The way of the wolf
In the way of the wolf, Jordan Belfort reminds us that with great power comes great responsibility. He warns you firsthand.
This book gives you power so you might as well use it responsibly. Jordan is gifted as he claims, gifted with the ability to sell anything to anyone. If he were a superhero, training salespeople would be his superpower, and there’s not a soul on the planet who does it better than him. A bold claim
You may wonder whether you need this book on sales or not. But “Even if you’re not in “sales,” you still need to become at least reasonably proficient at sales and persuasion. Otherwise, you’re going to find yourself living a severely disempowered life. Selling is everything in life. In fact, either you’re selling or you’re failing.”
By providing you with a simple, proven way to master the art of communication, you’ll be able to move through life with far greater personal power and live a far more empowered life.
So here’s a brief summary of the way of the wolf, by Jordan Belfort.
The way of the wolf Chapter 1: CRACKING THE CODE FOR SALES AND INFLUENCE
Every sale is the same. While many people would disagree with this bold statement, Jordan Belfort affirms with absolute certainty that every sale is the same.
To him, three key elements must line up in a prospect’s mind before you have a shot at closing them. That’s why he says that every sale is the same.
The three tens
Jordan Belfort calls the three core elements the three tens—with the context being a prospect’s current state of certainty on a scale from one to ten.
The three tens are composed of
1- The product, idea, or concept
Your prospect must be absolutely certain that they love your product, or as we like to say with the Straight Line System, your prospect must think it’s the best thing since sliced bread!
A 10 on the certainty scale means your prospect absolutely loves your product, and they’re damn sure of it.
A 1 on the certainty scale: your prospect absolutely despises your product, and it’s going to be difficult to change their mind.
Human beings don’t buy things that they think will make their lives worse; they buy things that they think will make their lives better.
“In consequence, when you ask for the order, if your prospect thinks that your product is shit then you have absolutely no chance of closing them. Conversely, if they think the opposite is true—that your product is the best thing since sliced bread—then you have an excellent chance of closing them.”
Now, if a prospect is at a 10 on the certainty scale, will she buy from you? While many people would say “yes”, the answer is “maybe”. Maybe yes, maybe not
And here comes the second part of the three tens: trust. If your prospect doesn’t trust you, then there’s absolutely no way they are going to buy from you. How certain they are about your product doesn’t necessarily involve a buying situation.
2- You, trust and connect with you
Do they think you’re a likable, trustworthy person, who is not only an expert in your field but also prides yourself on putting your customer’s needs first and making sure that if any problems arise you’ll be right there on the spot to resolve them? That would be a 10 on the certainty scale.
There is also a varying degree of certainty for how people trust you or not.
Now, with those two elements combined, will a prospect buy from you? By now, you might’ve understood it; still not. Why? Let me ask you a question: What if your prospect doesn’t trust the company you work for?
3- The prospect must trust and connect with the company
A company with a questionable reputation is likely to lose customers in the same way that it won’t attract new ones.
In fact, this is why it’s so much easier to sell to existing customers than to new ones, even if you don’t have a personal relationship with them. The fact that they have an existing relationship with your company means that the third Ten has already been established, leaving you with only the first and the second Tens to address.
Two types of certainty
There are two types of certainty: logical and emotional.
Logical certainty is based on actual facts, figures, features and benefits etc. while emotional certainty is more based on a gut feeling that something must be good.
People don’t buy on logic; they buy on emotion, and then justify their decision with logic.
Hence, the two types are both important—and they’re both absolutely crucial if you want to close at the highest level.
The way of the wolf Chapter 2- INVENTING THE STRAIGHT LINE
Every word, every phrase, every question you ask, every tonality you use; every single one of them should have the same ultimate goal in mind, which is to increase the prospect’s level of certainty as much as humanly possible, so that by the time you get to the close, he’s feeling so incredibly certain that he almost has to say yes. That’s your goal. “In fact, think of this as goal-oriented communication,”
To apply this, remember when we talked about the three tens in Chapter 1.
Jordan Belfort highlights two more elements that constitute the straight line system: lower the action threshold and raise the pain threshold.
