Make Money by Selling like the Wolf of Wall Street
Many of you have seen a movie - The Wolf of Wall Street, right? So did I… You probably know that this movie is based on actual events, and while some of the moments might have been exaggerated to amuse the crowd, most of what happened are accurate.
The movie is based on the life story of Jordan Belfort and Stratton Oakmont, a brokerage firm he founded in 1989 with his partner Danny Porush. In 1996, the business was closed by a financial regulator for participating in penny stock schemes. In 1999, Jordan Belfort pleaded guilty to stock-market manipulation and running a boiler room and spent 22 months in prison.
Now, you would think, what it has to do with the persuasion training system and how such a man could have developed it? I thought the same thing until recently when I came across Jordan accidentally (or by luck!).
I was watching another great interview with Dan Penna on London Real (which I highly recommend you to watch, too), and Dan said that one of the most critical life skills helped him succeed in sales. When asked who, in his opinion, is the best sales trainer these days, he said that his mentees speak highly of Jordan Belfort. And this is when I had to check him out as I was looking for sales training and was considering Grant Gardone.
Jordan admitted the mistakes he made in the past and changed. Of course, I can't vouch for this 100%, but over the years, I learned to trust my gut feeling, and Jordan's message is genuine. He admits his mistakes and is very open about them, and now he is trying to impact them positively.
So I watched some of Jordan's videos on YouTube and was hooked. There is a lot of quality content on YouTube that you can watch for free, but a few days later, I signed up for Jordan's Straight Line Persuasion System, and in this post would like to share my opinion about it.
Watch Jordan Belfort selling live.
What is the Straight Line Persuasion System about?
As Jordan Belfort said numerous times, he was not only a natural-born closer, but one of his most extraordinary skills was motivating people. So at Stratton, he developed a training program that allowed him to take an average person.
After a few weeks of training, these guys and girls would be smashing their targets and making hundreds of thousands, and later millions, for themselves in commissions. But, of course, the problem back then, everything was driven by greed, so everyone got into trouble. But the sales system works magi, and Jordan applies it with the new redefined values.
The Straight Line Persuasion System will teach you to close anyone who's closable. It results from Jordan's intensive study and real-world application of what works regarding influence and persuasion at the highest level. It teaches how to cut to the chase to get results in your business, finances and any vital area.
As Jordan says (and I agree with this statement), the system is a sharp sword, but how to use it is up to you. If you are a skilled swordsman with high ethical standards - this sword will protect you and serve for good. But in the hands of a novice, it will be worthless, and if one has just wrong intentions, it will backfire.
So before reading further, think about why you are doing what you are doing.
The Key Elements of Straight Line Persuasion System
The Straight Line System will allow you to close anyone who's closable, and it is about goal-oriented selling—constantly pushing the sale forward on a Straight Line toward the close. It is straightforward, the sales process is a straight line, and you need to get your prospect from start to finish and the maximum level of certainty.
You must establish the following three things in the first four seconds to get your prospect's attention:
- Be Sharp as a Tack. If the prospect thinks you're not sharp as a tack, you're wasting their time.
- Be Enthusiastic as Hell. This tells the prospect you have something great to offer.
- Be an Expert in their field and a Force to be reckoned with. People are taught to listen to authority figures from a young age, and you must come across as a force to be reckoned with.
Remember that the first 4 seconds are the most important if you want to impress the prospect. After that, there is always a chance to change the situation, but it will be much more complicated and require much more effort.
The Three Tenets of Straight Line Persuasion System
It doesn't matter what you're selling or whom you're speaking to. Before a prospect will say 'yes,' three things need to be established to close any sale. Regardless of a prospect's values, needs, beliefs, background or experience, the same elements must be lined up.
Every sale is the same, and there are no exceptions. There's an open, a close, and a specific sequence to follow the control of the communication and close the sale. Unfortunately, the mistake many salespeople make is that they start engaging in the conversation randomly, unstructured way, mistaking it for rapport. That takes them off the Straight Line and often ruins the sale.
