Selling Technique from 'The Wolf of Wall Street'


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This documents highlights in brief the selling technique utilized by Jordan Belfort famously known as the wolf of wall street.

The Straight Line is a sales technique that Jordan Belfort created on Wall St and implemented in his business to build one of the fastest growing brokerage firms in Wall St history.

The document also presents a few sales learnings derived from the movie of the same name.

Published in: Business, Health & Medicine
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Selling Technique from 'The Wolf of Wall Street'

  1. 1. 1 | P a g e Selling Technique From Jordan Belfort, aka the Wolf of Wall Street, hates it when people describe him as a criminal. He feels he has paid his dues, went to prison and now works with large companies developing their sales tactics while also giving motivational speeches about his past mistakes. In an article with a popular business magazine Belfort described the sales system he used to get people to trust him with their hard earned money. Belfort calls his method the Straight Line Persuasion System. “There are certain elements of influence that you have to line up before someone says yes” he says. “At the highest level, sales is the transference of emotion. And the primary emotion you’re transferring is certainty” The Straight Line involves creating absolute certainty in a prospect’s mind about three key things: the product, the salesperson, and the company. Certainty must be created on both a logical and emotional level – at the same time. Using checkpoints a sales rep should, in the moment of a live sale, analyze the situation – evaluate his progress and implement a range of pre-prepared tactics supported by very well developed language patterns.
  2. 2. 2 | P a g e Such a technique can be adapted and applied to all types of sales; from consulting and services to pure product sales. It equally applies to sales with long and short sales cycles. The Straight Line is made up of two dimensions or worlds: Inner World - your Inner World is built on your Vision, Beliefs and Standards and how you manage your emotions and State. Outer World - the Outer World defines the Straight Line techniques you will learn to maximize your potential and your chance of success. Until a need is recognized, it simply doesn’t matter how great your product or service is. A sales presentation or conversation that doesn’t uncover or address an urgent need is usually a waste of time. So how do you identify a need and create the urgency to act on it? Let’s look at each separately: 1. Identifying needs - Often the need is not readily apparent to the prospect, or buried under a lot of other wants and needs. We are in a unique position to help our customers step back and take a more objective view of their needs through a discovery session or needs analysis. This is the basis of consultative selling, to ask probing questions that reveal pain and discover underlying buyer motivation. Find out which questions encourage your prospect to open up about their needs here. But what if a need is not obvious or a product is new – as is the case with much of technology? We have to establish the need and a buyer’s desire to change by highlighting the discrepancy between what they currently have – and what they can potentially have by delivering a compelling value proposition.
  3. 3. 3 | P a g e 2. Creating Urgency - Although occasionally true, people can smell false pressure tactics a mile away. The seller who screams “fire sale!” too often is taken as seriously as the boy who cries “wolf!” We here are talking about authentic urgency: addressing needs that have been pushed aside or given a lower priority than perhaps they deserve. As product or service experts, we have a responsibility to raise the potential consequences of indecision or making a poorly informed decision to our clients. Everyone has experienced wanting something, sitting on the fence too long and regretting it. As a salesperson, you have the power to help someone avoid this painful experience. 3. Applying Needs and Urgency in Sales - A prospect, who is not convinced that he has to solve his problem quickly, is a sale that goes nowhere. You can help a client reconnect with his needs and the urgency to act upon them. By making a series of associations you can help reprioritize a decision and bring to light the consequences of either indecision or a poor decision.
  4. 4. 4 | P a g e SLIPS provides disciplined tactics. The original version promised wealth and went along some common basic principles: 1. Every sales "encounter" is cast to a tightly defined Straight Line decision model, then 2. "Control the linguistic encounter" motivates the Seller to apply his tools and establish a decisive leadership relationship 3. Seller presents to targets as "sharp, enthusiastic, expert" 4. Establish "instant rapport" in the first moments 5. Trigger three Seller emotions on cue: "certainty, clarity, conviction" 6. "Be a man of influence" 7. Drive the "encounter" as close as possible to the Straight Line 8. Aim to a "Single Moment" conversion experience 9. And to repeat: "Every sale is the same" as it follows the decision model The core of Straight Line is tied to two diagrams. The "linguistic encounter" in SLIPS is controlled to specs where the flow of conversation stays on or near the line. The customer tries to move the conversation away from the line. Bad salesmanship moves away from the line. This must not be allowed. Then a second diagram appears. SLIPS calls the pattern "Looping." Seller hits resistance, seller loops around and takes the encounter back through Straight Line again. Seller uses the Loop process to induce a new buyer perception.
  5. 5. 5 | P a g e "Selling is everything in life. Either you're selling or you're failing." "The one reason people become millionaires are that they have high standards." "There's ducks and there's eagles. Eagles have the influence." "Anyone can be an eagle. Be seen as sharp, enthusiastic, and expert." "Reasons [as rational thoughts, per se] are negative. Overcome them." Access our vast repository of sales resources and download a range of free eBooks on sales and marketing. For more tips and tricks on technology sales Visit our blogs at Or
  6. 6. 6 | P a g e The real ‘Wolf of Wall street’ He is a frequent guest-commentator on CNN, CNBC, Sky News and the BBC. Jordan expects to earn more this year than he made at his peak as a stockbroker, allowing him to repay the victims of his fraud. "I'll make this year more than I ever made in my best year as a broker," Belfort told a conference in Dubai recently. "My goal is to make north of $US100 million ($107.2 million) so I am paying back everyone this year." Belfort will use his earnings from a 45-city speaking tour in the US to repay about $US50 million to investors. That was his share of the fine, he said. Jordan Belfort After barely surviving his rise and fall as an American entrepreneurial icon, he is now a world-renowned motivational speaker and sales development trainer. He assists both people and organizations in breaking through whatever barriers hold them back from achieving success. His two bestselling books, The Wolf of Wall Street and Catching the Wolf of Wall Street have been published in twenty-two countries and translated into eighteen languages.