Top 10 Movies of all Time for Sales Professionals
If you live and breathe sales, you probably love watching movies about it, too. Hollywood’s fascination with sales has produced a lot of movies endorsed by sales coaches and sales trainers. Here are 10 of the best movies to inspire you in your career as a sales professional:
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Leonardo DiCaprio’s portrayal of Jordan Belfort is every sales trainer’s dream and nightmare at the same time. His persuasiveness and tenacity are qualities that sales coaches everywhere look for, but rarely find. The ability to sell anything like Jordan is something every sales professional hopes to learn from their sales coaching and sales training.
Boiler Room (2000)
Like The Wolf of Wall Street, this movie creatively uses a fair amount of artistic license in its storytelling. However, its depiction of aggressive brokers on a sales floor is impressively accurate. While this film throws ethics out the window, many sales professionals will recognize the competitiveness among brokers portrayed in this film. It also provides a valuable lesson on the consequences of shady sales tactics.
Death of a Salesman (1985)
Based on the Emmy winning play, this movie, which follows the life of a travelling salesman who ultimately fails. While it can be a depressing watch, this movie offers a lot of valuable sales coaching and sales training lessons such as setting attainable objectives. This film and its protagonist prove that even our biggest failures as sales professionals can teach us something important.
Tommy Boy (1995)
If any movie ever highlighted the importance of sales trainers and sales coaches, Tommy Boy is it! Audiences get the privilege of watching the main character – played brilliantly by the late Chris Farley – transform into an impressive salesman as he tries to save his family’s business. One of the best lessons to be learned from this comedic masterpiece is the importance of fostering a strong relationship with customers.
The Big Short (2015)
This movie can be a tough watch for anyone who suffered personal financial losses in the 2008 financial crisis, but it actually offers a lot of sales coaching wisdom. Imagine how good of a salesman you need to be to convince anyone to purchase swaps in the same way that Jared Vennett does in the film.
For anyone who loves sports as much as they love sales, this is a great film to watch. Throughout the entire film, Billy Beane (played by Brad Pitt) is forced to sell his management strategy to everyone on his team. Sales coaches will appreciate the way he recognizes market opportunities and leverages undervalued assets. Watching Beane make trades with other general managers is sure to give any sales professional a rush.
The Pursuit of Happiness (2006)
Who doesn’t love a good underdog story? Will Smith’s performance as Chris Gardner in this film can make even the most stoic sales trainer shed a tear. A life in sales is far from easy, and Gardner’s struggles in the film accurately portray this harsh fact. Observing Gardner use creative and brilliant sales moves to secure his spot at a brokerage firm should be a mandatory part of any sales training.
Jerry Maguire (1996)
Jerry Maguire is a classic for a good reason and any sales professional worth their salt should appreciate Maguire’s desire to deliver top-notch services to his clients. Although it doesn’t initially work in his favor and he’s only able to persuade one client to stay with him, his solid sales strategy eventually pays off. There is plenty of sales wisdom hidden in this movie, but all of them boil down to one line. Make your clients feel valued, and they’ll “show you the money.”
The Big Kahuna (1999)
If you want to watch three salesmen try to land a CEO client, The Big Kahuna is a must-watch. Every sales professional is familiar with the thrill of landing a C-Suite client or closing a huge deal and this comedy can help you relive the lows and highs of chasing game-changing clients.
Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)
Perhaps above all others, this movie demonstrates the struggles of being a salesman. The pressure to find leads, the desperation to close a deal, the pain of rejection when deals fall through. This movie is praised by many leading sales trainers as the perfect depiction of the ups and downs of the profession.
Conclusion: Not all of these movies portray sales professionals in the most flattering way. Many provide unflinchingly honest depictions of a life in sales. However, they all can offer you valuable lessons and insights as a sales professional.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Emily Henry is a sales manager at Lia Help and Paper Fellows. She writes about content recommendations and tips for sales and sales managers. Also, she is a tutor at Assignment Writing Service.