the authority to make purchasing decisions is barking up the wrong tree.
Behind the eight ball
Meaning: in a difficult or unfavorable position
Example: Our competitors have a head start, so we’re behind the eight ball when it comes to gaining market share.
Meaning: an important or influential person
Example: We were able to secure a meeting with the company’s bigwig thanks to our impressive sales pitch.
Bite the bullet
Meaning: to endure a difficult situation
Example: We knew we had to bite the bullet and cut costs in order to weather the economic downturn.
Meaning: the final result or outcome
Example: At the end of the day, the bottom line is what matters most to our investors.
Break the ice
Meaning: to initiate conversation or establish a rapport
Example: It’s important to break the ice and build a relationship with potential clients before launching into a sales pitch.
Burn the midnight oil
Meaning: to work late into the night
Example: Our marketing team burned the midnight oil to ensure our latest campaign was ready for launch.
By the book
Meaning: following established rules and procedures
Example: We always conduct our sales operations by the book to maintain our reputation for ethical business practices.
Call the shots
Meaning: to make the important decisions
Example: The CEO is the one who calls the shots when it comes to our company’s marketing strategy.
Meaning: a profitable product or service
Example: Our new software has the potential to become a real cash cow for the company.
Meaning: a situation in which a solution is impossible due to contradictory or paradoxical rules
Example: The company wanted to expand internationally, but they were stuck in a catch-22 because they didn’t have the resources to do so.
Close the deal
Meaning: to finalize a sale
Example: Our sales team was able to close the deal and secure a new client for the company.
Meaning: making unsolicited phone calls to potential customers
Example: Cold calling can be a daunting task, but it’s an effective way to generate leads.
Come out of the woodwork
Meaning: to emerge unexpectedly
Example: Our latest marketing campaign was so successful that customers came out of the woodwork to purchase our product.
Cost an arm and a leg
Meaning: to be very expensive
Example: Our competitor’s latest product cost an arm and a leg, making it difficult for us to compete.
Cut to the chase
Meaning: to get to the point
Example: When making a sales pitch, it’s important to cut to the chase and highlight the key benefits of the product or service.
Deliver the Goods
Meaning: Provide what is expected
Example: I wasn’t sure about our young quarterback, but he really delivered the goods – he had 22 touchdown passes in his first season.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
Meaning: to not rely on a single source of income or investment
Example: We diversified our marketing channels so that we wouldn’t be putting all our eggs in one basket.
Drop the ball
Meaning: to make a mistake or fail to follow through
Example: I really dropped the ball on this one.
Eat your own dog food
Meaning: to use your own product or service
Example: Our sales team always eats their own dog food and uses our software to manage their sales pipeline.
Face the music
Meaning: to deal with the consequences of your actions
Example: Our marketing team had to face the music when our latest campaign didn’t generate the expected results.
Meaning: using deceptive or misleading information to promote a product or service
Example: False advertising is illegal and can damage a company’s reputation.
Fish where the fish are
Meaning: to focus on the most promising prospects
Example: Our sales team is always looking to fish where the fish are and target the most lucrative markets.
Meaning: the number of people who visit a physical store
Example: Our store’s foot traffic increased after we launched a new marketing campaign.
Fortune favors the bold
Meaning: taking risks can lead to success
Example: Our CEO believes that fortune favors the bold and encourages our team to take calculated risks.
Get the ball rolling
Meaning: to initiate a process or project
Example: Our marketing team got the ball rolling on our latest campaign by conducting research and outlining the key messaging.
Give someone the runaround
Meaning: to avoid giving a straight answer
Example: Some companies give potential customers the runaround to avoid answering difficult questions.
Go the extra mile
Meaning: to put in extra effort or work
Example: Our sales team always goes the extra mile to ensure that our clients are satisfied.
Meaning: a large sum of money given as a retirement bonus or severance pay
Example: The company offered our CEO a golden handshake when he retired after 20 years of service.
