The SalesForce Top Ten Greatest Sales Movies

Something a little different for this post. Life (and blogs) shouldn’t always be about serious topics, like performance improvement, right? We need to take a break once on awhile. Hence, we give you, the SalesForce Training Top 10 Greatest Sales Movies…Ever!!

And no, none of these won the Oscar for Best Picture.

First, a confession.  This is not our list.  It’s one we plucked off the Internet (from hundreds of similar lists).  However, between us, we have seen eight of the ten movies, and heard about how good one of the others is (Lord of War), and we wholeheartedly concur with the findings, especially the Top 4 – our all time favorites.

Secondly, a caveat.  Most of these movies do a terrible job of portraying the sales person as a true professional of their craft, and as a stalwart of the North American economy. Quite the opposite in fact!  The portrayal of sales people in these movies is that of sleazy slime bags that only serve to reinforce the awful, and unfortunate stereotype of the “born salesperson”, a term, frankly that is grossly overused and inaccurate.  However, that portrayal is what leads to the movies being as enjoyable as they are, so take it for what its worth.

Lastly, we’ve linked the pics to clips from the movie or movie trailers, so please note, if you’re easily offended, be forewarned, there’s some colorful language, so to speak, in some of them.

Without further ado:

10. Suckers

Have you ever bought a new car? More importantly, have you ever had the pleasure of speaking with an absolutely over the top car salesman? Well whether you have or have not, Suckers is the ultimate snapshot into what truly happens at a dealership. Ever wonder what happens when the salesman goes to “confirm” a sales price with his boss? The movie is a truly merciless snapshot into the world of car sales.

9. Thank you for Smoking

“That’s the beauty of argument, if you argue correctly, you’re never wrong.”  This line defines Nick Naylor and within the standards of moral and legal acceptability, it is a phrase that I wish to define me. I truly debated on adding this movie to the list because it is not a true sales drama. However, even though it is a satire, it does not mean that the movie is not fully focused on sales.

 

8. Cadillac Man

A quick office poll on Robin Williams. Not our favorite. That said, Cadillac Man is an excellent sales movie. Robin Williams is the true definition of the stereotypical salesman. He’s completely driven by testosterone, his life is in turmoil, he is desperate, and if he doesn’t pull of some miraculous sales, he is going to be on the street. Cadillac Man is a great movie for all of those sales men and women out there that are hanging on the end of their ropes.

 

7. Lord of War

This is not your typical sales movie. However, Lord of War is a sales movie. Nicolas Cage does an amazing job portraying an on the edge gun runner who travels the world taking advantage of the conflicts and struggles of countries and people of the world. He’s not saint, but he is a hustle to the ground pig-dog capitalist, and there’s a little something to respect about that.

 

6. Barbarians at the Gate

This movie is a really a comedy at heart, but this is not a normal comedy, it is a corporate buyout comedy. The fact that is says comedy is to be blamed on the classification system on Amazon and nothing more, it is a satire if nothing else. Anyway, this is a great movie because it is based on a true occurrence that took place in the heart of the 80′s over a buyout with the Nabisco corporation. Starched suits and big hair abound.

 

5. Tin Men

Cruise back to Baltimore 1963, to the time and turf of a rare American breed: the “tin man”. Two hard as steel rivals in the tin game meet in a fender bender, but their bruised egos turn the minor accident into a major vendetta against each other’s success — their Cadillacs. In what would seem to be an end all diss, Dreyfuss decides to seduce DeVito’s wife, but this ends up throwing the story into a tail spin.  Nevertheless, still a great flick.

 

4. Wall Street

“Greed is good.”     Enough said.

Wall Street is the end-all representation of shady negotiation tactics and pressure sales. No one else could have ever been as great of a jerk as Michael Douglas playing Gordon Gekko. We can all argue how awful the tactics used in this movie were, but I would be lying if I said that I didn’t want to be Gordon Gekko.

 

3. Tommy Boy

Tommy Boy is a movie about the world’s most unlikely brake pad salesman. We know a few things about him. For one, it took him seven years to finish his undergraduate degree. Second, he commonly refers to John Hancock as Herbie Hancock. Finally, he’s clumsy, overweight, and always wears a clip-on tie. His dad could sell a ketchup popsicle to a women in white gloves, but old Tommy Boy doesn’t seem to have the skills.

After the death of Tommy Boy Sr, the family business is in need of some major sales. In desperation, Tommy Boy is sent on the road to make the annual sales trip, and hilarity ensues. Tommy Boy and his road companion Richard Hayden learn a lot of hard lessons before they finally learn to make the sales stick.

 

2. Boiler Room

This movie goes to show that Ben Afflec and Vin Diesel are not complete failures. If you haven’t seen this movie, then you should drop whatever your doing right now and watch it. The movie surrounds a stock brokerage firm that is selling hot and heavy. This firm brings in the best young, energetic, and naive salesmen it can get it’s hands on and turns them into sales animals. “the best part, I’m liquid.” Words to live by for sure.

 

1. Glengarry Glen Ross

It’s real estate, it’s phones, it’s knock-down-drag-out sales. It’s awesome! Glengarry Glen Ross is a movie made in the heart of the 80′s and is an adaptation from a play written decades earlier. I won’t lie, the movie drags on a bit, but take into consideration that it was a play and it will make much more sense. This movie has sparked countless arguments and discussions on topics such as: “Where are the Glengarry leads?”, “Coffee is for closers.”, and “It takes brass balls to sell real estate.”

Well, that’s it.  I’m sure everyone has their own list of favorites, but that’s what makes the world tick, right?

 

First posted by Johnny Wednesday, on johnnywednesday.com.

SalesForce Training & Consulting is a professional services firm and Salesforce.com training firm based in Toronto, with training centers in Boston and Chicago, providing sales leaders with the direction and support to ensure that their sales training programs are properly designed and executed.

Discover why traditional sales training doesn’t work.

 

 

by   Mark Christie