The five core elements of the straight line system
In sum, the five core elements of the straight line system as discussed in the way of the wolf are:
1. The prospect must love your product.
2. The prospect must trust and connect with you.
3. The prospect must trust and connect with your company.
4. Lower the action threshold.
5. Raise the pain threshold.
It’s a threshold the prospect must cross over before he or she feels comfortable enough to buy. In other words, the action threshold is the collective level of certainty that a person needs to be at before they feel comfortable enough to buy. Prospects have beliefs, experiences that create a threshold of certainty. We refer to people who are very easy to sell to as having a low action threshold; and we refer to people who are very difficult to sell to as having a high action threshold. Most importantly, a prospect’s action threshold is malleable; it is not set in stone. This implies that if you can lower a person’s action threshold, then you can turn some of the toughest buyers into easy buyers.
The pain threshold
This is the last core element of the straight line system and it’s for the toughest customers who’re not inclined to buy, even after you lowered their action threshold. Pain is the most powerful motivator of all. Pain creates urgency.
What the Straight Line System can do, once you become reasonably proficient at it, is get you to a point where you can close anyone who’s closable.
The way of the wolf Chapter 3- THE FIRST FOUR SECONDS
It takes only a quarter of a second for a prospect to make an initial decision about you when you meet them in person.
Actually, it happens in less than four seconds over the phone, and in only a quarter of a second when you’re in person. That’s how fast the brain reacts.
To be clear, though, even when you’re in person, it still takes four seconds before a final judgment gets made. The difference is that the process starts sooner when you’re in person—literally from the first moment the prospect lays eyes on you.
There are three things you need to establish in those first four seconds of an encounter if you want to be perceived in just the right way:
1 Sharp as a tack
2 Enthusiastic as hell
3 An expert in your field
If you’re in sales, stop believing in the “don’t judge a book by its cover”. Each and every one of us judges books by their covers. It’s basically hardwired into our brains; and it’s not just an American thing; it’s also an Australian thing, a Chinese thing, a Brazilian thing; an Italian thing—it’s a human thing. It exists everywhere in the world, and crosses all cultural boundaries.
How you are perceived will carry through to every part of the sale, but it starts in the first four seconds. If you screw that up and make a negative first impression, then you basically have no chance of closing the deal.
Sharp as a tack
In essence, you have to sound and act like someone who can help the prospect fulfill their needs and desires. To achieve lasting success, you must actually become an “expert in your field,” so that you do, indeed, know what you’re talking about. You can’t just talk the talk; you also have to walk the walk.
Enthusiastic as hell
This sends a subliminal message to your prospect, telling them that you must have something great to offer. You must sound upbeat, enthusiastic, and full of energy, and be a positive influence in their lives.
An expert in your field
You have to be an expert in your field—an authority figure and a force to be reckoned with. Convince the prospect that you are a highly competent, ultra knowledgeable professional by coming off as a world-class expert in your field, right out of the gate.
The way of the wolf: Show them you’re worth listening to
1. Get to the point quickly
2. Do not waste the prospect’s time
3. Have a solution to their problem
4. Be an asset to them over the long-term
The way of the wolf Chapter 4- TONALITY AND BODY LANGUAGE
You know by now that the first four seconds are crucial. Since a substantial portion of communication takes place over the phone nowadays, how do you ensure that you’re being perceived the right way when your prospects can’t even see you? The answer is your tone of voice.
On the flip side, if a sales encounter takes place in person, then a second communication modality comes into play, working hand-in-hand with tonality to help us get our point across. We call this second modality body language.
In unconscious communication, tonality and body language play major roles in how we get our point across—both while we’re talking and as we’re listening.
Use enthusiasm to create massive emotional certainty in our prospect—meaning, they get an overwhelming sense that whatever product we’re selling simply must be good.
Remember to never stay in any one tonality for too long or else the prospect will become bored—or in scientific terms, habituate—and ultimately tune out.
