Books Business Hacks

The Way of the Wolf:  Straight Line Selling: Master the Art of Persuasion, Influence, and Success

Author: Jordan Belfort

My Rating: 5/5

Summary: A crash course in selling from one of the most interesting salesmen on Wall Street.

My Takeaways

In generally, humans buy things to make their lives better

The “Straight Line” technique to closing a sale

There are 3 core elements that need to line up in order to have the best shot of closing the sale at that specific moment. This is called the “The 3 Tens” (0-10 scale of certainty). The prospect must have a high degree of certainly (10) in the following 3 areas:

  1. The product, idea or concept.
  2. They trust and connect with you 
  3. The prospect must trust and connect with the company 
  4. Lower the action threshold
  5. Raise the pain threshold  

There are 2 types of certainty that are very different:

  1. Logical Certainty.
    1. Based on the words used and what you say. 
    2. Long term value proposition. 
    3. Does the product truly fit a prospect’s needs
  1. Emotional Certainty.
    1. Based on a gut feeling that something must be good. 
    2. Painting a picture of the future. 
    3. Playing out the post purchase movie of the fulfillment. 

Looping allows a salesperson to handle each objection. 

Each objection creates the opportunity to loop. 

Action threshold and pain threshold 

Pain creates urgency that helps close the sale to push a prospect to lower the action threshold. 

The first 4 seconds are crucial to make a good impression. You need to do the following. 

1 be as sharp as a tack

2. Enthusiastic as hell

  1. Expert on your field.  

Person worth listening to in order to help the prospect achieve their goals or allivuate pain

Take control of the sale from the beginning to the end. 

5 sensory modalities to anchor to intensify your state. 

Steps to properly anchor. 

  1. Chose a state (certainty)
  2. Set anchor. Wait for a specific moment and spray boom boom

Need to concsouly focus on the emotional state you need to be in at a specific moment using NLP

Apply the proper tonality to the words you say during the sale. 

It’s your words that move a prospect logically and your tonality that’s moves them emotionally. 

Address a prospect as a friend instead of a formal introduction. This takes control of the prospects inner dialogue

Phrase your statements as questions so that the prospect has micro-agreements. 

Use scarcity as a tonality. 

  1. Verbal scarcity strictly by the use of words
  2. Tonal scarcity.  Lower your voice. 
  3. Informational scarcity
  4. Create a sense of urgency

Straight line rules for prospecting:

  1. You are a sifter. Sift through products vs trying to magically turn water into gold 
  2. Always ask for permission to ask questions. “Name, let me ask you a few questions so I can best serve you,”
  3. You must always use a script for prospecting. Need to be asked in the right order for each industry. 
  4. Go from less invasion questions to more invasion questions. This helps build repore. 
  5. Ask each question using the right tonality. 
  6. Use the correct body language as the prospect responds. 
  7. Always follow a logical path
  8. Make mental notes, don’t resolve their pain. (if anything amplify their pain)
  9. Always end with a powerful transition
  10. Stay on the straight line

Every sales person must have a script to follow. (Brave heart acting example)

You need to have strategic preparation when developing your script so that you can be prepared for all outcomes:

  1. Script should not be front loaded.
    1. Need to frame first. We need to move bit by bit 
  2. Focus on the benefits, not the features.
    1. Briefly touch on the feature and expand on the benefits on a personal level. Want to know if it resolved pain
  3. Script must have stopping off points.
    1. Pause points that keeps the prospect engaged and keeps repore. 
  4. Write in the spoken word, not in grammatically correct English.
    1. Balance to be struck when sounding like an expert. 
  5. Script must flow perfectly.
    1. Sentences must be in balance. 
  6. Scripts must be honest and ethical.
    1. The truth we’ll told 
  7. energy in, benefits out.
    1. Bebofys must outweigh the energy of to receive them. 
    2. Restate benefits every time the expensive of energy. 
    3. “Getting started is simple…”
    4. Use the word “only” as a minimizer 
    5. Use the word “cash outlay” instead of cost. 
    6. Use question “does that sound fair”
  8. Try to collapse the number of phone calls in your sales cycle as much as possible

In terms of order to increase certainty for a prospect, start with product first, then you, then company. 

Build air tight logical certainty first to satisfy BS detector, then emotional certainty after. 

Language patterns for logical and certainty. 

Basic rules for outbound calls. 

  1. Be enthusiastic from the start
  2. Speak in the familiar 
  3. Introduce yourself and company in first sentences then restate company shortly after. 
  4. Use power words like dramatically and explosive, fastest growing 
  5. Use justifier words like “only”
  6. Ask for permission to begin the qualification process. 

Example questions for the intelligence gathering phase of the sale:

  • what do you like are dislike about your current supplier?
  • What is your biggest headache with your business?
  • How long has this pain been going on? Make prospect talk about pain 
  • Of all the facts we talked about, which one is most important?
  • Anything that I missed?

Main body of script:

  • Name product
  • Leverage credibility by linking to something or done one familiar 
  • Transition
  • Create urgency
  • Transition to how simple this is to purchase 
  • Ask directly for the order at the close (3-4 times)
    • “Give me one shot and believe me, sound fair enough?”

10% of communication are the actual words, 90% tonality and body language. 

3 expected outcomes from a prospect 

  1. Prospect says yes 
  2. Prospect says no
  3. Prospect says maybe. (All common objections)
    1. Let me think about it
    2. Send me info
    3. Bad time of year
    4. Need to speak with someone else

Step-down sales: where the salesperson can easily ratchet up or down the price of a product after asking for the purchase the first time at a higher price. 

Wording for Standard objection response in the sales cycle. Deflection of objection:

“I hear what you’re saying NAME, but let me ask you a question – does that make sense to you? Do you like the idea?” 

“Exactly it really is a great buy at this level, in fact, one of the true beauties is…”

This leads you into a new tonality of where your prospect is. Pace, Pace, lead to create emotional certainty. 

Need to have at least an 8 on the certainty scale in the back half of the sales cycle


“You see what I’m saying here NAME, you like the idea?”

Language patterns that move prospect to 10 on certainty scale for you:

Need to convince prospect that’s they can trust you. 

“Now let me ask you a question”

Forrest Gump language pattern. 

“Now that I can understand. You don’t know me and I don’t have a track record, let me introduce myself, the company and who you are. Tell them about ethics and integrity. 

Increase your level of certainty for your company:

“And as far as my company goes, it’s one of the best….”

Write out best version of your company with tertiary versions to loop back on. 

Move into a close:

“So name, why don’t we do this”

Possibly suggest a stepped down version or trial

“If you give me 1% trust, I’ll eat the other 99%”

“I’m not getting rich here, but want to build a long term relationship.”

When prospect hits you with the second objection, answer it directly and loop back to the beginning of the sale to build an air tight logical and emotional certainty. 

Prospects run 2 parallel movies in their kind. What’s the upside potential and downside risk?

If the prospect does not purchase even after level 10 certanty across the threes, then Lower the action threshold by doing the following tactics. 

  1. Money back guarantee
  2. Offer a cooling off period (Resicn period)
  3. Use key phrases that run counter to worries of high action threshold prospect.
    1. “ I’ll hold your hand every step of the way”
  4. Infuse a language pattern that rewrite their rewrite their positive and negative parallel movies. (Step down approach)
    1. “What’s the worst that could happen?”

Introduce pain in the intelligence gathering phase and re introduce at the end by doing the following 

“Let me ask you a question, what would happen if you didn’t do this.”

I care and I feel your pain tonality

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