When he was a little over 20 years old, Jordan Belfort came to Wall Street to work as a stockbroker but was quickly thrown out before Black Monday 1987.
He ended up working at Stratton Oakmont, a Long Island securities store, a firm he quickly took over and accompanied by other unethical brokers like him, amassed his fortune and defrauded investors for millions of dollars. In 1999 he pleaded guilty to fraud and money laundering and in 2004 served a 22-month prison sentence.
While in prison, Belfort wrote his memoirs, which he sold to Random House for $1 million. In 2013, the story was immortalized in the film The Wolf of Wall Street, directed by Martin Scorsese and played by Leonardo DiCaprio.
Jordan Belfort, the real Wall Street Wolf.
He recently published a third book, El camino el lobo y se dedica a dar charlas motivacionales – which according to Bloomberg charges around US$ 30,000 and sales courses like the one he gave in New York in February.
According to Quartz, the prices for attending the Masterclass – in which he guarantees a sales success rate of between 40% and 100% was US$ 500 the cheapest ticket, US$ 10,000 the platinum ticket which included a lunch, a photo with Belfort and an exclusive dinner with Belfort and some first-rate attendees.
In his talks and books, Belfort gives the following keys to increase sales:
Tonality. According to Belfort there are about 10 basic tonalities capable of triggering emotions. “At its highest level, sales is a transfer of emotions and the primary emotion to be transferred is certainty. The trick is to sound absolutely safe even if you don’t feel that way,” he explains and adds that he trained Di Caprio himself to use the correct tonality in the film.
You have to have a vision for the future that inspires, something that you think will make you jump out of bed, that motivates you to have a better life, Belfort points out, adding that when he was in prison, that motivation was his two sons. “They were my why, and that’s the key, that’s why it wasn’t about me.
Have a strategy. “You have to draw up a plan that will allow you to achieve your vision for the future,” he explains and gives the following example: In 1978 he went to a beach in New York on a very hot day. While he was with his friends, he heard many people complain that they had to walk too far to find a kiosk.
So the next morning he looked for an ice cream distributor, grabbed his car, bought a curator and went straight to the beach having invested only US$ 22. “In one hour, I sold everything I had in the curator for US$ 125 and made US$ 100 in one hour. At that time the minimum wage was US$1.20 an hour,” she says. The next day she went back and made US$ 500.
High standards. Continuing with the anecdote about the beach, Belfort says that because he had been so successful, he invited five friends to join his business and they started selling ice cream with him. However, he noticed that only one of his friends managed to earn more than US$ 100 per day.
The reason, he says, is because the others stopped selling when they finished everything they had in one conservator while this friend joined him and sold up to 4 conservators. “Some people have a vision that sounds inspiring but low standards and are unwilling to do what needs to be done. It’s what I call ‘champagne vision but beer standards’. On the opposite side are those who have high standards but low vision. It’s important that the two coincide,” he concludes.