Always be closing

Always Be Closing Quotes: Top 10 ABC Quotes for Sales Reps Glass April 27, 2023

Always be closing (ABC) is a popular quote from James Foley's 1992 film Glengarry Glen Ross, starring Alec Baldwin, Al Pacino, and Jack Lemmon, and is used in the sales world to motivate sellers and encourage them to close deals.

It implies that a salesperson should continuously look for new prospects, pitch products or services, and ultimately complete a sale. 

In this article, we'll explore the origins of the famous ABC quote (A always, B be, C closing), as well as its effectiveness in modern times. And we'll give you 10 more quotes that will inspire you to make that sales call you've been putting off.

What movie is the quote "always be closing" from?

The famous ABC quote, sometimes misquoted as ABS—always be selling, was spoken by Blake in the film Glengarry Glen Ross, which was based on a Pulitzer prize winning play by David Mamet.

Always Be Closing gif

Image. Always be closing gif.

The film depicts two days in the lives of four desperate real estate agents who are prepared to engage in any number of unethical, illegal sales tactics—from lies and flattery to bribery, threats, intimidation, and burglary—to sell undesirable real estate to unwitting prospective buyers.

Should sales people embrace the always be closing mentality?

The “Always Be Closing” mentality has been around for decades, but its relevance in today's sales landscape is often questioned.

While the phrase emphasizes the importance of tenacity and persistence when dealing with prospects, some argue it encourages a too-pushy approach that can backfire and damage customer relationships.

Pain Points

Research suggests that the modern salesperson must take a more nuanced approach when it comes to closing deals.

With buyers more informed and sophisticated than ever before, lead generation, customer follow-up, and conversational strategy have become an increasingly important part of a salesperson's day.

Today, salespeople must be well-prepared, knowledgeable, and customer-centric, anticipating clients' needs and finding creative solutions to their problems. The customer's culture and background must be taken into account, too, to ensure a good rapport.

The bottom line is this: always be closing should not be used as an excuse for overly aggressive tactics, but rather as a reminder to stay focused on the ultimate goal of completing successful sales. A good salesperson's skills should be made up of a balance between tenacity and kindness.

Salespeople should remember to prioritize customer needs, be patient, and build relationships with prospects over time.

With the right approach, modern sales techniques can be used in conjunction with Always Be Closing principles to provide a winning combination for driving successful sales performance.

growth strategy

With that point out of the way, here are the top quotes that emphasize the good aspects of the always-be-closing mindset.

Top 10 always be closing quotes

1. Blake (Alec Baldwin) in Glengarry Glen Ross 

“A-B-C. A-Always, B-Be, C-Closing. Always be closing, always be closing.”—Alec Baldwin's character, in the movie Glengarry Glen Ross

When people refer to Glengarry Glen Ross quotes, they're usually referring to this one.

2. Brian Tracy

“Keep your sales pipeline full by prospecting continuously. Always have more people to see than you have time to see them.”—Brian Tracy

A motivational speaker and author, Brian Tracy has authored over eighty books in dozens of languages. Brian's own proven methods cover a variety of topics, like public speaking, book writing, sales training, leadership growth, business development, and time management.

He has written and produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs, including the worldwide best-selling Psychology of Selling.

3. Jack Canfield

“If you are not moving closer to what you want in sales (or in life), you probably aren't doing enough asking.”—Jack Canfield

Another Jack Canfield quote that we love for sales reps, whether you sell real estate or are in auto deals, is this: “Don't worry about failures, worry about the chances you miss when you don't even try.”

Jack Canfield is the co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, which has more than 250 titles and 500 million copies in print in over 40 languages.

4. Omar Periu

“Sales success comes after you stretch yourself past your limits on a daily basis.”—Omar Periu

Omar Periu is a speaker, entrepreneur, and the author of Get Fired UP! & The One-Minute Meeting. In 1994, Periu founded Omar Periu International Inc, offering miscellaneous educational courses and services.

5. Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison in a lab

Gif: Thomas Edison in a lab

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is to try just one more time.”—Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison's many inventions have greatly influenced the quality of living all around the world, and include the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. Edison held over 1000 patents in his lifetime, and his work spanned industries, from telecommunications to electricity and transportation.

6. Nelson Mandela

“I never lose. I either win or learn.”—Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela, South African statesman, revolutionary, and activist who devoted his life to championing equal rights in apartheid South Africa.

