Look, we get it: working in sales is tough. Every now and then, you might find it hard to get motivated (like after getting rejected by a client).
Or maybe, it’s just one of those days, and you could use an extra push to get you pumped up and ready to seize the workday.
We’ve got you covered with these movie quotes that read like they were written for salespeople.
(Oh, and we also know there are lots of “salespeople movie quotes” articles out there, each made up of the same old movies and the same old quotes. So we’ve spared you the cliché Wolf of Wall Street, Boiler Room, and Pursuit of Happyness quotes—not that there’s anything wrong with these movies, they were just getting a bit redundant.)
Enjoy the quotes and happy selling!
1. Miles: “When will I know [I’m ready]?” / Peter: “You won’t. It’s a leap of faith. That’s all it is, Miles. A leap of faith.”
—An exchange between Miles Morales and Peter Parker, Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
This interaction took place when Miles was doubting whether he was really Spiderman—or even capable of it. Peter reassures him by telling him that the only way to find out is to try.
Part of the fun of working in sales is that you’re constantly faced with different challenges and predicaments. Some of these challenges are going to require more risk than others and sometimes, whether or not you should take that risk won’t be so obvious.
The only way to find out if you’re ready to take them on is to take that leap of faith.
This scene also alludes to imposter syndrome (which is a very real thing): sometimes you might catch yourself thinking things like, “Who am I to close such a big account?” Like Miles, however, the suit fits you and you’ve absolutely got this. So, go out there and save the world (aka. hit that sales quota).
2. "Just because something works doesn't mean it can't be improved."
—Shuri, Black Panther (2018)
Shuri—the smartest person in the Marvel Cinematic Universe—is always coming up with new inventions and continuously innovating them. This quote speaks to her desire to always keep learning and improving.
As a sales pro, this should be the attitude you have in everything you do, and the way you look at your sales process as a whole. Constantly have a critical mindset when speaking with customers, and analyze your wins and losses for ways you could do better next time.
You can do this by looking at things like how long your calls last, the scripts you use, how you open and close a sales conversation, and the cadence of communications you make with prospects (hint: a CRM makes pulling this information easy).
Always. Be. Improving.
3. “But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”
—Rocky, Rocky Balboa (2006)
You’ve probably heard of Rocky Balboa—y’know, the boxer.
But this line of his applies to so much more than just the ring.
Sometimes in sales, you’re going to give everything you’ve got to try and close an account. But they won’t always go through.
The important thing here isn’t whether or not that deal was closed—it’s the fact you gave it your all. And when the deal fell through, you picked yourself and continued to push hard on the next one.
Don’t let a few rejections or lost sales bring down your morale. Just keep moving forward. You won’t close them all, but if you’re constantly giving it 100%, you’ll close a whole lot.
4. “You control your destiny—you don't need magic to do it. And there are no magical shortcuts to solving your problems."
—Merida, Brave (2012)
Merida is a courageous royal, and skilled archer determined to carve her own path in life. This quote demonstrates her strong-willed mindset and solution-oriented attitude.
Controlling your destiny means that rather than seeing yourself as a victim of your circumstances, you’re taking on the responsibility of creating them.
Both in your personal life and at work, it’s up to you to take care of you. No one else knows who you are, what you’re capable of, and what you need to work on like you do.
Your results = your responsibility.
5. “My number one rule is to hope for the best and plan for the worst.”
—Noah Vosen, The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
The meaning of this advice from Noah Vosen, the CIA Deputy Director in the movie, is that you should have a positive attitude while at the same time be prepared for disaster.
For example, say you have a super important sales call coming up. You should tell yourself you’re going to crush it, but be prepared not to—if you don’t get this, do you have a backup plan in place to ensure you still meet your sales targets?
The point is: don't worry too much about things going wrong, but always have a plan in place in case they do.