So, here are the fundamental principles of the successful sales process:
- First, control the interaction by staying within the boundaries of the Straight Line, which means talking to the point and not going off the rails.
- Establish instant, massive rapport and do it quickly.
- Use that rapport to gather intelligence to determine what the prospect truly needs and where the pain is. You need to understand if the client has the money, what they need and what their action threshold is.
During any sales encounter, you constantly use these three tenets: gathering intelligence, building rapport, and closing by controlling the sale.
The Formula for Effective Rapport
There are several elements by which others perceive us; actual words play a role in less than 10% of that. The other 90% is tonality and body language.
Now if you want to establish massive rapport and alignment with someone else, you need to master the art of combining your words, how you say them (tonality) and how you come across (body language).
The tone of voice will change our response; people will react to the same word differently depending on how they say it. Just think about how parents are telling their child's name… Just think of your name and display it in frustration, then say it loving and caring tone and then in a curious style. The word is the same, but how it is perceived differs.
The same is true in sales and persuasion - you can use the Art of Tonality to influence the conversation with your prospect. Of course, it takes practice, but once mastered, they will be a powerful tool in your arsenal that you can pull out of your hat when required. There are primary 8 tonalities and language patterns that Jordan Belfort teaches in the Straight Line System.
- "Reasonable Man" tone
- Absolute Certainty
- "I care" pattern
- Using questions as declarative
- Series of Up-tones
- Presupposing tone
- "I really want to know" tone
As you can imagine, describing tonality using just words is complicated, so we strongly encourage you to check one of Jordan's videos where he is talking about that.
As I mentioned, non-verbal communication is much more powerful than verbal communication.
Feelings, intentions and thoughts are all communicated through your body language - space, appearance, posture, gestures, facial expressions, eye contact and even touch and smell - as well as your tone of voice. It is important to remember that while effective body language may not close the deal, ineffective body language will blow the deal.
Assertive body language is about opening your prospect up so they are willing to be influenced.
Being a Visionary
People won't buy into your goals, but they will buy into your Vision. That is why Jordan pays so much attention to finding your "Why". There is an excellent book by Simon Sinek called Start with Why, which I highly recommend reading. It helped me to clarify why and have a clear vision of why I am doing what I am doing.
And here is what Jordan Belfort says about having a clear vision for your future.
Having a clear vision for your life will motivate you. You will know why you have to wake up every morning, and it will give you the energy to do what you have to do.
Jordan also explains the Inner Game of Sales and what a successful person's personal beliefs and mindset should be. He also covers the importance of mastering the emotional state, facing fears and setting lofty goals.
All this plays a significant part in our success not only in sales but in everyday lives as well.
The Art of Qualifying
All good sales scenarios start with qualifying your prospects, so you're selling to the right people. Straight Line System teaches you that qualifying should accomplish two things:
- First, create massive rapport on a conscious and unconscious level.
- Help you gather intelligence—identifying their needs, uncovering their pain, and ensuring they are financially qualified.
Always start with permission to ask questions like "Just a couple of quick questions, so I don't waste your time."
Listen carefully to gather information, show the prospect that you genuinely care about his problem, and take time to understand their situation.
When qualifying, you need to know what questions you need to ask and what subjects to cover. Therefore, memorizing and always having them before you is essential to ensure everything is covered.
Start with a bigger picture and then go into details. For example, what was the prospect's previous experience? What do they like/dislike about the product? How much money do they have?
Now, questions about money can be uncomfortable, but you can spend lots of time with the prospect only to find out they don't have any money to buy from you. Of course, they might not tell you to your face, but that can be the main reason, and they will devise many excuses you cannot overcome.
For some reason, many salespeople are afraid to ask this question directly and waste valuable time. However, it is okay to ask this question; if done correctly, it won't put you or your prospect in an uncomfortable position.
Jordan Belfort teaches you that when you ask such a question, always go into disarming tone… Imagine putting your hands in front of you with open palms and asking, "So how much are you liquid for right now, just a ballpark?". And with such tonality and body language, it will mean... "No pressure, it's not a big deal… just a ballpark...
