Jordan Belfort is not the messiah, he’s a very naughty boy

For those of you who don’t know who this guy is, this is his Wikipedia opening paragraph.

Jordan Ross Belfor (born July 9, 1962) is an American author, motivational speaker, and former stockbroker. In 1999, he pleaded guilty to fraud and related crimes in connection with stock-market manipulation and running a boiler room as part of a penny-stock scam. Belfort spent 22 months in prison as part of an agreement under which he gave testimony against numerous partners and subordinates in his fraud scheme.

He’s become a hero for sales people (particularly recruiters) based on cute memes with bold ‘motivational’ statements that seem to have gathered huge pace as he was in London recently preaching his sales mantra onto suckers… sorry sales people.

Yes, that’s right, a person who preyed on others, who systematically created a team that destroyed thousands of people’s lives and left a trail of destruction wherever he went, is a HERO to your salespeople.

He now tours the world teaching his ‘straight line persuasion’ sales technique which promises to

“Learn how to double your online or offline sales within just 14 days”.

Now if you saw that type of strapline on a company selling diet products or the like you’d scoff, state that only hard work pays off and move on. But because dear old Leo played him in the film directed by Mr. Scorsese, people believe it and actually pay money to fawn over him lecture.

Side note;
I’ve left out the monumental drug problem he had and all the associated disasters that accompanied that as I’ve seen how addiction can make even the best human do bad things, however everything else was a calculated, manipulative choice.

Now here’s the thing and the reason for the title. There was one overriding motivational target that he aimed for, MONEY. Anything and everything else didn’t matter, it was all secondary to the pursuit of money no matter what.

If you’re a sales person reading this, you’re probably saying to yourself, well yeah, that’s the point of sales you silly (insert swear word).

However, I’ve been in sales, marketing and business development for over 20 years and of course money is important but I learnt the hard way that money comes secondary to doing a good job and not stepping over people to get to it.

So, if your sales team has pictures of Leo holding out a champagne glass with some witty ‘banter’ strapline then be worried.
As I assure you your team might be peaking every now and again but I’m pretty sure they will never have repeat customers and your hard worked for reputation is not synonymous with customer service and values.

If you’ve read this far you might be interested in my thoughts about being succesful within sales in a quick bullet point format

• Have a product not a brand
• Understand the pain points of potential clients
• Listen to them on the phone and face to face
• Present your product as a way to alleviate their challenges and show understanding
• Realise that the money part only comes after the hard work, there are no ‘legal’ get rich quick schemes.

Before people ask if I watched the film and liked it, yes of course I did, it was great. I also liked Lord of the Rings but don’t condone the use of “one ring to rule them all”.

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