7. Vince Lombardi

“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.”—Vince Lombardi

Vince Lombardi, well-regarded as one of the greatest coaches in sports history, led the Green Bay Packers to five NFL championships.

8. Conrad Hilton

“Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes but they don’t quit.”—Conrad Hilton

Conrad Hilton founded the Hilton Hotels chain and also served as a member of the New Mexico House of Representatives.

9. Seth (Ben Affleck) in Boiler Room

“There is no such thing as a no sale call. A sale is made on every call you make. Either you sell the clients some stock or he sells you on a reason why he can’t. Either way, a sale is made. The only question is, 'who’s gonna close?' You or him. And be relentless.”—Ben Affleck's character in Boiler Room

Ben Affleck

Boiler Room (2000) was directed and written by Ben Younger and starred Ben Affleck, Giovanni Ribisi, Vin Diesel, and Nia Long. The movie follows Seth as he joins an investment firm and learns about closing deals.

10. Michael Jordan

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”—Michael Jordan

Basketball GOAT: Michael Jordan.

Frequently asked questions

There are a number of valid questions people usually have surrounding the "A B C" quote, and we aim to answer the most important ones for you below:

What other famous lines come from the movie, Glengarry, Glen Ross?

Any great movie has at least a few famous lines that it is known for, and Glengarry Glen Ross is no different.

Aside from his "always be closing" line, the character Blake is known for saying some pretty harsh things that tie in well with the theme of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, including:

Blake - Put that coffee down
  • "Put that coffee down! Coffee is for closers only."

  • "We’re adding a little something to this month’s sales contest. As you all know, first prize is a Cadillac Eldorado. Anybody wanna see second prize? Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is, you’re fired."

  • "You want to know what it takes to sell real estate? It takes brass balls to sell real estate! Go and do likewise, gents. The money's out there. You pick it up, it's yours."

Due to the strong language the film is known for, many of the other quotes are best left for you to discover on your own—we'll draw the line at "it takes brass balls."

What's the point of Glengarry Glen Ross?

Glengarry Glen Ross takes a hard look at the business practices of the USA in the 1990s and shows us how dishonest and underhanded many people were willing to be to make money.

It also shows the lengths people will go to to save their businesses when they're in trouble.

On the other hand, the film teaches us, as salespeople, to be resilient and to push forward, no matter the difficulties we face.

The methods the characters in the film employed may not have been good and would not be successful today, but using our own refined methods of closing and combining them with that resilience could lead us to success.

What lessons can we learn from Glengarry Glen Ross?

The film teaches us some important things that we can use to improve our sales tactics and become successful sellers. For example:

  1. Be determined—never give up.

  2. Remember why you do what you do—you will need the motivation when things don't go as planned.

  3. Pay attention to your customer's wants and needs—listen well and answer carefully, especially when they are having second thoughts.

  4. Know and understand your team and what drives them—happy employees will be better salespeople.

Is Always Be Closing still relevant to salespeople today?

The phrase is still relevant if it is interpreted and used in the right way. Many people believe it means you should push to close a deal in every interaction, no matter the circumstances, and that may have worked in the '90s when prospects had less access to information.

However, in the modern world, people are far better informed, and in many cases, they have access to almost all the information they could need to make a decision.

Therefore, we need to be honest, carefully combine sales techniques, and be aware of and respect each customer's wants and needs.

Rather than interpreting the A B C mindset as a reason to push for a deal in every interaction, we should see it as motivation to work towards a happy conclusion for both seller and client in every step we take.

Is there an alternative to "A always, B be, C closing?"

Rather than considering everything you do to be leading you towards finalizing a deal, why not work towards building relationships?

Instead of salespeople driving headlong towards the end goal, they could be focusing on each step they take and building long-lasting connections with the clients they do land.

If you are only thinking of closing new leads, you are likely not thinking about the customer's or the business's long-term needs.

To keep your customers for a long time, you need to keep them happy, and pushing them to buy something they don't want or need will not accomplish that.

In closing

Although the phrase “always be closing” from Glengarry Glen Ross has taken on a negative connotation in recent years, it still stands that salespeople should not give up on their prospects and should always strive for success.

With the right attitude, customer-centric approach, and creative solutions, modern salespeople can use this phrase as a reminder to stay focused on their goals and work towards the desired outcome in a way that works for them and their clients.

The best salespeople will make sales that everyone walks away from feeling happy and content, and leave customers coming back for more. Good relationships are the key to success when it comes to making sales in the modern world.


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