A “Side” Lesson from the “Wolf of Wall Street” in his new book.

I am reading Jordan Belfort’s new book “Way of the Wolf” that refers to his sales method known as ” Straight Line Sales”. The reason I am interested in this book and his philosophy is to learn what it is and to help me be better at “selling” ideas to others.

The “Side” lesson in this book that I find very compelling is something I really have been trying to understand for years.

Why do people get upset when others don’t agree with them on any given topic?

I believe it is related to sales because what people are really doing on a constant basis is selling themselves, their ideas, their tastes, and opinions to others and …

…expecting them to buy it.

What is really going on is an unsolicited presentation of ideas to people who never asked to be presented with it and if they did, they decide early on that they don’t want it anymore, and that for several reasons.

You cannot change a no to a yes. You can’t change people who are against something, to begin with.

One of the most disheartening things I have ever experienced in my life was teaching Music Appreciation to large classes of college freshmen who are taking it because they have to and think it will be an easy class.

Sure they are interested in music but they are only interested in their music. The music they already like and understand.

Now, don’t get me wrong, there were many students who were interested in learning about music other than what they already knew. A lot of really good kids who are eager to do well and learn.

But I couldn’t wrap my mind around students who were simply against it from the start. These students would do anything to not do the tasks set before them just because of their attitude against it, me or whatever, school policy.

This frustrated me completely. It basically ruined the idea of teaching that class at all because I would go in giving my usual 1000% and lose all of my energy into the vacuum before me. It completely wiped me out. I couldn’t function on any level outside of it.

Don’t get me wrong, I really like all of the students. They are all good people. Many of them I wished I could continue to have contact with.

Here is the point.

You can’t sell something to people who don’t want it, need it, understand it or can’t afford it.

When you try to teach, sell, something to people, there are a lot of things that you have to do before you can actually even present it to them.

It is not the student’s fault they don’t want it. It is where they are now. If I take that entire class and put them on the “Straight Line” they are pretty much a 1-4, a few 5-6 and a couple of 8-10s.

So, really, when I reflect upon my experience and compare it with the Straight Lines Sales Method, I realize that I did just about everything wrong you could do, and I am sorry about it. But, hey, I think everyone who teaches it goes through this.

If I ever get the opportunity to do it again, and I doubt I will do it again simply because I don’t want to try and sell something that people don’t want, or think they want.

The Life Lesson

We go through life interacting with people all of the time. When people try to tell me something I didn’t ask to talk about, I don’t agree with or don’t want to hear I get angry. I think everyone does.

The truth is that the one thing that is really of value that is at stake here is your reputation.

In the book, it says that┬áif you damage your reputation in someone’s eyes it takes 8 positive encounters to recover it.

In other words, it is next to impossible. You’ve blown it with that person.

When you use the proper methods of presenting your ideas to others you can escape a “NO” with your dignity and reputation and the other party will think all the more highly of you.

First, you should actually be an expert on the topic you are discussing. Secondly, you should get to know what your “prospects” wants, needs and likes are. Thirdly, your product has to be a good one, and fourth the environment, company, that you are working in is trustworthy.

In a class like music appreciation, I believe it is a long road to getting to the subject matter because the minds of the students must first be prepared for it. It is unlikely that you are going to get rap fans to be interested in listening to Renaissance choral music in the second class of the semester.

If you want to talk to others about hot button topics like music, religion, politics, or any social issue, it would be best if you first found out if they are going to be open to what you are saying.

If you are trying to talk about your opinion about the importance of responsible gun control to someone who loves guns that conversation will not go well. You will not be able to sell them on that idea, nor they you, and it is pointless to have that discussion because it isn’t going to solve anything in reality anyway, and both will be upset at the end of the conversation. The closure of the minds is guaranteed.

But, if you first get information on what the other person’s views are without actually discussing them in detail, then you can save yourself a lot of trouble by not pressing the subject any farther.

Out of 100 people, you can only really sell 2 – 5 from a cold starting point. However, if those 100 you know are already open to it, then the percentage gets higher and higher.

Being “RIGHT” about something is not valuable at all in a dialogue with others. What is important is that you learn how to make other’s feel right around you.

If people don’t want or need what you have to say then don’t say it. You don’t get browny points in heaven for winning arguments no matter how right you are.

You may win the battle but you will lose the war.

When reading this book I realize that I have made so many mistakes throughout my life with people on many different levels. I don’t feel good about it.

I hope that reading this book will help me in the future to be a better communicator of my ideas and a better listener to others.

The book is also about staying on topic and not letting a conversation drift off to Pluto or Uranus when trying to get something done. Staying within the lines of subject is so important if you are trying to actually get anywhere.

(Comment: I am not a fan of this new system on WordPress.)

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