The Famous Cold Call in Wolf of Wall Street
Jordan Belfort is living the high life amidst drugs, money, hookers… and jail. You can think whatever you want about Belfort’s lifestyle of debauchery. But he knew a thing or two about selling — especially during his time.
His company, Stratton Oakmont Inc. employed 1,000 brokers and managed $1 billion in assets. It was a boiler room as “boiler room-y” (Is this even a word? Who gives a shit, you know what I mean) as it gets.
Sure, part of his success contributed to illegal things later on, but I think we can agree that even shady things need to be sold too.
Belfort once said that his brokers were pure dirt at the beginning. They had 0 skills in selling. So, he wrote his own pitch about how to sell stocks (cough… unique investment opportunities to get rich quick) over the phone.
Let’s have a look at some of the actual extracts
Sales Success Tip #1: Train your voice
Belfort put strong emphasis on modulating his voice. This is still true nowadays. Studies have shown that HOW we say something is more important than WHAT we say.
He advised his brokers to record themselves while speaking about a topic they love, or an idea they find to be important.
He then wanted them to answer a series of self-reflecting questions, like…
- “Is my voice high and nasally? Low and resonant? Somewhere in between?”
- “Do I speak in a varying pitch or am I monotone?”
- “Does my voice project well?”
- “Do I put a “smile” in my voice?”
- “Do I speak too fast? Too slow? At a comfortable speed?”
- “What do I like about my voice? What would I like to change?”
Belfort then suggests reading a specific sentence several times (still recording) and emphasizing a different word each time…
- “Are you coming with me now?”
I personally think this is genius, especially the last part of experimenting with various tonal emphasis. I love to play with the tone of my voice, because I know how important it is to persuade someone or keep them hooked.
If you aren’t used to the sound of your own voice, definitely get used to it as soon as possible. Since it can be strange to hear yourself speaking, I’d advise you to record yourself while driving alone or at home. It’ll really up your selling game![#Z]
Sales Success Tip #2: Be forthcoming
“Don’t say anything about someone unless you’d say it to their face. If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing. (Then tell your mother you’re finally doing what she told you to do 30 years ago.)
Yeehaaw! Go tell your mama! *mic drop*
Sales Success Tip #3: Build Trust First!
They did all the fact-finding in their first call and used this information to pitch the customer during the second call. The actual pitch script looks like your regular script you’d use at your job. It follows the common structure of:
If you know me, you know I’m not really a fan of this structure because it triggers the firewall of your prospect. This means your pitch won’t have the full effect it could have.
To get the most out of your pitch, your sales script should follow this structure instead:
Sales Success Tip #4: Handle objections like Jordan Belfort!
I can see how his techniques (above) were effective, especially in the 90s. Today… maybe not so much.
But this is the one I like the most:
“I sense that you get a lot of these phone calls, am I right? (sound sincere). Exactly! Say that to the other 50 guys that call you, the reason we’re different is…”
This is pure gold. That’s exactly how I imagine “the Wolf” would handle an objection. Hell, I might even use it myself! It’s applicable to plenty of objections your prospect may have.
And if you want to see the WHOLE document, be sure to set some time aside.
It’s 76 pages!
PS: Remember the infamous “how to sell a pen” scene in “Wolf of Wall Street”? If you want to know how to really sell a pen, you should read my post “How I actually sold a pen during an interview”. I really did, bro!