By Paul Reilly

I’m sure this message will trigger some interesting comments, but I have to answer this question once and for all.

During the holiday season, there is no shortage of Christmas movies. So naturally, we must ask the controversial question, “What is the greatest Christmas movie of all time?” And more importantly, what can salespeople learn from each movie?

So, in rank order, here are the three greatest Christmas movies of all time.


What a great movie! Salespeople everywhere can learn from Buddy. Here’s the lesson…STAY POSITIVE ALL THE TIME.

Buddy faces adversity, whether it’s the “Seven Levels of Candy Cane Forest” or constant rejection from everyone he meets. Positivity attracts more positivity.

As you face negativity this year, keep Buddy in mind. How would he respond to the challenges you face?

Buddy stays positive. Consider doing the same.

#2…Christmas Vacation

I look forward to this classic every year. Our family watches it at least a half dozen times. Here’s the lesson…NEVER GIVE UP!

Clark Griswold faces numerous setbacks. Consider everything that goes wrong for this guy:

  • He runs off the road on the way to the tree lot
  • Forgets the saw to cut down the perfect tree
  • Gets stuck in the attic
  • Falls off the roof a couple of times while decorating the house
  • The Christmas lights don’t work, so he checks every bulb
  • Fails to get a Christmas bonus
  • Gets fired (and then rehired)
  • Uncle Lewis destroys his tree
  • Cousin Eddie’s dog destroys his house

The list goes on and on. Clark faces constant setbacks, but he never gives up; you shouldn’t give up either.

On a side note…I’ve learned that every family has a Cousin Eddie. If you don’t know who it is, then you are Cousin Eddie.

And the #1 Christmas movie of all time:

(Griswold-style) Drum roll, please…

#1…It’s a Wonderful Life

How could it be any other movie? The BEST Christmas movie of all time! Although salespeople can learn several lessons from George Bailey, one stands out.

Here’s the lesson: BE A PERSON OF VALUE!

To be a person of value means…

  • Making a difference, not just making a deal;
  • Prioritizing the needs of others, versus your own;
  • Giving more than you hope to receive; and
  • Expressing gratitude for the opportunity to serve.

Every time I sign a copy of Value-Added Selling, I remind the reader to…

“Be a person of value.”

George Bailey manifests this mantra in his daily action. Let’s challenge ourselves to do the same. The more you prioritize the needs of others, the more successful you will be.

Let’s try to be more like Buddy, Clark, and George (but not Cousin Eddie) this holiday season.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

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