Salesman Tips and Tricks: The Top 4 Strategies

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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Do you want to learn the best salesman tips and tricks? Do you want to know about the Jordan Belfort selling techniques from Way of the Wolf?

Even if “sales” is not your industry, it’s useful to learn these salesman tips and tricks because everyone has to sell in life. The Jordan Belfort selling techniques are based around “ethical persuasion”: They don’t change anything about your life or a product you’re selling, but they do help persuade people to look at these things in a different light.

Keep reading to learn what the best salesman tips and tricks are.

The Best Salesman Tips and Tricks

It’s useful to learn these salesman tips and tricks even if “sales” is not your industry because everyone has to sell in life. Consider applying for a job, trying to find a date, or convincing some friends to travel to see you. These are all sales. The Jordan Belfort selling techniques are “ethical persuasion” techniques: ways to frame yourself, your life, or any product in a way that looks attractive. They don’t change anything about your life or a product you’re selling, but they do help persuade people to look at these things in a different light.

Dress Professionally

The first of the salesman tips and tricks involves appearance. Your only get four seconds to make a good impression and appearance is a huge part of that. Dressing and looking professional is important—looking like you have your life in order can help you project confidence. 

This begins with dress: Wearing a suit (for a man or woman) projects power. Too much cologne or perfume, or showing up somewhere looking like you’re going to a club or a gym, and people won’t take you seriously.

For men’s facial hair, anything other than a very closely cropped beard or mustache looks unkempt and suggests a lack of care or pride (obviously there are exceptions like in the Middle East, where wearing a beard is customary). 

The equivalent for a woman would be some sort of extreme hairdo or excessive jewelry. On this note, the worst thing a man can wear is a pinky ring with a big diamond in it. It gives off the look of a hustler. 

On the whole, the most important thing is to dress in congruence with what your profession is. If you’re a plumber it wouldn’t make sense to show up in a suit. Rather, you’d be in a crisp uniform. 

Build a Script

You might have an idea at this point in your head about how to close a sale. But these salesman tips and tricks will help you close an even higher percentage. The secret is that the most successful salespeople don’t leave anything to chance. The Jordan Belfort selling techniques include working off of a script. 

Certain people simply have more charisma than others. Fortunately, even if you don’t possess any natural charisma, you can still connect with people—it’s a learnable skill, and you don’t even need to have that much to be a good salesperson. It is about maintaining the right tone and the right body language at the right time, as well as not saying stupid stuff. This is actually the hardest for most people, and once stupid stuff starts coming out of people’s mouths, it is not likely to stop. This is novice behavior that the prospect picks up very quickly, ending any chance of a sale. 

Experts, on the other hand, mostly say smart things. It’s sounding like an expert that gets you paid, and this is why you need a script. The Straight Line script is the perfect sale condensed into script. If it doesn’t work out after you follow this script and maintain good tone and body language, pack up and move on without much consternation. 

Match and Find Tones

Another one of the important salesman tips and tricks is to match and find tones of your prospect. Whatever your prospect gives you, from “yeah, maybe” to “it sounds pretty great,” reply “it really is great!” and then move into your follow-up presentation. However, where you match your prospect is in tone. This is because you’re trying to pace and then lead. If you believe your prospect is below a 3 out of 10 on the certainty scale, though, then you might as well end the pitch and move on. Mostly, though, once you’ve reached this point in the sale the responses are going to be between 5 and 7 after the first go around. 

Important note: The follow-up presentation (a repeat of the first presentation while adding some additional benefits of the product) needs to be basically perfect and perfectly delivered. The prospect has already heard your pitch once and so might have less patience for the follow-up. But, if you do get to the end, ask the same question: “Do you see what I’m saying? Do you like the idea?” 

At this point, you should have weeded out anyone who’s not going to give you some type of yes. But now you’re looking for more than a basic yes. The prospect has five numbers in his buying combination and you’re picking the lock. You need to get the certainty in the producer up to at least an 8. The prospect should give back an enthusiastic yes, like “I love the idea!” And you will respond in kind with enthusiasm. 

Next, the prospect will move on to the second of the three tens, the salesperson (you). Use the mystery and intrigue tone here, and say “let me ask you another question.” Then, move to the implied obviousness tone, and ask whether, if you had been your prospect’s broker for the last few years, they would be saying “let me think about it.” They’d probably be buying right now. The prospect would probably agree that this would be different if you had a previous relationship. This is admitting that trust with you is now at the center of your challenge. If they don’t admit this right away, you have to keep pushing until they do. At this point, they’ll almost always agree.

Seal the Deal

After all this, the prospect might be getting ready to buy. They’ll ask a question like, “How much was that again?” If you answer simply “$3,000,” you’ve made a mistake.

If you are just answering about the money, then what the prospect will hear is they’re paying $3,000 and getting nothing out, even if you already laid out the benefits before. The proper way to respond is to say, “This represents a cash outlay of only $3,000, and let me tell you what that will get you…” and then go on to name the benefits again and remind them how simple it is to buy. Use this answer to play down how much the prospect is spending vs. how much they are getting back. Then, end with something like “sound fair?” 

Remember that no matter what, until the money changes hands the deal is not closed, so always keep in touch with the prospect, especially if it’s a complex deal that requires lawyers’ involvement and due diligence checks. 

Make sure that these communications during the waiting period come from a position of strength. Even though you know the deal is not technically finished, act like it is.

Salesman Tips and Tricks: The Top 4 Strategies

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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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