Way of the Wolf: Become a Master Closer with Straight Line Selling by Jordan Belfort

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Interesting book by the former stockbroker, motivational speaker and convicted felon. You may have seen the film Wolf on Wall Street, worth watching if you haven’t. Here are the key learning points:

THE THREE TENS – you need all these to sell!

1 The product, idea, or concept

2 You, they trust and connect with you

3 The prospect must trust and connect with the company

This is why it’s so much easier to sell to existing customers than to new ones, even if you don’t have a personal relationship with them. The fact that they have an existing relationship with your company means that the third Ten has already been established, leaving you with only the first and the second Tens to address.

These ‘tens’ are ranges so you can move people up or down the scale, make sure to focus on persuading uncertain prospects. The prospect will they will always enter the encounter with a preconceived notion about you, about your product, and about the company you work for. Note people have two types of certainty- logical and emotional. Therefore it is essential to future pace someone to make them think of the good feelings they will have when purchase.

People buy on emotion then make a logical case to justify it.

Refers to ‘the straight line’ of sales these are the three basic components of the front half of the Straight Line:

1 You must take immediate of control the sale.

2 You must engage in massive intelligence gathering, while you simultaneously build massive rapport with your prospect.

3 You must smoothly transition into a Straight Line presentation, so you can begin the process of building absolute certainty for each of the Three Tens.

Use persuasion to lower the threshold to action.

First four seconds of an encounter, if you want to be perceived in just the right way:

1 Sharp as a tack

2 Enthusiastic as hell

3 An expert in your field

Those three things absolutely must come across in the first four seconds of a conversation; otherwise, you set yourself up for a major uphill battle. When you go buy a car or a stock or a computer, who do you want guiding you through the process, a novice or an expert? An expert, of course!

Mentions a fair bit about neurolinguistic programming, note the author is a NLP master, her e is his hack for quickly anchoring any state using olfactory sensation to benefit you. Anchoring allows you to feel this a certain way by performing a few steps to trigger this.

Step #1: Choose a state, for example the state of absolute certainty.

Step #2: Set your anchor, you wait for a very specific moment, and then take out your BoomBoom, Unscrew the top, and follow the steps above, take a massive blast up each nostril and then ball your hands up into fists and dig your fingernails into your palms, and belt out the word “yes” in a powerful yet controlled manner. ten seconds later, with the scent of BoomBoom still lingering but the initial rush gone, repeat the process again.

This helps you anchored in a state of absolute certainty. Now, repeat this process one more time—the next time you obtain the same type of awesome sale. Stack a second anchor right on top of the first one. It certainly can’t hurt, as anchors become stronger when they’re stacked; but, either way, even if you only set the anchor once, it should be very powerful the first time you fire it off, which should be right before you’re about to enter a sales encounter.

And just to make sure your anchor stays firmly locked in, for the next month or so, whenever you close an especially awesome sales, the ones that cause you to pop into a peak state of absolute certainty, take another one-and-one of your BoomBoom, and keep stacking anchor on top of anchor on top of anchor, until the linkage is so engrained that it will stay with you forever. So that’s olfactory anchoring in a nutshell.

In sales, this sifting process is referred to as “qualifying a prospect,” and the primary method by which a prospect gets qualified is by answering a series of questions that get posed to the prospect by the salesperson. All in all, it’s a cut-and-dried, no-frills process that’s utilitarian in nature and gets straight to the point. If upon answering your questions, it turns out that the prospect needs what you’re selling, and can afford to pay for it, then they are qualified.

Rather than referring this to the word “qualifying” he suggest referring to it as “Straight Line prospecting”. The primary method by which we do our sifting is through gathering intelligence.

Types of buyer buyers:

Best type “In heat’ they have a certain pain they’re looking to resolve; however, what separates them from the rest of the pack is that they’ve already made the decision to do something about it now. In other words, they’re done waiting; they’re ready to act.

Second best group of buyers buyers in power who aren’t consciously feeling any major pain from their unfilled need, which causes them to lack the same level of urgency as buyers in heat.

3 type time wasters remove these ASAP four telltale signs that will alert you to the fact that you’re having your time wasted:

1 They tend to ask lots of questions that they seem to already know the answers to.

2 They make it a point to kick the tires of whatever it is you’re selling, almost to the point of over-kicking them.

3 They let out a large number of ooos and aahs and yups, to reinforce the sense that they’re genuinely interested.

4 When asked about their finances, they either become boisterously overconfident or unnecessarily vague.

Very important to be hypervigilant identifying these people and weeding out them out as quickly as possible.