6. “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”
—Gandalf, Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
This was Gandalf’s advice to Frodo when the young hero was expressing that he wishes he’d never gotten a hold of the ring. What Gandalf meant was, there are some circumstances we can’t change—what matters is what we do about it.
When something gets you down at work—a lost sale, for example—don’t let it ruin your whole day or entire quarter. Instead, take charge of your time and prove to yourself (and your boss) that you can’t be brought down that easily.
Take these instances as opportunities for growth, pick yourself up, and move forward.
We might not be able to change certain situations, but we do have control over the decisions we make in response to those situations.
Instead of thinking, “Why me?” think, “Try me.”
7. “You have to do everything you can, you have to work your hardest, and if you do, if you stay positive, you have a shot at a silver lining.”
—Pat Solitano, Jr., in Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
Pat Solitano has been through some things. But this mantra keeps him motivated to continue working toward bettering his life.
He’s referring to the expression, “every cloud has a silver lining,” which basically means you can find something positive even in a negative, overcast situation.
Sure, this might seem hard when you’re far from reaching quota, your sales pipeline isn’t as saturated as it was last quarter and a new competitor has just popped up making pushing your product that much harder. But just because the silver lining is hard to see, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
For example, that new competitor who just popped up? They might be making your job harder, but the silver lining could be that they’re bringing awareness to your industry, which ultimately could be good for business and eventually bring in a higher number of potential leads.
Try to find the silver lining in every negative situation thrown at you, until you’ve wired yourself to see the potential opportunities in all of them. Some situations just suck, but finding the silver lining makes them suck a little bit less. Which is always nice.
8. “When you decide to be something, you can be it.”
—Frank Costello, The Departed (2006)
Plain and simple: what you set your mind to, you can accomplish.
The power’s in your hands—if you're not happy with something in your life, change it. You’re not stuck where you are.
Want to up your sales game? Make changes. Read up on new closing techniques. Watch some TED talks on building relationships. Record your next phone meeting and play it back to critique yourself and identify areas you could’ve done better.
And then be better.
Define who you are and who you want to be. Have goals. Make plans. Don’t be scared to dream big—and work towards those dreams.
Remember: even the top sales rep at your company began with zero sales and got rejected. A lot. But they believed in themselves and developed their skills to get to where they are today.
You can do the same.
9. “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
—Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
This scene was an iconic one for Harry Potter fans everywhere. Harry has just realized that his magical abilities share a lot in common with Voldemort (the bad guy, in case you didn’t know). He expresses his concern about this to Dumbledore who explains that although the two have similar powers, Harry chose to use his for good.
Which is all that really matters.
The decisions you make in your day to day life (like at your sales job) are more than just moments that go by in passing—they define who you are.
You could blame your competitor for slowing down your pipeline, or your colleague for losing a lead, or your rough commute this morning for your lack of gusto in taking sales calls and therefore causing you to close fewer deals.
Or, you could try this: next time you’re frustrated with a work situation, ask yourself these two questions:
- What would the best version of me do?
- What would the worst version of me do?
Then, do the first one.
Over time, the awesome decisions you make with this technique will become habit and how you handle situations, naturally.
10. “If you focus on what you left behind, you will never be able to see what lies ahead.”
—Auguste Gusteau, Ratatouille (2007)
Last but certainly not least, we’ve got Chef Gusteau’s wise words to Remy the rat when he encourages him to follow his dreams of becoming a chef himself—even with all odds against him.
Spoiler alert: he pulls it off. And you can too.
It doesn’t matter whether your past selling history was phenomenal or lackluster. What’s done is done, and you need to continuously move forward to grow.
Just got rejected? Get over it and keep moving, you’ll get ‘em next time.
Just got a fat bonus because you did really well at hitting your sales targets? Nice! But don’t focus on it so much that you lose focus the following quarter.
Rather than living in your past experience, learn from it and use it to make your future even better.
Ready to take on these movie lessons and close some deals?
Check out our webinar on ways to prospect more effectively and put these sales lessons into action!