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It’s always fun watching movies we can relate to professionally. Many films have made a major impact on pop-culture and the way our society views the “prototypical salesman.” Sales is not easy work, but it’s the best crash course in succeeding within business. Here are six movies (and a TV show) that everyone in the sales world should be watching.
The Pursuit of Happyness
This one takes a different approach and shows the positives in a sales career. The protagonist uses his role as a sales professional to teach his son valuable lessons in hard work, perseverance and determination.
Death of a Salesman
Arthur Miller’s famous play features Willy Loman, the salesman who just can’t catch a break. While this story is more about failure and the inability to adapt and change, it’s also about the power of persuasion, and how some people, like Loman, just aren’t made for the world of sales. It’s a sad tale about what can happen when you’re in over your head, even when you have the right tools.
Michael Douglas’ Gordon Gekko taught us that “greed is good” because you’ll work hard for what you want. “Wall Street” show us how the love of money can bring down great men, but also leaves us with a ton of memorable sales tips and valuable one-liners.
This is a comedy about two rival salesmen who are unscrupulous in both sales and life. They find success in the corrupt and shady world of Aluminum Siding sales, but that comes to a halt when the Home Improvement Commission begins cracking down on sleazy sales practices. It’s humorous look on the shoddy world of sales past and how sleazy salesmen adapted to change.
Glengarry Glen Ross
Desperate salesmen wade through the waters of a Chicago-based real estate firm, learning just how hard it is to stay ahead of the game. This film is gritty and tough to watch for those who’ve experienced the harsh reality of sales. Glengarry gave us a good look into the lives of both good and bad salespeople, and it also taught us the golden rule: Always Be Closing.
The Wolf of Wall Street
Like “Wall Street,” this is another look into the shady sales practices on the trading floor and just how far some will go to make that deal. Based on a true story, this film show us just how jaded one can become when money is the ultimate goal. It also shows us the power of a good pitch, even when selling something as simple as pen.
No, this isn’t a movie, but this television phenomenon brings us to the world of 1960s advertising, where personality, contacts and knowing how to close a deal were just as important then as they are now.
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