First things first: The Wolf of Wall Street is an incredible movie.

How Leonardo DiCaprio did not win an Oscar for his performance is completely beyond me.


I can’t believe the movie is based on an actual person.

No wonder the general public views Wall Street in an unfavorable light.

But there is one thing from the movie that stuck with me more than anything else.

Namely, that selling to other people the way it’s portrayed in the movie; high pressure, little regard for the customer’s intelligence, not caring about the person on the other end of the transaction– is atrocious and will always fail in the long run.

Yes, you might be able to make the sale, but your clients are always going to be unhappy with you when they figure out what really happened.

And they invariably will.

I’ll go so far as to say that if you want to be long-term successful in business then you better operate in a way that is diametrically opposed to how Stratton Oakmont ran their business (with the possible exception of the way they treated their people).

And even though Jordan Belfort preaches that he can sell ice to an eskimo and sand to an arab I’ll wager you any money that both the eskimo and the arab will be left with a bad taste in their mouths.

Having said all that however, there is one single thing that the movie got right about selling.

At the end of the movie, when you see the actual Jordan Belfort introduce the fictional Jordan Belfort and asks a few of the attendants at his workshop individually to sell me this pen, what happens, is what happens in sales meetings across the world, across time zones and since the dawn of selling.

The person in charge talks about the pen.

They talk about the magnificence of the pen, the qualities it has and about all the extraordinary things that pen can do.

In other words, they focus on the product.

And guess what.

Nobody. Gives. A. Fuck.

The product in question is never going to make a single sale.

It’s not about the product. It’s about what the product can do for you.

Such as signing important contracts.

But how are you going to do that if you don’t have a pen?

Almost every salesperson I coach (regardless of what they’re selling and to whom) fails to see this connection and ends up making this same mistake.

They think that the product is what’s going to win them the business.

It isn’t.

What’s going to win you the business is what the product is going to enable the customer to do with it.

Once you operate from that knowledge (instead of simply agreeing with it theoretically) you can accelerate your sales to a degree you’d have never thought possible.

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