Jordan Belfort is a Long Island penny stockbroker who served 22 months in prison for defrauding investors in a massive 1990s securities scam that involved widespread corruption on Wall Street and in the corporate banking world, including shoe designer Steve Madden.
What we learn
This film is packed with lessons of any kind. Here are a few of them I fundly remember.
Know What You Want. More than setting goals, look to the future and really figure out exactly what it is you want and how you can get there. Have a vision, an outcome in mind and let that steer your decisions.
Train People Well. Belfort was the brains behind Stratton Oakmont's business model, but he used a large staff to implement his ideas. He was able to train otherwise clueless people to sound like knowledgeable and experienced stock brokers. He kept things simple and effective, and employees always knew what he expected from them. He didn't leave them alone, he gave them tools like a killer sales script that they could use as a template. Instead of doing all the work yourself, hire a good staff, show them exactly what you want by example and train them well.
Be Tenacious. Belfort was known for never giving up on a sale until the person hangs up or closes the door. Stay in control of the conversation by asking questions and always keep pushing for a decision.
Provide A Solution. Belfort’s clients were happy until the truth came out, because he made sure to provide a solution and an answer for people. As Belfort himself explained, “At a certain point, one of the questions I always ask is, ‘What is your greatest headache right now?’” Find out how you can help your customers and then do exactly that.
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