Jordan also gives several other examples, but to fully grasp it, you need to see the complete module of the Straight Line System as there is lots of valuable information. It would be best to see that with your own eyes and understand precisely how it's done.
Another thing that Jordan Belfort teaches in his Straight Line System is that you have to follow Ethical Guidelines. Never pressure a prospect to do something they shouldn't do. Never pressure a client to buy something they shouldn't buy.
This is very important! If you put your client's interests first, you might wait to make a sale, but that will pay off, and you will win in the long run. In my experience, that approach always worked. People got back in the future to buy from me, they referred their friends, or I got another big client straight after. This is one of life's fundamental principles, and it always works. To be fair with others!
The 5 Key Elements of the Straight Line Persuasion System
For every successful sale, you must simultaneously line up five main things. So, for example, Jordan Belfort compares a deal with a combination lock, where these are the 5 spinners you need to unlock to crack the safe. And then you can close anyone who is closable!
You always have to remember that people make their decisions based on 2 things:
- Emotional Certainty. Often we can't explain with words, but we know with our gut feeling that something is right.
- Logical Certainty. The decision also needs to make sense to us and have clear benefits. Using logic and emotion is essential, as while we primarily make decisions based on our feelings, we justify them with logic.
Now, the 5 Elements of Straight Line System are:
The Three 10s. To close a sale, you must get your prospect to a level 10 on the 0-10 scale on the level of certainty about:
- They must LOVE your product.
- They must trust YOU as a person.
- Finally, they must TRUST your company.
The Action Threshold is the level of certainty to which you must get an individual before they say 'yes.' For some people, it is straightforward to make decisions, while some can be hard nuts. And the reason for that is internal beliefs about buying.
People prefer to avoid being sold. They like to purchase. So it would be best to lower the prospect's Action Threshold to get to yes. There are several ways to do that, and Jordan Belfort explains everything in detail in this module on the Straight Line System.
The Pain Threshold means how much "pain" it is causing your prospect of not having your product or solution. If you can solve a problem - people will buy from you.
If you can solve the urgent problem - people will bite your hand off and buy immediately. But if owning your product makes little difference - people will hesitate. So Jordan explains how to take the prospect out of pain into pleasure in this Straight Line Persuasion System module.
Closing the Sale - The Art of Looping and Handling Objections
In a perfect scenario, you would want everyone to say yes to you as soon as you delivered the pitch. But, unfortunately, that rarely happens, and people always come up with objections.
Most of these objections are related to the fact that people don't like to take action or don't fully understand the benefits of your product. So, Jordan Belfort details how to handle objections, what tonalities to use, and how to loop them and get back into the Straight Line and close to the finish line.
There are so many valuable lessons in this section that I won't be able to cover everything in this review. Closing is like the final rounds in the boxing fight, the champion's rounds. If you managed to get to this point, you must have the skills and stamina to close that deal. And Jordan gives you this ammunition and abilities.
Jordan Belfort gives some good examples of power language in his Straight Line System. These phrases you can use during your sales presentation (or any other conversation, for that matter, if you need to influence someone) and some of the best ones are as follows.
This allows you to make many bold claims without committing 100%.
Incredibly Easy to Get Started
This lowers your prospect's action threshold. But, then, deciding and getting the ball rolling takes a little effort.
Huge Upside with Little Downside
People are always more concerned about the worst-case scenario rather than potential benefits. So if you tell your prospects their downside is limited, but the upside is enormous, they are much more inclined to make a favourable decision.
Please don't misconduct my enthusiasm for pressure
People prefer to avoid being sold and will back off if you put too much pressure.
These are just some examples, and Jordan goes into much more detail when explaining what other power phrases you can use to close anyone who is closable.
Straight Line System Training Modules
Below is the complete list of modules covered in Jordan Belfort's Straight Line System.