Conscious and unconscious
Your unconscious mind is 200 million times more powerful than your conscious counterpart. You see, not only is your unconscious mind responsible for regulating all your bodily functions; it also acts as the central depository for all your memories.
So, at the end of the day, whether it’s in person or over the phone, the strategies you employ and the outcomes you desire will always be the same: you’ll use words to influence your prospect’s conscious mind, and tonality and body language to influence their unconscious mind.
The way of the wolf Chapter 5: STATE MANAGEMENT
Jordan Belfort refers to state management as a way to temporarily block out any troubling thoughts or emotions that might normally make you feel negative—thereby allowing yourself to maintain a positive state of mind.
When you’re in an empowered state—like “certainty,” for instance—then you’re able to access your internal resources, which then sets you up for massive success. Conversely, when you’re in a disempowered state, you’re blocked from accessing your internal resources, and you’ve set yourself up for massive failure.
How to manage your state?
Jordan Belfort then talks about NLP or Neuro-linguistic programming. NLP’s basic premise is that the human brain functions similarly to a computer and hence can be programmed as such to make near instant changes to certain key behavioral patterns. Yet, before you can make any changes, you need to know two important things first:
. How to write code for the human brain
. What type of software to embed the code in
The basic premise of NLP anchoring is that human beings have the ability to choose how they feel at a particular moment in time, as opposed to it being chosen for them by what’s going on in their surrounding environment or their personal life. In other words, we can be proactive when it comes to choosing our emotional state, as opposed to reactive, which is what most human beings have been conditioned to think, is our only choice.
How to live a more empowered life
NLP’s first leap of logic was based on the idea that human beings could proactively manage their emotional state with near 100 percent success by directing their focus and their physiology in a specific way.
There are two core elements of NLP that helps you manage your state
What you choose to focus on
In essence, at any particular moment, you have the ability to choose the precise direction of your focus; and based on that choice, you’ll fall into a state that’s congruent with what you’ve chosen to focus on.
Your current physiology
As Tony Robbins said “motion creates emotion”. Our posture and our physiology affect the way we feel.
The most common state that salespeople will try to set an anchor for is a state of absolute certainty, and the most common anchor they’ll choose to try to link it to is a combination of shouting the word “yes” and simultaneously clapping their hands.
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Chapter 6- A SUREFIRE FORMULA FOR MANAGING YOUR STATE
One of the main benefits of NLP is anchoring. It helps people trigger a peak emotional state at will. While anchoring is a powerful tool, people often have difficulties mastering it. Two reasons mainly explain these difficulties.
The first vulnerability had to do with how intense you were able to get your state to at the precise moment when you introduced the anchor.
The second vulnerability had to do with the type of anchor you choose. It needs to be extreme—the more extreme the better, in fact—and the more unusual the better too.
Jordan Belfort then guides you through five basic steps to NLP anchoring:
Step #1: Choose a state
Step #2: Choose your focus
Step #3: Choose your physiology
Step #4: Intensify your state
Step #5: Set your anchor
The way of the wolf: Olfactory anchoring
As mentioned earlier, “intensifying one’s state” remains one of the difficulties people most encounter. To solve this, Jordan Belfort suggests not generating that state but rather waiting until you are actually in that state organically and set your anchor then.
He takes the example of “certainty”. Instead of generating a state of certainty, wait until you really live it and then, right then, in that very instant, set yourself a powerful anchor.
All you have to do is wait for that awesome moment when you close a really big sale (or any situation that causes you to organically pop into a state of absolute certainty, or absolute anything, for that matter), and then, right then, in that very instant, when that moment hits, you whip out your tube of BoomBoom, unscrew the cap, take a deep, prodigious blast up each nostril so you can literally feel the rush of the mint and citrus bathing your olfactory nerves, giving you that pleasant, invigorating burn.
Here’s how it looks, laid out in steps
Step #1: Choose a state: Like before, let’s choose a state of absolute certainty.
Step #2: Set your anchor
The way of the wolf Chapter 7: ADVANCED TONALITY
Advanced tonality as explained in the “way of wolf” is an extremely powerful unconscious communication strategy. You can actually get people to buy things they shouldn’t buy, and do things they shouldn’t do, without them even realizing that an extraordinary amount of influence was brought to bear.
