The 5 Secrets of Outstanding Sales Success

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Way of the Wolf" by Jordan Belfort. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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What are the most common sales objections? How can you overcome these sales objections and turn a prospect into a paying customer?

The most common sales objections fall into two categories: bad timing, and the need to check with someone else. The most common sales objections are all just smokescreens for other issues.

This article will explain step-by-step how to overcome the most common sales objections using methods from Way of the Wolf.

The Most Common Sales Objections

Think of the sale as one straight line, beginning with the open on the left and moving to the close on the right. The biggest key to success is staying on that line.

OPEN <——————————————————> CLOSE

In Way of the Wolf, Belfort learned this lesson from the experiences of his employees. They were having trouble closing the good leads that they were given. Their major complaint was that there were too many objections to a sale (they said “1000 objections”), so he asked them to list the objections. They came up with 14 total, the most common sales objections fell under two categories:

  • Bad timing.
  • The need to check with someone else.

They’re Just Smokescreens

If every sale is the same, the most common sales objections are all just smokescreens for other issues, so answering these smokescreens is useless. 

Instead, the salesperson should lead the conversation, going from Point A “Open” to Point B “Close” in a straight line. 

All conversation is done in order to stay on the line and move slowly from left to right.

Ask for the order at first around the beginning of the conversation, maybe ⅓ of the way in, so that you get the objections. The back part of the sale then becomes the toughest, as you deal with the objections or smokescreens for uncertainty and move them towards certainty. 

Staying on the Line

We’ll call this goal-oriented communication. The following visual shows the Straight Line System—stay close to the line in the middle and don’t end up on tangents (Pluto or Uranus). 




OPEN <——————————————————> CLOSE




If you’re completely on the straight line, you’re doing all of the talking. Every word you say should move you from open to close. Do everything possible to stay close to the line. This is the heart of the Straight Line System and how to overcome the most common sales objections. 

In the spaces between the straight line and Pluto and Uranus, it’s the prospect who’s doing the talking. The prospect will try to move you off the line and onto Pluto or Uranus, either because they’re trying to get you to stop pitching them or because their mind is wandering. People are much more likely to be thinking about whatever is going on in their lives than your product. And it may seem like, by getting to know the prospect, they will be more likely to agree to a sale. The opposite is true.

If you follow a prospect’s tangents and you end up way off the line (at Pluto or Uranus), you’ve gone way too far. However, being in the space between the Straight Line and Pluto or Uranus can be valuable. This is where you gather intelligence and develop a rapport.

Gathering intelligence and developing a rapport include seven major pillars:

  1. Identify the prospect’s needs.
  2. Figure out any core beliefs the prospect has that could affect the sale. Maybe they naturally distrust products that are not made in the U.S. or don’t like salespeople. 
  3. Find out the prospect’s good and bad past experiences with products that are similar. 
  4. Find out what their values are: Do they want quick growth? Do they plan to donate their profits?
  5. Figure out their financial standards: What amount of money and what spending ability do they need to feel self-confident?
  6. Figure out their financial worries, where the pain is.
  7. Find out what their financials are: where they are in the market, how much they’re willing to invest in an idea they like, and how much they have available to invest. 

This all adds up to the three basics principles key to the Straight Line System: 

  1. Take control of the sale right away.
  2. Build rapport by asking the prospect a lot of questions and using the right tone and body language, and use that rapport to gather intelligence.
  3. Transition quickly and smoothly to a sales presentation

In the 90 days after Belfort taught this system to his employees, all twelve of them were million-dollar producers. 

If you follow these steps from Way of the Wolf, then you, too, can overcome the most common sales objections and turn prospects into paying customers.

The Most Common Sales Objections: Overcome Them

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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Jordan Belfort's "Way of the Wolf" at Shortform .

Here's what you'll find in our full Way of the Wolf summary :

  • How to sell like Jordan Belfort, the Wolf of Wall Street
  • The 4 steps of the Straight Line selling method
  • The 3 types of certainty you have to create to make a successful sale

Hannah Aster

Hannah graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English and double minors in Professional Writing and Creative Writing. She grew up reading books like Harry Potter and His Dark Materials and has always carried a passion for fiction. However, Hannah transitioned to non-fiction writing when she started her travel website in 2018 and now enjoys sharing travel guides and trying to inspire others to see the world.

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