Grease someone’s palm
Meaning: to bribe someone
Example: Greasing someone’s palm is illegal and unethical.
Hit the ground running
Meaning: to start a new project with energy and enthusiasm
Example: Our new marketing hire hit the ground running and immediately started contributing to our team.
In the black
Meaning: making a profit
Example: The company is finally in the black after a few difficult years.
In the red
Meaning: operating at a loss
Example: Our company is in the red and needs to cut costs in order to stay afloat.
In the Pipeline
Meaning: Being prepared for the marketplace, being worked on.
Example: Toyota’s product lineup recently has been a little stale, but new models are in the pipeline.
Keep your nose to the grindstone
Meaning: to work hard and stay focused
Example: Our sales team keeps their nose to the grindstone in order to meet their targets.
Knock it out of the park
Meaning: to achieve a great success
Example: Our latest marketing campaign knocked it out of the park and exceeded our goals.
Lay your cards on the table
Meaning: to be honest and open
Example: When negotiating a deal, it’s important to lay your cards on the table and be transparent about your intentions.
Left in the lurch
Meaning: to be abandoned or left without support
Example: Our sales team was left in the lurch when a key member unexpectedly quit.
Like a dog with a bone
Meaning: to be persistent in pursuit of a goal
Example: Our marketing team is like a dog with a bone when it comes to generating leads and closing sales.
Lock, stock, and barrel
Meaning: everything, including all assets and resources
Example: The company was acquired lock, stock, and barrel, with all employees and assets being transferred to the new owner.
Meaning: a low probability of success
Example: Launching a new product during a recession is a long shot, but it could pay off in the long run.
Meaning: someone who behaves unpredictably and is difficult to control
Example: Most of the cop heroes in contemporary films are loners and loose cannons.
Make a killing
Meaning: to make a large profit quickly
Example: Our company made a killing by investing in a hot new startup.
Mark my words
Meaning: a phrase used to emphasize the importance of a statement
Example: Mark my words, our new product will revolutionize the industry.
Milk it for all it’s worth
Meaning: to extract as much value or benefit as possible from something
Example: Our marketing team is going to milk this opportunity for all it’s worth.
Monkey see, monkey do
Meaning: to imitate others without thinking for yourself
Example: Some companies just monkey see, monkey do, copying the latest marketing trends without considering their unique value proposition.
Move the needle
Meaning: to make a significant impact or improvement
Example: Our new marketing campaign is designed to move the needle and increase our market share.
Nail it down
Meaning: to finalize a decision or plan
Example: Let’s nail down the details of our next marketing campaign before we launch.
Nose out of joint
Meaning: to be upset or offended
Example: Our competitors were left with their noses out of joint when we announced a major new product launch.
Not a snowball’s chance in hell
Meaning: no possibility of success
Example: Our sales team has not a snowball’s chance in hell of closing that deal with such a low budget.
On the ball
Meaning: attentive and efficient
Example: Our sales team is always on the ball and ready to respond to customer inquiries.
On the fence
Meaning: undecided or neutral
Example: Our potential customer is still on the fence about whether to purchase our product.
On the same page
Meaning: to have a shared understanding or agreement
Example: Our marketing and sales teams need to be on the same page in order to effectively target our ideal customers.
One trick pony
Meaning: someone or something with only one unique ability
Example: Our marketing campaign is more than a one trick pony and is designed to engage customers across multiple channels.
Out the Door
Meaning: With everything included (said of a price)
Example: That car will cost you $8,600 out the door.
Meaning: to be aggressive and uncompromising in negotiations
Example: Our CEO decided to play hardball with the supplier and got a better deal for our company.
Pull out all the stops
Meaning: to use every available resource to achieve a goal
Example: We’re going to pull out all the stops to make this product launch a success.
Put all your eggs in one basket
Meaning: to rely too heavily on a single strategy or approach
Example: Our marketing team doesn’t want to put all our eggs in one basket and is exploring multiple channels to reach our target audience.
