Business Lessons from The Wolf of Wall Street

I’m sure you’ve heard of “The Wolf of Wall Street” movie.

I haven’t seen the movie, but I just finished reading the two books written by the real wolf, Jordan Belfort. The first book is “The Wolf of Wall Street” and the second book is “Catching the Wolf of Wall Street.” You can find them on Amazon, or at your local library.

Before going further, let me first say that they are extremely graphic books and may offend some. Please don’t get these books and be upset because they are extremely graphic. I also don’t condone money laundering, stock manipulation, and other illegal actions detailed throughout both books.

If you can get past the drugs, sex, and illegal activities, the books are great reads for real estate agents and other sales professionals. On high-level, what Jordan Belfort did to build his business and amass hundreds of millions of dollars, was based upon a “targeted” marketing campaign. There are dozens of business lessons that can and should be applied to your business legally! I’ll share four of these lessons in this article.

1. Jordan Belfort “niched” his brokerage business. His focus was on selling securities to wealthy individuals. The main reason was because wealthy individuals would buy more stock providing more commission income for his company and his stockbrokers. This wasn’t the case in the beginning. In the beginning, he started selling to lower net worth individuals, but changed his approach as his marketing campaign began to convert into sales. His income changed dramatically with this change in target market.

2. Focused on promoting stocks that provided the largest commission income. When he started selling stocks as a broker, he quickly realized that he could make more commissions selling certain stocks. He focused his time and marketing on these stocks. The same effort led to higher revenue and profits. In most cases, it takes the same amount of time to sell at $100,000 home as it does to sell a $500,000 home. Engineer your marketing program towards higher priced homes and you’ll make more money for the same amount of work. Or focus on attracting clients that buy multiple properties.

3. The basis of his wealth came from a very powerful lead conversion phone script. In “Catching the Wold of Wall Street”, he shares how he built his brokerage business as he relays the details to the FBI as part of his plea deal. This process started out by testing different phone sales scripts until he had one that converted at high rates with his “target” market. The challenge he faced was that his brokerage company was small and they didn’t have national brand name like Merrill Lynch. He had to overcome this objection in his sales process in order to sell stock to wealthy individuals nationally. The sales script he developed…“allowed a twenty year-old kid, with a high school diploma and an IQ just above the level of Forest Gum to sound like a Wall Street Wizard.” He details the entire sales funnel including actual phone scripts  in the Chapter titled, “Leaps of Logic.” I would suggest studying the process and re-writing it for your business. Please understand that I’m not suggesting anything illegal. I am simply suggesting you experiment with a similar process marketing process to sell homes – legally!

4. He built a business that ran without his day-to-day involvement by building a large sales force. This was accomplished by hiring average sales people and giving them a powerful lead conversion process. As soon as his lead conversion process started working with his target market, he leveraged it very quickly by hiring more stockbrokers.  If you have a powerful lead conversion system, you can double or triple your income by generating more leads. Lead conversion systems include sales letters, sales phone scripts, sales videos, sales presentations, and more.

Jordan’s books are incredibly entertaining and a fantastic read. More importantly, if you’re able to get passed all of the craziness, you’ll find the “inside” story on how to build a multimillion dollar business. The sad part is that he could have used the same strategies to build his brokerage legally. Sure, it would have taken a little longer, but the systems were incredibly powerful. Your opportunity is to engineer your business using similar strategies while playing by the rules.

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