Inside Sales

Five Fantastic Movies Focused on Sales

Christopher Tuttle

There are a lot of movies about sales. “Death of a Salesman,” “Glengarry Glen Ross,” “Broiler Room” and many other movies have all explored the world of sales and those who close the big deals. But there are some other movies that have also taken a look at what making money all means and how to be successful at it.

Here are a few movies about business, sales and how it’s all run:

1. Moneyball: Data wins every time. In this Brad Pitt flick, baseball general manager Billy Bean makes a move no one in the industry believes in. He bases his decisions to pick certain players on statistics only. In the end his decision pays off and changes the world of baseball forever. Sales reps can learn a thing or two from this movie. It’s not about what feels right; you should base your strategies and game plans around what the data tells you.

2. Jerry Maguire: A man has a change of heart when he takes a long, hard look at the sports agency he works for and decides things need to change. Unfortunately, he is fired after he distributes his thoughts at work. Struggling to hold onto the few athletes he tries to represent, he is left with two players he has to fight for.

“Jerry Maguire” is ultimately a story about business and the ethics surrounding it. This movie relates to sales reps who strive to be honest with their clients and secure them the best possible deal. It’s the story of an underdog who tries to win when everyone else is cheating and ultimately manages to come out on top.

3. The Pursuit of Happyness: When a father finds himself homeless and caring for his young son, he learns anything is possible. Striving to gain the coveted intern spot as a stockbroker employee, he does everything he can to call faster and close deals as an intern for the company.

Taking risky moves and working harder than anyone else, Chris Gardner manages to impress his bosses and beats out the other 19 competitors who are struggling for the full-time paid position.This movie is a story about defying all odds, working harder than you thought possible and doing what it takes to provide not only for yourself but your family.

4. Tommy Boy: There are a lot of examples of what to do and what to avoid at all costs in this movie. In short, “Tommy Boy” is a tale about a young man who struggles to save his father’s business by selling brake pads, but a lot of mishaps and shenanigans happen along the way. Finally, after some clever thinking, the heroes of the story pull ahead and are able to secure a deal to save the business. Ultimately, sales reps can learn that persistence with leads and clever thinking can get them the big deal they, too, are looking for.

5. Risky Business: A young man receives some tough lessons before getting into college in the 1980s classic, “Risky Business.” In this movie, Joel Goodson, a member of his high school club “Future Enterprisers,” abuses the freedom he has when his parents leave town. After a lot of bad decisions, Joel tries to fix the mess he’s in by running a brothel in his parent’s house. Unfortunately, brothel night is also the same night an interviewer from Princeton University decides to drop by to evaluate Joel.

Long story short, the movie is a lesson for entrepreneurs and sales reps on how to be creative in your efforts to become successful (though the morality displayed in the movie is another thing altogether).

With all the movies out there about sales and business, some are able to highlight different aspects of the sales world. Taking a look at each one, sales reps can gain insight into what it takes to succeed: perseverance, accurate data, creativity, hard work and risk.

What are some movies you’ve seen that have made an impact on how you view business? Share in the comments what your top five movies are.

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