Movies are fun to watch. Sometimes, all we need is entertainment, and other times, we need to be inspired, and movies are a quick go-to for such satiation. However, despite providing an avenue for us to enjoy ourselves and relax, movies can be harbingers of great lessons that can transform our way of thinking and our lives as a whole. Hence, we should take the time to pay attention to the overt and covert messages that the movies we see carry.
“I love watching movies. It breaks up the monotony of the road and momentarily takes you somewhere else.” — Santigold.
As a business or salesperson who is seeking ideas or some inspiration to grow a business, you can find that boost you need in a movie that entertains and inspires you at the same time. There are many movies out there that can inspire us in the business circles; however, in this piece, we will look at some inspirational sales movies. Here are the top eight sales movies that will inspire you to enhance your persuasive skills and make good profits in your business.
#1. Thank You for Smoking
“If you argue correctly, you’re never wrong.” — Nick Naylor.
As much as we do not advocate smoking, Thank You for Smoking is a 2005 movie about a salesman, Nick Naylor (Aaron Eckhart), who sells a controversial product in his community. He is torn between telling his son not to smoke because it isn’t morally right and being a salesman for a tobacco company. Regardless of the moral dilemma, Nick came up with unique techniques and strategies to sell tobacco products. This movie is for sales representatives who are confused about selling products that society calls immoral or harmful. Nick Naylor shows you how to create winning pitches for a controversial development, and as such, it’s a must-watch.
#2. Pursuit of Happyness
“Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do something. You got a dream; you gotta protect it. When people can’t do something themselves, they’re gonna tell you that you can’t do it. You want something, go get it. Period.” — Chris Gardner.
The movie Pursuit of Happyness made its debut in 2006. It spawns from a true-life story that everyone can relate to, especially when facing life’s challenges and overcoming them. The Pursuit of Happyness tells of a struggling salesman, Chris Gardner (Will Smith). He lost his wife, his property and became homeless with his five-year-old son, Christopher (Jaden Smith). Yet, irrespective of his condition, he pushed harder to win high-paying clients through professional sale pitches with many positive vibes coming from him.
The Pursuit of Happyness is a story of resilience and pushing forward to achieve one’s goals against all odds. In Chris Gardner’s circumstances, many people would have given up on achieving any good thing and probably approach sales based on their current predicament that emits negative vibes alone. This movie is a must-watch for every salesperson, business owner, or anyone going through a rough patch in life in general. This movie tells you not to throw in the towel. Instead, stay positive and keep pushing.
#3. Tommy Boy
“Embrace sales training.” — Tommy Boy.
Tommy Boy is a 1995 movie about winning in challenging sales. The story is about Tommy Callahan Jr. (Chris Farley), who needs to save his father’s auto part factory, who had died earlier. Tommy must raise enough money from selling brake pads else the factory will be closed down by a corporation that plans to buy it. So, Tommy must save the factory so the employers can still retain their jobs. In the beginning, it was tough to sell until he learned from a sales coach who gave him some nuggets to selling. This movie reaches many sales lessons, especially if you find closing sales deals very difficult. It will teach you some tips to close excellently.
#4. Steve Jobs
“Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that it tells them what they need well before they realize it themselves.” — Steve Jobs.
The 2015 biographical movie is about the digital icon Steve Jobs (Michael Fassbender), and it tells the story of the digital evolution that Steve Jobs’ products brought to the world. In addition, it shows his passion for technology and the need to solve problems through technology. Every businessperson needs to watch this movie to see how Steve handled marketing, team building, problem-solving, and lessons from a work-life balance that Steve wasn’t good at, to say the least.
#5. The Wolf of Wall Street
“I will win, maybe not today or tomorrow, but one day I will win.” — Jordan Belfort.
The 2013 movie The Wolf of Wall Street keeps making a lot of waves in the business world, and as such, it needs no introduction. This movie tells the story of selling worthless penny stocks by Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio), who used his wins to build an empire and lavish his wealth on big parties. While Belfort was involved in unethical sales practices, there are lessons on how to close sales. According to Belfort, you must sell the need and the dream no matter how the product is. Every consumer has requirements that he or she needs to meet. Once there is a satisfaction of that need, it becomes a dream come true. When you solve the customer’s problems, you are sure to be on your way to closing more sales.
#6. Money Ball
“Trust in data, and it never lies.” — Billy Beane.
The 2011 movie, Money Ball, is a story about Billy Beane’s (Brad Pitt) decision to win the world’s series in baseball despite his lack of financial resources. To win, Billy must find a competitive edge using statistical data to build the right team with the most value. Money ball teaches entrepreneurs sales strategies and intelligent decision-making using data that can make any business win today.
#7. The Founder
“If you believe in it, and you believe in it hard, it is impossible to fail.” — Ray Kroc.
The 2016 movie, The Founder, tells a story of a salesman, Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton), who helped two brothers’ fast-food restaurant, McDonald’s, become the biggest restaurant in the world today. The movie teaches a lesson on persistence, ambition, and ruthlessness. But, most of all, the biggest lesson here is to set agreements right when making any business negotiations.
“Don’t sit down and wait for opportunities to come. Get up and make them.” — Madam C.J Walker.
This 2020 biography movie tells the story of Madam C.J Walker (Octavia Spencer), who was the first black American woman to be a millionaire selling hair products. Madam C.J. Walker saw a need for black women’s hair to look good and healthy to boost their confidence. Her pitch to women in gatherings and door-to-door sales marketing wasn’t easy. Still, triggering this opportunity kickstarted a famous hair brand that turned her customers into loyal evangelists, and today, she remains a legend.
This movie teaches value and consistency in business and marketing. If you sell value, you’ll win over many loyal customers. You need to make sure that you maintain your standards and keep delivering value. At some point, Madam C.J Walker recruited and trained other women in the business, which helped them become entrepreneurs too. The people you recruit can further help in expanding your business only when you add value to their lives.
Movies are always fun to watch. However, it would pay us to open our minds more to learn some lessons as we have seen in the eight movies above that would inspire people to sell more. These movies will teach you something or two in honing your persuasive skills in the art of the deal that will make you more profitable in business. Are there some other movies that you think should have been on this list? Let us know in the comments.