5 Sales Lessons from Jordan Belfort

Sales Lessons from Jordan Belfort



After I was done watching the Wolf of Wall Street, I was a little perplexed. How did Jordan Belfort manage to convince so many of his credulous clients into taking his offers? How he could manage to fool so many people for such a long time. He must be a hell of a salesman to pull something like this off!

Jordan Belfort?s life of avarice has plenty of takeaways. He was a pertinacious salesman who would not take ?no? for an answer and always managed to successfully convince his credulous clients or potential clients with his usual blarney to invest their money in doomed stocks. Belfort walked away with huge commissions whereas his clients lost millions of dollars.  In a 1991 issue of Forbes magazine, staff writer Roula Khalaf called him a ?twisted Robin Hood who takes from the rich and gives to himself and his merry band of brokers.? He was later indicted for securities fraud and money laundering and sentenced to 22 months in prison. He came out a reformed man, working as a self-proclaimed business consultant. Belfort actually has lots of valuable experience to impart on sales and marketing.


Sales Lessons from Belfort

Right from the beginning of his career as a stockbroker to the recent one as a motivator and business consultant, there is one thing Belfort displayed profoundly- his innate ability to sell. Be it an idea, a stock or himself, he could sell them all. Despite his rapacious nature, there are some lessons I learned from him, some very useful ones in sales!


Lesson number one: Identify Needs

In the movie, there is a scene where Jordan asks this question to his friends whom he was trying to recruit into his company. After some failed attempts, one friend took the pen from Jordan and then asked him to write his name on a napkin. He didn?t have any pen and that?s how that friend made the sale. This is the takeaway from the scene. As a salesperson, we need to first identify the needs and create a sense of urgency in order to make a sale.  One a need is established, selling becomes very easy.


Lesson number two: Never stop trying

Whenever Belfort could sense a need, he would jump to make a sale. He would try and try and try harder till the person on the phone was convinced.  Although pushing too much is not always a good idea, nonetheless, it is essential to do so in sales. It is important to convince people and continue selling.


Lesson number three: Motivating your sales team

Anyone would be amazed by the manner in which Belfort motivated his team. Yes, it was beyond ridiculous and you must not take that approach! We need to create a competitive and highly energized atmosphere and offer incentives to the top salesman. Offering incentives to the one who tried the hardest is the best approach, as the number of no?s increase the chances of a yes. Belfort used to set high standards of expectations and created an atmosphere that motivated his sales team to give their best.


Lesson number four: Training is important

Sales training is very important. Belfort managed to turn his good for nothing friends into suave salesmen. He used a smart technique in order to do so. He hired the right people- who had the desire and the hunger to become the best salesman or saleswoman and then nurtured them to ensure they became the same.


Lesson number five: Overcome adversity

Belfort had a knack for overcoming adversity. Belfort came from nothing and overcame whatever difficulties he faced. His initial meat selling company failed, he lost his first job as a stock broker but nonetheless continued his relentless pursuit of hitting it big. He didn?t get discouraged easily. After coming out of prison, he was always and will always be looked at with disdain and hate. He didn?t let that get to him and now works as a motivational speaker and teaches people his persuasion techniques to help other salesman and business owners.


One can always take some positives out of a negative situation. From the life of Belfort, I took out these five valuable sales lessons which will be beneficial to us all.