You see, in the absence of the right tonality, your ability to move your prospect emotionally is severely limited and your ability to close is also limited accordingly.
Remember, it’s your words that move a prospect logically, and it’s your tonality that moves your prospect emotionally.
We can also use tonality at a much higher level to take control of our prospect’s inner monologue and stop it from narrating against us.
A few rules
The first rule is to never address their prospect in an overly formal manner; instead, the salesperson should address the prospect in the way they would respectfully address a friend.
1. “I care” or the “I really want to know” tonality which is upbeat and enthusiastic. This tonality creates an unconscious psychological connection, because we naturally feel closer to people who express a sincere caring for our well-being.
2. Phrasing a declarative as a question – ex: “Hi, my name is Bill Peterson? Calling from Acme Travel Company? In Beverly Hills, California? How are you today?”
3. Mystery and intrigue – you use this tonality when explaining the precise reason why you called the prospect today.
4. Scarcity (to create urgency) – lower your voice to a whisper as if you are sharing a secret. There are verbal scarcity, tonal scarcity and informational scarcity.
5. Absolute certainty – firm and definitive
6. Utter sincerity – this is a calm, smooth, confident; low-pressure tone that implies that what you’re currently saying to the prospect is coming directly from your heart, and that you’re being absolutely sincere with them at the highest possible level.
7. Reasonable man – raising your voice at the end of a sentence to imply reasonableness; for instance “If you have sixty seconds, I’d like to share an idea with you. You got a minute?”
8. Hypothetical, money aside tone – Ex: So let’s say in response to you asking for the order, your prospect says, “It sounds good. Let me think about it. “Your reply would be, “I hear what you’re saying, but let me ask you a question. Does the idea make sense to you? Do you like the idea?”
9. Implied obviousness – to infer the notion that it’s beyond obvious that your product or service is a winner.
10. “I feel your pain” – use when you’re asking questions that are designed to uncover your prospect’s primary and secondary pain points and, if necessary, amplify them.
The way of the wolf Chapter 8: ADVANCED BODY LANGUAGE
Nonverbal communication is ten times more powerful than verbal communication. In the way of the wolf, Jordan Belfort explains how things like thoughts and feelings and intentions are all communicated in the way that you move your body: by your management of space and time, your posture, appearance, gestures, the way you make facial expressions and eye contact, even the way you smell.
Body language is not going to get you the sale, but the wrong body language will destroy the opportunity to make a sale. The things a person will internally debate start with a very basic observation: your appearance. They’ll then make a snap decision about you as a result of that.
The law of congruence
A plumber wouldn’t wear a suit while a male insurance agent should be in a suit and tie. Dress is in a way that is congruent with your profession.
The way of the wolf: Spatial awareness
If you’re a man selling to another man, then you want to do what’s called cornering off—meaning you want to stand at a slight angle to another man, as opposed to directly in front of him. When a man faces another man, it creates for many a feeling of conflict and hostility, and it instantly takes the men out of rapport. So what you do to avoid this is you corner off with the other man—meaning you shift your body position so you’re at a slight angle to him, which has the effect of immediately disarming him.
For communication with a woman, though, it’s the exact opposite. If you’re a man trying to influence a woman, the woman wants you to stand directly in front of her and keep your hands above waist level, where she can see them.
The way of the wolf: Handshake
The way you shake hands says a lot more about you than you actually think. It can set you up to quickly get into a rapport with someone, or it can eliminate that possibility entirely.
The best handshake for getting into a rapport with someone is called the cooperator’s handshake, which is your basic, neutral handshake, where you meet someone’s hand head-on.
You can also apply matching which is to shake a hand firmly when someone shakes your hand firmly.
If you don’t make eye contact at least 72 percent of the time, people won’t trust you. There have been detailed studies on this stuff, and 72 percent is the number.
The way of the wolf: Matching is not copying
One way to build rapport is to match your counterpart, especially when you’re in person and you can match both body language and tonality. Copying someone, also called mirroring is doing the exact same things as you counterpart and you do it instantly; that’s weird.
