“Sell me this pen”
Those are the iconic words that came out of Leonardo Dicaprio’s mouth in the 2013 Hollywood blockbuster movie The Wolf of Wall Street. The business community and world for that matter will never forget how powerful those words were and I know for myself being someone in sales, it will stick with me for a long time.
To understand what this statement actually meant I decided to sit down and chat with Jordan Belfort with a desire to peel back the layers of a man that reached the highest heights of the financial world to then experience a dramatic fall, which landed him in prison for fraud, to now be a world-leading speaker and coach.
He now finds himself consulting for top businesses around the world, educating their salesforces on his uncanny ability to sell, while also jumping on stage to share his insights with thousands of people. Speaking of jumping on stage, his next speaking gig is at the Synergy Global Forum in New York City that is taking place at the iconic Madison Square Garden Theatre.
Getting to Know the Real Jordan Belfort
Most people think that Leonardo Dicaprio who played Belfort in the movie is a splitting image of who Belfort is as a real person. To really understand who Belfort was and is today as a person I decided to peel back the layers to find some very interesting facts about his childhood that I wanted to shed some light on.
He grew up in a very good home with loving parents, and as a kid, he actually was pretty well behaved. It was during his time on wall street where he started to veer off the path and go in the wrong direction.
His childhood consisted of being someone that was an entrepreneur from a very young age. At the age of 8 and 9, he used to hold magic shows and shovel sidewalks and then when he was 15-16 years old he used to sell Italian sodas on the beach where he told me he used to make “$400-$500/day”.
Think of that in terms of money today, we’re talking an equivalent of several thousands of dollars. This was just a kid from Queens in his teens that was already making a solid living for himself, and who knew how to sell.
Whats even more remarkable about Belfort is that at the age of 23 he started a business selling meat and seafood door-to-door where he had 26 trucks in his fleet moving 5,000 pounds of product per week. This would end up being a huge failure and learning experience as two short years later he would file for bankruptcy.
This shows that Belfort was someone that had failures before he made it big. Echoing to everyone reading this that remember, overnight success does not happen. It’s usually a string of events over 10-15 years that play into that overnight success that only outsiders see.
Sales Tactics For Anyone to Implement
Whether you believe it or not, every one of us has been in sales at one point in our lives. Now I’m not talking about being a salesperson, I’m talking about selling ourselves. Think of it this way, when you meet anyone for the first time you are basically using some sort of sales tactics to get that person to listen to or like you.
Sales is not a skill that comes easy for everyone but we all use it in some shape or form. As you already know, Belfort is a master of sales and I wanted to get a better glimpse into why he is so good at it and what we’re a few top takeaways that others could implement right away.
Take Control of the Conversation
Something that Belfort has told and taught to thousands of people he has helped with sales is that you need to be able to take control of the conversation. Now, this doesn’t mean you need to be pushy and sleazy, you just need to be the driver of the bus.
Be assertive, but listen. Don’t let your prospect take you off course. You need to approach the situation from a position of power and always stay in control.
You Are Not Just Selling a Product, You Are Selling Yourself
Sales are not just about selling a product or service. In today’s day and age with social media and so much information that is accessible online, we have an abundance of choices and information to siphon through to influence our decisions.
What you need to realize when it comes to sales is that you are actually selling yourself. It’s no secret that we all like to buy from people we like and trust. But don’t forget that it comes down to your brand and its reputation as well. When a customer can trust the person selling them, but they also believe in and trust the brand, it’s a double whammy.
Take these insights from Belfort and implement them into your business and life today. If Belfort can grow up in a suburban home in Queens, New York with no innate superpowers to propel to become known as the wolf of wall street, lose it all and hit rock bottom, and now take the stage at Madison Square Garden for the Synergy Global Forum in front of thousands of people. There is no excuse why you can’t either.
Clinton Senkow is the Co-founder & COO of Influencive where he manages and oversee’s all business development and partnership activities for Influencive. He’s also the CEO of Senkow Ventures which is a digital consultancy for high-growth startups and SMB’s, a member of the invite-only Forbes Business Development Council, and was named a “Top 20 Speaker by Forbes”. He’s also a three-time Top G20 YEA Entrepreneur representing Canada.