Put on the map
Meaning: to make something or someone well known
Example: Our company was put on the map after we won a major industry award.
Price yourself out of the market
Meaning: Try to sell goods or services at such a high price that nobody buys them.
Example: At £150,000 for a season, he really is pricing himself out of the market.
Rags to riches
Meaning: to achieve great wealth or success after starting from a humble position
Example: Our company’s founder went from rags to riches after building a successful business from scratch.
Raise the bar
Meaning: to set a higher standard or expectation
Example: Our latest marketing campaign is designed to raise the bar and differentiate us from the competition.
Meaning: a distraction from the main issue or topic
Example: The competitor’s argument was a red herring, intended to distract us from the real issue at hand.
Roll with the punches
Meaning: to adapt and respond to changes or setbacks
Example: Our sales team has learned to roll with the punches and quickly pivot when a deal falls through.
Rubber meets the road
Meaning: the point at which something must prove itself in practice
Example: Our marketing plan is solid, but the rubber meets the road when we start seeing actual results.
Sell (Someone) a Bill of Goods
Meaning: Trick someone; be deceptive
Example: I think I was sold a bill of goods. They promised me an office with a window, but all I got was a little cubicle.
Meaning: An attractive feature of something for sale
Example: Durability has always been one of the selling points of Toyota cars.
Sold On (Something)
Meaning: Convinced of something
Example: I know many stores are introducing cell phone payment systems, but we’re not sold on the idea yet.
Meaning: a persuasive presentation designed to sell a product or service
Example: The sales pitch for our new product is carefully crafted to address the pain points of our target audience.
Sell like hotcakes
Meaning: to sell quickly and in large quantities
Example: Our latest product is selling like hotcakes, we can hardly keep up with the demand.
Shake on it
Meaning: to make an agreement or deal official with a handshake
Example: After negotiating the terms of the deal, they shook on it to make it official.
Meaning: in good order and ready for action
Example: Our sales team is ship shape and ready to take on any challenge that comes their way.
Meaning: an easy and trouble-free experience
Example: After a challenging year, our sales team is finally experiencing some smooth sailing with increased demand and strong results.
Meaning: to convey a great deal of information or importance
Example: The quality of our product speaks volumes and is a key differentiator in the market.
Meaning: someone who manipulates information or messaging to make something look better than it is
Example: Our competitor’s marketing team is full of spin doctors, always trying to make their products look better than they really are.
Meaning: a fair and honest transaction or agreement
Example: We pride ourselves on offering our customers a square deal, with no hidden fees or surprises.
Stick with it
Meaning: to persist and continue despite challenges or setbacks
Example: Our sales team has learned to stick with it, knowing that persistence pays off in the long run.
Meaning: someone who is honest and direct in their communication
Example: Our CEO is a straight shooter, always telling it like it is and being transparent with our employees and customers.
Swim with the sharks
Meaning: to compete fiercely and aggressively in a highly competitive market
Example: Our company had to learn to swim with the sharks in order to compete in the highly competitive technology industry.
Take the bait
Meaning: to fall for a trick or manipulation
Example: Our competitors tried to bait us into a price war, but we didn’t take the bait and instead focused on differentiating our product.
Take the plunge
Meaning: to take a risk or make a big decision
Example: Our marketing team decided to take the plunge and invest in a new social media campaign, despite some initial skepticism.
Meaning: the specific group of people a product or service is aimed at
Example: Our new product is designed with our target audience in mind, addressing their unique needs and pain points.
Test the waters
Meaning: to gather information or test a new idea before committing to it fully
Example: Our marketing team is testing the waters with a small pilot program before rolling out a larger campaign.
Think outside the box
Meaning: to come up with creative and innovative ideas
Example: Our marketing team is encouraged to think outside the box and come up with new and creative approaches to reaching our target audience.
Turn the tables
Meaning: to reverse a situation or outcome
Example: Our sales team was able to turn the tables on our competitor by highlighting the unique value proposition of our product.
