Glengarry Glen Ross & The Romance Of Selling

I'm here from downtown. I'm here from Mitch & Murray, and I'm here on a mission of mercy…

"Glengarry Glen Ross" is one of my favorite films, and while this isn't the place to review it, I do think it's worthy of a little attention. David Mamet's script almost makes a fetish of the twists and turns of the sale – the back and forth of pursuit and persuasion, the salesman's delicate balancing act between best friend and bully. Although it's a satire, and a pugnacious one at that -replete with enough expletives to have Tipper Gore marching on Washington – the film's comprehension of the metaphysics of selling is utterly convincing, and nowhere more so than in Alec Baldwin's 9 minute cameo.

But does a film about the hermetic world of real estate have any broader lessons to share? Naturally, I'm of the opinion that it does…

A.B.C. Always Be… Converting

Always Be Converting. Ok, so 'closing' works better on every level recognisable to anyone who has heard the English language spoken, but the truth of the maxim is irrefutable. Success is holistic, there's no telling where the decision to buy is made, or how it is uniquely justified by the individual. Treat everything, every nuance of copy, every stock image, as if it were fundamental to conversion.

Coffee's for closers only…

I just happen to think this is a good rule, mostly because I am a tea drinker. However, if you want to read it as a metaphor for not sitting on your laurels, feel free.

The leads are weak? You're weak…

The chances are, whether weak or strong, in some way or other you've paid for your traffic, and dismissing any of it as un-convertable is an admission of failure so abject that you deserve neither Cadillac nor steak knives. Alec has a fair bit to say on this, but unfortunately none of it is repeatable.

A guy don't walk on the lot lest he wants to buy…

Alec shows his age here, as these days the chances are your potential customer has simultaneously walked onto 5 or 6 lots open in different tabs. You have to be better – we're talking golden balls here, not brass.

If you haven't seen the film, I can't recommend it highly enough (assuming you have flame retardant ears for dialogue), so do check it out. And hopefully you'll agree with me that pearls of inspiration can be found even buried amidst profanity and satire.

Oh yeah, I used to be a salesman, it's a tough racket…

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