Jordan Belfort, the subject of Martin Scorcese’s The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), will keynote FreightWaves LIVE Chicago in November. FreightWaves LIVE is an exciting and informative blend of TED-style talks, debates, technology demos, and top-notch entertainment experiences. Belfort’s keynote is sponsored by LeanTech, a Lean Staffing Solutions company.
Who doesn’t remember when Leonardo DiCaprio, portraying Belfort, said, “Give them to me young, hungry, and stupid. And in no time, I will make them rich?”
That is just what Belfort has done with his life, post the events of The Wolf of Wall Street and the inevitable aftermath: he became one of the most famous and successful sales trainers in the world, coaching people especially on how to close.
Closing, of course, is the essence of selling: it’s the final step of the transaction and ultimately represents the promise of the exchange of money. But it’s more than just a financial transaction, as Belfort realized. Closing is a deeply psychological process, where the salesperson has to overcome their fear of rejection to actually ask the customer for their business, and the customer has to be brought to the point where they believe their goals and the salesperson’s are aligned.
Belfort’s system of closing, called Straight Line Persuasion, uses insights from behavioral science to help salespeople increase their close rate, shorten their sales cycle, and upsell more effectively. At its essence, Belfort’s system involves maintaining the upper hand in a situation, both psychological and linguistic, and gently guiding the customer toward the close.
The Wolf says things like, “once you’ve learned to control the linguistic encounter, you will be shocked at what will happen.”
Belfort first developed his skills in the 1990s as the chief executive officer and principal at Stratton Oakmont, an underground stock brokerage firm on Wall Street. At its peak, Stratton Oakmont employed 1,000 brokers and underwrote shoe company Steve Madden’s initial public offering. But the unscrupulous firm was under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission for almost its entire history, and Belfort was eventually convicted of ‘pump and dump’ schemes that manipulated the price of microcap stocks and caused his clients to suffer losses.
Now the Wolf of Wall Street uses his powers for good, and often speaks about the differences between ambition and greed, and the importance of influencing people to do things that they should do, rather than things they shouldn’t do. Ethics in business and salesmanship has become as important a part of his message as persuasion and the subtle effects of tone of voice.
FreightWaves LIVE attendees aren’t traveling to Chicago to sit through a sales seminar, though: Belfort’s talk will be as much about his life—his meteoric rise, downfall, and resurrection—and what it taught him as much as it will be motivational and inspirational.
What we’re attracted to about Belfort’s empowering message is his unbridled enthusiasm for helping people break through stale mental habits, dispel illusions that are holding them back, and realize that they can achieve their goals. For Belfort, those goals included making millions of dollars.
“There’s no nobility in poverty,” as Belfort wrote in his memoir.
In other words, people and organizations who are afraid of taking risks because they’re afraid of failure often convince themselves that they’re somehow better than the players in the arena who are truly ‘going for it.’
FreightWaves and LeanTech are inspired by Belfort’s message of hungry, ambitious young people striving to bring their dreams to reality and create something truly special.
We invite you to join us in Chicago and experience Jordan Belfort’s compelling story.