Get a good script and sound like you are not reading it. Script should not be front-loaded. Front-loading is when you disclose all your major benefits right up front, which leaves you with nothing powerful to say to change your prospect’s mind when they hit you with the first objection.

Focus on the benefits, not the features.

The script must have stopping-off points. If you make a powerful statement, and then another powerful statement, and then yet another powerful statement, by the time you’ve made the third powerful statement, they’ve all started to blend in with one another, and they lose their power. This is why a well-written script has an abundance of stopping-off points, where the prospect will interact with you and affirm that you’re still on the same page.

After you make a powerful statement, you want to lock it down by asking the prospect a simple yes-or-no question, such as: “You follow me so far?” or “Make sense?” or “Are you with me?” By doing this, not only do you keep the prospect engaged in the conversation but you also get them into the habit of saying yes, which creates consistency. In addition, these little stopping-off points serve as periodic rapport checks.

Write your script in the spoken word, not grammatically correct English. You want to be speaking in a casual manner, using layman’s terms, not in formal English or using overly technical lingo. In other words, when you read the script, the writing itself should sound totally natural. Of course, your script must flow perfectly.

Here is an example introduction script.

1 Start your introduction by greeting Bill by his first name, and then quickly reintroduce yourself—stating your first and last name, the name of your company, and its location. Ask Bill how he’s doing today. Remember, from your very first word, your tonality must be positive and upbeat, with a hint of bottled enthusiasm slipping out around the edges.

2 Remind him that you two spoke a few days or a few weeks ago, and that you emailed him a bit of information on your company. Do not ask him if he actually received the information or had a chance to review it, as there’s an excellent possibility that he’ll say “no” to at least one of those questions, which gives him an easy exit ramp out of the encounter. The way to avoid this is to simply ask him if the conversation “rings a bell,” to which he will almost always reply with a yes.

3 Once he does, then briefly explain to him how the last time you spoke, he asked you to give him a call the next time an extraordinary investment idea came across your desk.

4 If he replies no, then act a bit surprised, but chalk it up to the fact that he must get a ton of calls and emails each day, and then assure him that you did, in fact, speak to him, and that you did, in fact, email him some information; but there’s no need to worry, as it was just a bit of background on your company. Then complete step three—reminding him that he asked you to call him the next time you had an investment idea.

5 Explain how something just came across your desk and that it’s one of the best things you’ve seen in quite some time now, and if he has sixty seconds, you’d like to share the idea with him.

6 Complete your introduction by saying “Got a minute?”

You can easily ratchet up or ratchet down the amount of the purchase. When you ask him for the order for the second time, you would step him down from ten thousand shares to five thousand shares, which reduces the energy-in aspect of the closing equation by 50 percent, after you just increased the benefits-out side of the equation during your follow-up presentation. This creates an extremely powerful one-two punch that will significantly increase your closing rate. On your third closing attempt, you would step down to a thousand shares and then down to five hundred shares on your fourth attempt, going all the way down to whatever the firm’s minimum is for opening up a new account.

Prospects will put up objections, some that they don’t care about, rather than spiral downwards by answering these one by one loop these back to the pitch. Answer the first directly but when they put up the second objection, you’re not going to just answer it and ask for the order again; instead, you’re going to loop back into the sale once more and move your prospect to an even higher level of certainty for each of the Three Tens, using the secondary language patterns that you created for this exact purpose. With these subsequent objections by looping these you do not want to use pain to disempower people; you want to empower people them by helping them make good buying decisions, so they can have the things that they truly need.

From here, rather than going straight to the close, like you did with your first loop, you’re first going to run an extremely powerful language pattern that will allow you to crack the fourth number in your prospect’s buying combination namely, their action threshold.

The action threshold to make them take action introduce pain in two spots: first, during the intelligence gathering phase, you want to identify where your prospect’s pain lies and, if necessary, amplify it to ensure that your prospect listens to your presentation from that perspective. Secondly you’re going to reintroduce that pain, at the beginning of your third loop, using a language pattern. Then quickly resell the Three Tens, using a concise yet very powerful consolidation of the tertiary language patterns that you created for each of the Three Tens, which will focus almost exclusively on the emotional side of the equation. Using the technique of future pacing to paint your prospect that all important pain-free picture of the future, where he can actually see himself using your product and getting the exact benefits he was promised and feeling great as a result of that. Then transition directly into a soft close and ask for the order again.

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