Matching happens when your prospect leans back in their seat, then you lean back in your seat too, but you do it slowly, casually, after a five- or ten-second lag.
Chapter 9: THE ART OF PROSPECTING
Jordan Belfort relates a story in which a novice tried to sell a pen. The problem was that the prospect didn’t even need it. Trying to sell something to someone who doesn’t need it or want it is a fool’s errand and a total waste of time
Any professional salesperson would sift through their prospects as quickly and efficiently as possible, separating out the ones who are interested from the ones who aren’t.
The way of the wolf: 4 buying archetypes
To sift through their prospects, there are four buying archetypes as proposed in the way of the wolf:
1. Buyers in heat – These are basically your best, most motivated buyers. They’ve already made the decision to do something about it now.
2. Buyers in power – These are your second best group of buyers. The primary difference between the first two archetypes is that buyers in power aren’t consciously feeling any major pain from their unfilled need, which causes them to lack the same level of urgency as buyers in heat
3. Lookie-loos – weed these out because they are acting as if they’re genuinely interested in buying your product—while they actually have no intention of doing so. The lookie-loos are the most dangerous prospects that will enter your sales funnel.
4. Mistakes or “the People who were dragged there” – they never belonged in your sales funnel in the first place; remove them.
So, in summary, the way of the wolf boils down to three prospecting strategies and they are as follows:
1. Identify the lookie-loos and the mistakes and remove them from your sales funnel as quickly as possible.
2. Gather the necessary intelligence from the buyers in heat and the buyers in power, and then continue moving them down the Straight Line towards the close.
3 .Begin the process of turning the buyers in power into buyers in heat by amplifying their pain.
Chapter 10: THE TEN RULES OF STRAIGHT LINE PROSPECTING
As explained in the way of the wolf, when you’re properly engaging in the process of straight line prospecting, you’re doing each of the following four things:
1. You’re sifting through the prospects in your sales funnel by asking them a series of strategically prepared questions.
2. You’re using these questions to not only gather intelligence but also to separate the buyers in heat and buyers in power from the lookie-loos and the mistakes.
3. You’re continuing to gather intelligence from the buyers in heat and buyers in power, while eliminating the lookie-loos and mistakes from your sales funnel as quickly as possible,
4. You’re transitioning the buyers in heat and the buyers in power to the next step in the syntax, so they can continue their journey down the Straight Line.
The way of the wolf: The ten rules
The ten rules are meant to be a practical blueprint for gathering intelligence in your industry.
Rule #1: You are a sifter, not an alchemist. You don’t turn water into gold, any more than you convert lookie-loos and mistakes into buyers in heat or buyers in power.
Rule #2: Always ask for permission to ask questions. You want to build rapport in a non confrontational manner. You may say: ““John, just a couple of quick questions, so I don’t waste your time.” “John, let me just ask you a couple of quick questions, so I can best serve you.” Or “John, let me ask you just a couple of quick questions, so I can see exactly what your needs are.”
Rule #3: You must always use a script because each industry has its own unique set of questions that need to be asked in a certain order.
Rule #4: Go from less invasive questions to more invasive questions. By asking non-invasive questions first, you give yourself the opportunity to start building rapport by actively listening to your prospect’s answers.
Rule #5: Ask each question using the right tonality. Each prospecting question will have its own “best” tonality
Rule #6: Use the correct body language as the prospect responds.
Rule #7: Always follow a logical path.
Rule #8: Make mental notes; resolve their pain.
Rule #9: Always end with a powerful transition.
Rule #10: Stay on the Straight Line; don’t go spiraling off to Pluto.
Chapter 11: THE ART AND SCIENCE OF MAKING WORLD-CLASS SALES PRESENTATIONS
According to Jordan Belfort, Bill Clinton possesses a great charisma, one of those highly magnetic people. He would shake hands with over a thousand voters a day with a sympathetic smile and a few choices of words.
