Salespeople love to quote movie scenes. Since we make our living by communicating, we tend to appreciate good film dialogue. Even though salespeople are underrepresented in popular culture, there are a few movie scenes that capture the hard-charging world of sales like no other. To mark the end of 2016 and get you motivated for the year ahead, here are the five best sales movie speeches of all time. Enjoy!
1. Glengarry Glen Ross
If you work in sales and haven’t seen the movie Glengarry Glen Ross before, you should be ashamed of yourself. Originally a play written by David Mamet, it was adapted for the big screen and includes stars such as Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Ed Harris, Kevin Spacey, Alan Arkin and, in this clip Alec Baldwin as a ruthless manager brought in to give a “pep talk” to some down and out real estate salesmen. Surprisingly, Alec Baldwin’s role wasn’t in the original play and was only written into the screenplay as a favor by Mamet to Baldwin.
2. Boiler Room
This scene from the movie Boiler Room is enshrined in sales movie history. Not many people know this, but Boiler Room is loosely based on the same story that inspired the more recent Wolf of Wall Street movie, which told the story of corrupt broker Jordan Belfort and his firm J.T. Marlin. In this scene, Affleck plays a seasoned broker brought in to tell some recruits what they can expect from their stock-broker job. He’s harsh, but knows exactly how to motivate the money-hungry young men.
3. Wolf of Wall Street
If you work in sales but haven’t seen the Wolf of Wall Street, go see it right now. While it’s not as gritty and serious as director Martin Scorsese’s other masterpieces like Taxi Driver or Casino and Goodfellas, it’s also the quintessential sales movie. In this scene, the movie’s protagonist Jordan Belfort, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, gives an epic speech to motivate his team of unscrupulous, greedy brokers to start making calls. While the message is clearly unethical, it can also be a huge motivator if you’re willing to look past all of the juvenile aspects. Enjoy!
It might not be a sales movie but if this speech in Braveheart doesn’t get you motivated then nothing will. Mel Gibson plays William Wallace, a Scottish rebel who leads an uprising against the cruel English ruler Edward the Longshanks, who wants to rule Scotland for himself. In this scene, Wallace motivates his men to rise up and fight against tyranny and run into the face of likely death.
5. Any Given Sunday
Al Pacino is the king of emotional movie speeches and this scene from the football epic Any Given Sunday is no exception. In this speech, Pacino plays the coach of a once-great team that’s struggling to make the playoffs while dealing with injuries and internal politics. Pacino takes the team on an emotional roller-coaster before leaving them charged up and ready to go. If you need to write a sales speech, use this one as a template.
Also published on Medium.