Top Sales Movies of All-Time

Since all Peak Sales does is recruit top performing sales professionals, we thought it might be interesting to put together a list of the best sales movies we’ve seen. If you know of others, let us know and we will add them!

Big Kahuna
Movie in which Danny DeVito schools up and coming sales rep on the facts of life. Also stars Kevin Spacey.

Glengarry Glen Ross
Epic movie about regional sales reps fighting to save their jobs with a tough boss from downtown putting the screws to them. Stars Alec Baldwin, Jack Lemon, Al Pacino.

Death of a Salesman
The sad story of a salesman at the end of his career based on Pulitzer Prize play. There are many versions including a 1985 one with Dustin Hofman, but this play with Brian Dennehy does a good job of capturing an important scene.

Jerry Maquire
Player agent fights to make money and save his career. Stars Tom Cruise and Cuba Gooding.

The Goods – Live Hard, Sell Hard
Hilarious movie starring Jeremy Piven as a hired gun brought in to save a used car dealership from going under. Many tongue in cheek sales situations and behind the scenes views on sales life.

Cadillac Man
Another hillarious car sales movie. This one with Tim Robbins and Robin Williams as used car salesmen.

Tin Men
Another Danny Devito film. This time he and Richard Dreyfus are competing salesmen selling aluminum siding. Many dirty sales tricks and funny sales room scenes. Hard to find scenes from the movie online, but this one shows the two top sales guys obsessing over their fancy cars.

Boiler Room
Movie about fast talking rip off artists conning prospects into buying junk bonds. Many great sales scenes and scenes in which sales managers push inside sales reps to sell.

Obviously great B2B sales people are a unique breed, but what exactly makes them go above and beyond like some of the characters in the movies above? Check out our article, The Traits of Top Sales Performers, to find out.

We have listed our top sales flicks, what are yours? Comment below!

  • http://www.openeraventures.com Peter Lalonde

    These are all great movies. Boiler Room and Glengarry are among the best and worst characterization of sales. Unfortunately, many reps I’ve worked with use them as training tools rather than cautionary tales.

    This list wouldn’t be complete without

    1) Ben Affleck’s slick and slimy tirades in Boiler Room.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8JkSEvyFhM

    2) Gordon Gecko’s “Greed is Good” speech from Wall Street.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7upG01-XWbY

    3) or Deniro selling a car in Analyze That.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbQWO22pprk

    I tried to find Deniro selling knives to a sports store in The Fan – a classic sales call many reps would relate with.

    • Eliot Burdett

      Great additions Peter – thanks and it is shame that not everyone realizes that these aren’t what pros are really like. I guess what makes it funny is that we have seen shades of these situations in real life.

  • Brian Jeffrey

    As great and entertaining as these movies are, there is a tendency to portray salespeople as sleazeballs and crooks.

    It’s a public perception that I wish could be changed but realize that it won’t happen in my lifetime. But then, I’m old. :>)

    A more positive way to view this is that these movies give us something to contrast ourselves with while we go about our jobs is a professional manner.

    • Eliot Burdett

      Agree with you Brian. The movie business certainly likes to create a certain stigma around sales and these should absolutely be used to show how *not* to sell.

    • Matt

      Very true. I’ve been looking for sales movies that would help me in my career. It just seems that since the market is flooded with poorly trained and educated sales men and women, who are usually starving and desperate, gives them a more pushy attitude.

      I know many great salespeople who are very ethical and true to their customers, and then again I know a fair share of the stereotype.

  • http://www.bradylawgroup.com Steve Brady

    The Prime Gig is a great sales movie too. You might think of adding a scene from that movie. Awesome clips.

    • Eliot Burdett

      Thanks will have to check it out!

  • Morgan

    Traveling Man, Used Cars, The Closer, The Hot Spot, Diamond Men, some scenes in Ameican Beauty……..the above mentioned Wall Street also Vince Vaughn and Ed Harris are great in the Prime Gig….. Peter Weller in The New Age….Jeff Bridges in Tucker…..many business movies are all about sales as well…ie Billionaire Boys Club, Barbarians at the Gate, Pirates of Silicon Valley

    • Andrew

      Morgan you have great taste in movies, please tell me your top 100 i have finally watched your movies mentioned very impressed! all great !! Got any more?

    • peaksales

      Some great movies in here. Was just telling a friend about Pirates of Silicon Valley the other day – what a story!

  • Jerry Longsworth
    • Eliot Burdett

      Haha! I haven’t seen that one. Must check it out. Great list you have on Amazon! Thanks for dropping by.
      Eliot.

  • Eli Birch

    Great titles, don’t forget two for the money with Al Pacino.

  • salesguy

    If you really want to see what sales is like, watch the 1969 documentary:
    Salesman (by brothers Albert and David Maysles)

    It’s real! (i.e documentary) and it follows 4 salesmen as they travel across New England and Southeast Florida trying to sell expensive Bibles door-to-door in low-income neighborhoods and attend a meeting in Chicago.
    The film focuses in particular on the struggles of salesman Paul Brennan, a middle-aged Irish-American Roman Catholic from Jamaica Plain, Boston, who struggles to keep up his sales.

    • peaksales

      Sounds awesome! Thanks for the tip.

  • Stan Piskorski

    Thanks for all these ideas. For a positive role model, how about “The Pursuit of Happyness” with Will Smith?

    For individual scenes (and I regret some are about the seedy side of selling) I’ve heard there is a bit about selling bibles door to door in Paper Moon (haven’t seen it, just heard about it.)

    One of my favorite “selling” scenes occurs in the movie “Far and Away” where Tom Cruise is “selling” the idea of “freedom” to Nichole Kidman.

  • eduardo mexican

    We’ve got to give credit to Tom Cruise trying to sell cars in Rain Man !

  • cosmicstargoat