At the end of the day, it’s these three distinctions—he cares about me, he understands me, and he feels my pain—that serve as the very foundation on which all rapport is built, and they come naturally to those who possess massive charisma.
The good news is, charisma is a learnable skill that can be mastered through practice. All you have to do is become reasonably proficient and you’ll start seeing the benefits straightaway.
There are three components of charisma as explained in the Way of the wolf. To Jordan Belfort, they are the effective use of tonality, body language and “not saying stupid things”.
Making world-class presentations
There are eight things that set straight line scripts apart from everything else out there:
Your script must not be front-loaded
Focus on the benefits, not the features.
Your script must have stopping-off points.
Write in the spoken word, not grammatically correct English.
Your script must flow perfectly.
Your scripts must be honest and ethical.
Remember the overarching equation of energy in, benefits out.
A Straight Line script is part of a series of scripts.
The power of language patterns
We’ve seen in chapter 2 the order in which we have to create certainty within the prospect’s mind.
1 The prospect must love your product.
2 The prospect must trust and connect with you.
3 The prospect must trust and connect with your company.
Conversely, we have to follow the same protocol, which is:
The product first
You, the salesperson second
And the company that stands behind the product third
In terms of the split between logic and emotion, you’re always going to build airtight logical cases first and airtight emotional cases second.
In your opening pattern, you’re simply introducing yourself, your company, and explaining the reason for your call, while using tonality and body language to establish yourself as an expert, so you can take control of the conversation and begin moving your prospect down the straight line, from the open to the close.
The way of the wolf Chapter 12: THE ART AND SCIENCE OF LOOPING
The sale doesn’t truly begin until after your prospect hits you with the first objection; only then do you have the chance to finally roll up your sleeves and earn your paycheck.
There are only three possible ways your prospect can respond the first time you ask them for the order. They can say: yes, no or maybe.
Yes—meaning, the deal is closed and it’s time to break out the paperwork and collect payment.
No—meaning, the prospect is definitely not interested and it’s time to end the sales encounter and move on to the next prospect.
Or maybe—meaning, the prospect is sitting on the fence and can still go either way. Maybe consists of all the common objections that salespeople typically get hit with during the back half of the sale. In total, there are somewhere between twelve and fourteen of them, although about half are just simple variations of two.
The art of deflection
Whenever a prospect hits you with an objection, always answer the exact same way: “I hear what you’re saying, Bill, but let me ask you a question: Does the idea make sense to you? Do you like the idea?”
Now, notice how, rather than directly answering his objection, you deflected it instead.
Specifically, you acknowledged the fact that you heard what Bill said to you —to ensure that he didn’t feel ignored, which would cause a break in rapport— and then you shifted the conversation in a more productive direction, which was to find out where he stood on the certainty scale for the first of the Three Tens, which is your product.
What to do after an initial objection?
On average, approximately 20 percent of the prospects who hit you with an initial objection will close right here, as a result of one simple loop. The rest of them, however, are going to require a bit more persuading, in the form of running additional loops that address one of the following three areas:
1 Increasing their level of certainty for one or more of the Three Tens
2 Lowering their action threshold
3 Increasing their pain threshold
Four ways to lower your prospect’s action threshold
The action threshold is the collective level of certainty that a person needs to be at before they feel comfortable enough to buy.
The first way is to offer your prospect a money-back guarantee.
The second way is to offer your prospect a cooling off or rescission period. This is a contractual feature that allows a prospect to make a binding decision now, but then reverse that decision for up to five business days.
The third way is to use certain key phrases that paint a picture that runs counter to the worries and concerns that a typical high–action-threshold prospect ruminates on. Some examples of this are: “I’ll hold your hand every step of the way” . . . “We pride ourselves on long-term relationships” . . . “We have blue-chip customer service.
And the fourth, and most effective way by far, is to use a very powerful language pattern that allows you to temporarily “reverse” a high–action threshold prospect’s parallel movies—“Bill, let me ask you an honest question; what’s the worst that can possibly happen here? I mean, let’s say I’m wrong and the stock actually goes down a few points, and you lose two thousand bucks.
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