- The Three Tenets of the Straight Line Persuasion
- The Art of Prospecting
- Mastering Tonality or How to Capture attention in the First 4 seconds
Create a Vision for Your Life
- The Inner Game of Sales
- Master Formula for Controlling the Sale
- The Art of Qualifying or How to Ask the Right Questions
- Sales Presentation or Power of Three 10's
- The Power of Language
- Becoming a Person of Influence on How to Create Customers for Life
As you can see, they cover the whole process from start to finish. There are also "cheat sheets" pdf files summarising each module and examples of template scripts tailored for different industries.
If you want to learn more, you can check the Straight Line Persuasion Training Program.
The Wolf Pack Community
The last thing I want to cover in this review is the New Members Portal that Jordan Belfort created. He not only teaches the courses but also manages to build a community of thousands of people that are not only following him but actively interacting with and helping each other.
First, the community was based on the private Facebook Networking Group and is still active there. People ask questions, share ideas, organize group calls to practice tonality, share their scripts for review, and motivate and support each other. I was impressed with the atmosphere created and found Wolf Pack Community inspiring and motivating.
In addition to the Facebook Group, after launching the new Jordan Belfort Members Portal in February 2019, Jordan created a members portal with functionality very similar to the Facebook group. Although the portal is still in its infancy and constantly adding new features, it looks fantastic and improves daily.
You can access all the training courses you subscribe to and interact with other members there. There are different groups, and everyone works together to improve their sales techniques.
There is another excellent thing. While Jordan Belfort's training programs could be pricey for some people (they are worth the money, but the price could be between $300 to $2000 for an entire course), there is also a monthly subscription plan for Weekly Intensive Course for $9,95 a month.
And for $14.95, you can also access Jordan Belfort Daily Motivations, which is 15-20 min daily videos on motivation, sales skills and other subjects. You also get the first 7 days FREE and can unsubscribe anytime without any obligations.
You can also get a 7-day FREE TRIAL and claim your free Bonus. This is a great deal and fantastic value for money. You get tons of valuable content, and some motivation boosts, but a lot of practical, helpful stuff in everyday life and business. This is how I got involved as well. I signed up for a free trial, liked it, upgraded to daily motivations, bought several courses, and studied them all!
I use the Straight Line System daily and teach my sales team the same principles. I am considering how to apply the Straight Line System in my work methodically.
Straight Line Persuasion System Review - Conclusion
I have been in business for over 15 years and have always been involved in business development or sales in one way or another. Everything comes down to sales, even if you are not interested in it directly. It would be best to influence your clients, colleagues, and peers, but it also applies to everyday life.
Over the years, I have read numerous books on motivation, self-development, sales techniques, negotiations, persuasion and communication skills. I also took several courses, and Jordan Belfort's Straight Line Persuasion System is at the top of the list.
Some other good personal development coaches and sales trainers include Tony Robbins, Grant Cardone, Brian Tracy, Anthony Iannarino and others. But what makes Jordan Belfort stand out is that he has developed a methodology that teaches you the necessary skills and methodically takes you from start to finish in the sales process.
I learned the power of the systematic approach to sales when I started my career in the insurance field. We were given a script, and every day we had training explaining how to approach a sales process. Being young and naive, thinking I knew the best to do, I often moved away from the script and tried to improvise, but 99% of the time, it didn't work, and I couldn't close anyone.
After several failed attempts, I was wise enough to get back to basics and follow the script and methodology we had been taught. And after that, it worked all the time. I am not saying I was closing every person I spoke to, but I could see that the system was working. You approach 100 people. 30 of them will stop to talk to you, and 10 will close. I am trying to remember the exact number and the hit ratio was different, but it worked like a machine, and if I put in the specific effort, I always got an inevitable outcome.
What I like about Jordan Belfort is that he is a proven closer. Jordan teaches the system he developed many years ago and has only improved. Moving on a straight line is the most efficient way of sales, and you will be able to close anyone who is closable.
But remember, with great power comes great responsibility. The Straight Line System is a powerful tool that you must apply with ethical integrity. Always create a win-win situation for you and your clients. Then, you can build wealth in a business that lasts.