Meaning: Tender Loving Care
Example: I’ll sell you this car for $2,000. It needs TLC, but the engine is new.
Up in the air
Meaning: undecided or uncertain
Example: The launch date for our new product is still up in the air, as we’re waiting for some key components to arrive.
Up the ante
Meaning: to increase the level of something, such as a bet or investment
Example: He decided to up the ante in the trade war.
Meaning: a potential customer who has shown interest in a product or service
Example: The sales team is following up with warm leads to convert them into paying customers.
Meaning: an outcome that benefits everyone involved
Example: By offering a discount to our customers, we created a win-win situation where they saved money and we increased sales.
Word of mouth
Meaning: the spread of information or promotion of a product or service through personal recommendations
Example: Word of mouth is a powerful tool in marketing, as satisfied customers can help to spread the word about a product or service.
Work the room
Meaning: to socialize and network in a social setting, usually with the goal of making business connections
Example: At the industry conference, our sales team worked the room, making connections with potential partners and customers.
Meaning: a warning or caution
Example: The decrease in sales is a yellow light, indicating that we need to make some changes to our marketing strategy.
You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours
Meaning: a mutual benefit or cooperation agreement
Example: The partnership between our two companies is based on the principle of “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours,” where we both benefit from the relationship.
Meaning: it’s your decision or responsibility
Example: The decision to move forward with the new product launch is your call, as you have the most knowledge about the market and the competition.
Zero in on
Meaning: to focus on or target something specific
Example: Our marketing team is zeroing in on the key pain points of our target audience to create messaging that resonates with them.
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush
Meaning: it’s better to have something certain or definite than to risk losing it by pursuing something uncertain
Example: While it’s tempting to pursue new markets, we need to remember that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush and focus on our existing customer base.
A rising tide lifts all boats
Meaning: when the overall market or economy is doing well, it benefits everyone involved
Example: The recent increase in consumer spending is a rising tide that lifts all boats, benefitting both our company and our competitors.
An arm and a leg
Meaning: something that is very expensive or costs a lot
Example: The new advertising campaign is going to cost us an arm and a leg, but we believe it will be worth it in the long run.
Meaning: a rough estimate or approximation
Example: The marketing team provided a ballpark figure for the cost of the new campaign, but we need to do more research to get an exact number.
Meaning: A type of marketing that relies on advertising through conversation. The company creates the initial “conversation” about the product and attempts to make this conversation spread.
Example: They used word-of-mouth marketing to create some buzz about their product. After that, it went viral!
What are idioms related to sales and marketing?
There are many idioms related to sales and marketing, but some common ones include: “close the deal,” “hard sell,” “soft sell,” “pitch,” “sell like hotcakes,” “push the envelope,” “think outside the box,” “get the ball rolling,” “make a killing,” and “snake oil salesman.”
What does the idiom “close the deal” mean?
“Close the deal” is an idiom that means to successfully complete a business transaction or negotiation. It is often used in the context of sales or real estate.
What does the idiom “hard sell” mean?
“Hard sell” is an idiom that refers to an aggressive sales technique where the salesperson uses a lot of pressure or persuasion to try to get the customer to buy something.
What does the idiom “soft sell” mean?
“Soft sell” is an idiom that refers to a more gentle and persuasive sales technique, where the salesperson focuses on building a relationship with the customer and highlighting the benefits of the product or service.
What does the idiom “snake oil salesman” mean?
“Snake oil salesman” is an idiom that refers to someone who sells fraudulent or useless products. The term comes from the 19th century, when traveling salesmen would sell “snake oil” as a cure-all for various ailments, even though it was often just a mixture of water and alcohol.
What does the idiom “think outside the box” mean?
“Think outside the box” is an idiom that means to think creatively and come up with new and innovative ideas. It is often used in the context of marketing and advertising, where companies need to find new and unique ways to reach their target audience.