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Vote: The Academy Awards for Selling

A few weeks ago, I posted the Top 5 Funny Sales Scenes from Hollywood. That got me thinking about sales-oriented movies what were more serious, so I located these five dramatic clips, all from Hollywood movies, that feature characters who are sales professionals.

What's interesting about these clips is that each one teaches an important lesson about selling in the real world, so I've added my own comments about what I learned from watching the movie. Warning: some of these clips include strong language... but it's tame compared to what I've actually heard in real-life sales teams.)

I've included polls so you can vote for your favorite, just like the people who vote for the Oscars.

CLICK HERE for the first dramatic sales scene »

GLENGARRY GLENN ROSS


LESSONS LEARNED: This scene is, of course, legendary and many of the lines have slipped into daily vocabulary of sales motivation. Even so, I think the best usage of this movie is to use it as a reminder that you don't have to work for a jackass if you don't want to. In my opinion, every sales pro should have six numbers in his pocket he call and get a job in 24 hours or less. Then you don't have to put up with this kind of BS.

CLICK HERE for the next dramatic sales scene »

BOILER ROOM


LESSONS LEARNED: While I think the motivation approach is a little bald-faced on the greed side, I think there's a lot to say for knowing what motivates you, and why you're working. If all that matters is money, you'd be crazy not to sign on with this guy. If it's not, and you're interested in other things, best to go elsewhere.

CLICK HERE for the next dramatic sales scene »

PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS


LESSONS LEARNED: This is a textbook description of how to be successful at cold calling. You have to stick with it, stay focused, and try to get the right people on the phone. While his technique is weak (a great acting job on the part of Will Smith), I don't think there's ever been a better and more realistic depiction of cold calling.

CLICK HERE for the next dramatic sales scene »

WALL STREET


LESSON LEARNED: My, oh my... so many lessons here. The most important one is that it's easy to convince people that they're doing good when they're being selfish. There's not a product in the world that can't be positioned in such a way that the buyer thinks that he or she is making the world a better place by buying it.

CLICK HERE for the final dramatic sales scene »

DEATH OF A SALESMAN


LESSON LEARNED: I realize that the scene itself isn't about selling. Instead, it's about family. The dysfunctional relationships, for me, are reminders that you need to measure success the right way. I measure success by the relationships that I have with my friends and family, not by how much I can sell or write. Even if Willie Lohman had been a billionaire, who'd want this kind of sadness and misery?
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