The 10 Best Fictional Sales People Ever

Salespeople are amongst the most funny, outgoing, and creative people around. So it's not surprising that the few fictional sales characters that exist develop cult-like followings, with millions of sales reps repeating catch-phrases from these characters in offices across the country. 

Here's our list of the 10 best fictional salespeople - who are your favorites?

1) Ricky Roma - Ricky is the hotshot top producer in the movie (originally a play) Glengarry Glen Ross. He's played by the energetic and charismatic Al Pacino and is a master of his craft. Roma is such a great closer that he wins the first prize in the office sales contest: a Cadillac Eldorado.

2) Don Draper - The womanizing, Old Fashioned-sipping advertising executive of Mad Men is a fantastic salesperson because despite being in the office only a few hours a week, he still closes huge deals with gigantic brands. But like all other big personalities, he has skeletons in his closet that follow him around throughout the show and make him a more complicated, and compelling character.

3) Tommy Boy - The legendary Chris Farley plays Tommy, an heir to an auto-parts manufacturer, in Tommy Boy. Despite being dim-witted and grossly incompetent, Tommy needs to close deals if he wants to keep the company out of the hands of conniving relatives and corporate tycoons. His quotes include the classic: "You can get a good look at a butcher's ass by sticking your head up there. But, wouldn't you rather take his word for it?"

4) Don Ready - The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard, a movie released in 2009, tells the story of a struggling car dealership that hires a consultant named Don Ready to make their Fourth of July sale a success. Ready, played by Jeremy Piven, pulls out all the stops to sell the 211 cars on the lot, including running a fake ad announcing that the owner is dying of testicular cancer. Ready's crowning achievement includes selling the dealership's crown jewel, a prop car used in Smokey and the Bandit.

5) Gordon Gekko - Michael Douglas' Oscar winning portrayal of the ruthless corporate raider Gordon Gekko in Wall Street may not technically be a sales rep, but his persuasive selling powers are unmatched. He talks shareholders into voting against their own best interests and a young Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) into breaking the law to bring him inside information. Gekko is a relentlessly immoral psychopath, but he sells his vision like no other.

6) Jordan Belfort - There are two versions of Jordan Belfort: the real-life stockbroker who went to prison for committing an endless stream of financial crimes and the fictional stockbroker who went to prison for committing an endless stream of financial crimes. We're talking about the latter, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, in Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street. If you can overlook his addictive behavior and lack of a moral compass, Belfort knows how to close deals, and if he'd applied his skills ethically and legally, would likely have been a top producer selling anything at all.

7) Al Bundy - America's favorite father and husband, Al Bundy, spends his days arguing with his wife, Peggy, reliving his high-school football glory days, and selling women's shoes at the mall. The Married With Children patriarch hates his job, but he does it to provide for his family, despite the constant humiliation from them and most of his customers.

8) Ari Gold - Jeremy Piven's second appearance on this list is as Ari Gold, the fast-talking agent from the series Entourage. Little known fact: Ari Gold is based on Ari Emanuel, the Hollywood talent agent and brother of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Ari is brash, witty, and full of nervous energy, but he is a salesperson through and through, which is why he's probably the most popular character on the show.

9) Willy Loman - Willy Loman makes this list, not based so much on his popularity, but on his cultural and historical significance. Death of a Salesman, a play written by Arthur Miller in 1949, has since been adapted multiple times for the big screen and stage. Loman is a salesman nearing the end of his career and his life, who is struggling with his demons, both personal and professional throughout the play. The play shows the darker side of the life of a working-class sales rep.

10) Blake from Mitch and Murray - A fictional list of sales reps wouldn't be complete without Blake from Mitch and Murray, the abusive sales manager played by Alec Baldwin in the opening scene of Glengarry Glen Ross who is sent from downtown on a "mission of mercy." The ten-minute monologue that Blake goes through in this scene is probably the most oft-quoted bit of screenwriting in sales history, including the infamous line: "Put that coffee down! Coffee's for closers only."

Vidya is the head of marketing for AppMesh, the makers of SalesMesh. Prior to joining AppMesh, she worked for Salesforce. Her favorite sales movie is Tommy Boy.

SalesMesh is the personal CRM/sales app that works the way you sell. Automatically track customer interactions, notes, schedule follow-ups, collaborate with your network, sync to and from Salesforce all from your iPhone and iPad -- even when you're offline. Learn more here.
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