On the grounds of ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’

Each of us in our own time was amazed by the brokers who sold the shares for thousands of dollars by phone.
It looked quite weird — how is it even possible that you did not plan anything like that a minute ago, and after the call of a stranger you decide to part with all the savings?

Notably, it was about everyday people, and not professional investors with whom brokers closed the deal, giving a feeling of a unique opportunity and quick profit with the minimum participation required — the broker is ready to do that stuff, all you need is just to open an account.
Recall that this was especially true in the 80’s, when the fashion for the stock market operations came into being, and every second thought it was an easy and fast way to get rich.

Gathering some information about the customer (hello, Big Data), the brokers selected just the right keys to reduce the ‘pain threshold’ from parting with money.
One was told that their grandfather had made a fortune on these shares, others were asked to imagine how they would put a deposit down on a new house in a month or send their children to college.
So the persuasion worked, and so the deals were closed.

Photo by Charisse Kenion on Unsplash

Today the things are pretty much different, as we make most of the purchases in the process of communicating with the interface, which came to replace the voice of the seller in the handset.
Imagine if these guys from the 80’s had the opportunity to visualize the future ‘dolce vita’ for the buyer that will come after buying the shares!
So, what do we need today to make a purchasing decision? What does eventually convince us to do this?

Jordan Belfort (played by Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie “The Wolf of Wall Street”) formulated 10 steps, which according to his system of direct sales (Straight Line Selling) will lead to the closed deal.
Okay, today we do not call by the phone, but what if we use his advice to close the deal using the interface?

Here we go.

1. Intro.
The first few seconds that you have to show the user that you are ‘Sharp as a tack’, ‘Enthusiastic as hell’, and ‘Figure of Authority’.
This task on a web page is performed by a welcome slide, usually with a teaser in the form of an image or video that creates both a general atmosphere and a first impression of the team and its product.

2. Develop instant rapport.
You express a genuine desire to help the user solve his problem and take care about him, but not just sell something. After all, you understand the essence of his problem, and how amazing it would be to get rid of it.
Therefore, a web page does not need to immediately talk about your offer. You should first describe the problem solved by the product, and show a complete understanding of the user’s desire to be out of it.

3. Gather intelligence.
Ask questions because in this way the user understands that you are really concerned about his problem and are looking for the best option, trying to understand what he really needs.
On a web page it can be apt forms or some kind of ‘free consultation’ offer. By the way, this is why interactive web pages always work better than the static ones, since interaction already implies a certain degree of personalization.

4. Run-up for proposal.
The user is still here, so probably he is interested, and it’s time to move on to presenting our solution to his problem.
But first let’s make an atmospheric and emotional inset on the web page before the direct presentation of the product in order to ease the tension.

5. Product presentation.
We do not sell anything yet, we just show what kind of solution we can offer the user and explain what makes it so unique. At the same stage, we present the company that offers this solution, and explain why exactly these people are selling exactly this solution.
On a website it can be a list of features that strongly promote your product. Also, if possible, mention the team’s experience in solving similar problems.

6. First motion.
Finally, we show our solution at its finest, and reveal the price. For example, we can show different plans and the list of available features associated with each plan.

7. Steady interest.
The user is not ready to spend money right away? No problem, if he really likes the product, you give the access simply at no cost!
Yes, this is that same trial access for a limited amount of time.

8. Certainty.
We need to bolster confidence that the user really deals with experts and enthusiasts of their business.
This can be a description of the additional product benefits and fine details, as well as feedback from other users who have already made a purchase.

9. Doubts.
They need to be denied, clearly proving that the user will benefit from buying a product more than he risks losing, even if it fails.
Try to focus on specific cases that your product helps to solve. The benefits of buying a product should be as clear as daylight.

10. Pain.
We must articulate the pain that will remain with the user who has not bought our product yet.
It should not be very intense, but still sensitive, so that eventually he realizes how much he wants to get rid of it.
For example, we can show with what difficulties the user will continue to face if he refuses to buy and leave everything as is.

Jordan Belfort, the author of ‘Straight Line Persuasion’

You see, actually the more it changes, the more it remains the same.

To be fair, these guys from the 80’s successfully used this technique to sell frankly poor products (say, shares of fake companies), but I am sure you already know that this is a bad role-model.

Though, a good product usually also requires some effort to be sold, and moreover it gives you the opportunity to not just close the deal, but also to get a loyal customer who will return again and again.