Straight Line Persuasion is a sales training program by Jordan Belfort, and this is a review of Straight Line Persuasion to help you decide whether it’s worth buying it or not.
- A straight line from meet to sale is the safest way to sell
- Never cut off the prospect, but always nudge him back towards your straight line
- Some people are born closers. Others will have to learn it
About The Author: Jordan Belfort became increasingly famous after the movie The Wolf of Wall Street popularized his life of excesses (and frauds) on Wall Street.
Why some people are born closers?
Because they unconsciously master tonality, rapport and control of the sale. Straight Line Persuasion will break down for you how to do it consciously.
So that you can consciously train to become a master closer.
1. Three Tenets of Straight Line Persuasion
Persuading is helping people to overcome the internal obstacles that prevent them from taking action.
Jordan Belfort says that the key to selling is to maintain control of the interaction. And that’s why he coined the term “straight line”, you want to lead the prospect straight to the sale.
These are the three tenets of Jordan Belfort’s Straight Line Persuasion:
- Develop rapport quickly
- Gather intelligence (do they have the money, is the product a good fit, are they ready to go?)
- Control the interaction
Controlling the interaction means that, without breaking rapport or pushing, you gently nudge the prospect back towards the straight line towards the sale
Persuading is empowering people
2. Art of Prospecting
Prospecting means finding people who are interested while at the same time you are weeding out those who aren’t going to buy without wasting any of your time.
Qualify as quickly as possible while still keeping rapport. And use a script.
Similar to the advice of other sales beasts such as Brian Tracy, Belford recommends you work backward from the amount of money you want to make yearly until the amount of reach out you need to do daily.
The three keys here are:
- Be enthusiastic as hell
- Sharp as a tack
- A figure of authority
Dials are the only things you can always control
3. Mastering Tonality
This is where Straight Line Persuasions start hitting its stride.
Belfort begins with my favorite part of the course: reading the script and breaking down what works and what doesn’t.
He focuses on tonality, here, and as you can imagine it cannot be properly explained in text.
Belfort says that tonality develops rapport at an unconscious level.
Take for example this script:
Hi, John! This is , calling from Global Capital, in Tampa, Florida. How’s it going today?
When you raise your voice at “Florida” you show pride of your job and conviction.
Now, if you recall, you attended a seminar last Friday at the Marriott Hotel, with one of our top Forex traders, James Arnell. Does that ring a bell?
Go up at the end of each block, as if you were adding “right?” and agreeing with him. You will build an unconscious yes ladder.
When you slightly raise your voice at “ring a bell” it communicates you expect them to remember.
Now if you recall…
Use a tone of mystery at “now if you recall” which you achieve by stressing the “ca” portion in reCAll and going slightly up as if you were asking them a question. Squint your eyes so that your body language naturally supports your tonality.
The tone of mystery will nudge them into searching into their minds of their experience.
OK great, now the reason for the call today..
Drop your voice here, so it sounds like you’re sharing an insider secret, and it implies scarcity (read Influence by Cialdini for more on scarcity).
Is that you’re one of the last of the group who hasn’t actually enrolled yet
Put “one of the last of the group” all together, and you sound sharp like a tack
I’d like to share an idea with you. You got a minute?
Go up at “you got a minute”, to sound what Belfort calls the “reasonable man effect”.
To learn more about tonality, check out:
4. Being a Visionary
People won’t buy into your goals, but they will buy into your vision. This is why Belfort also mentions it’s important that you find your why.
In this module, Belfort steps back live coaching and demonstration to go into more theoretical knowledge of sales, human psychology, and body language.
Some good wisdom I enjoyed:
- Dress for success
- No goaties / pinkie rings
- Stand directly in front when talking to a woman
- Stand at an angle when speaking to a man
For more on body language read:
5. Inner Game of Sales
In this module, Belfort delves into the personal mindsets and beliefs that make a successful salesperson -or successful person, period-.
He talks for example about the importance of mastering your emotional states, facing your fears, and setting lofty goals.
6. The Straight Line System
Here Jordan Belfort goes back into the actual selling process.
He explains the three tenets of closing, such as the elements that need to line up in the moment of time when your prospect is ready to buy:
- They love your product
- They trust and connect with you
- Trust your company
How to Ask
The more personal the questions are, the more you should make them sound off handed and informal. For example:
Out of curiosity, what are you trading right now?
If he talks a lot don’t interrupt but don’t go off tangent with chit chat and unrelated topic. Empathize, make a comment and then go back to the straight line.
You’re a busy professional: respect his time and your time.
7. The Art of Qualifying
Straight Line Persuasion goes back here into my favorite part: going through the straight line scripts with live coaching.
Here are a few examples:
How much money do you have in the stock market, just a ball park?
Whenever you ask someone about money, always always go into a disarming tone. Imagine you were putting your hands up in front of you with open palms, as if to say “no pressure…. Just a ballpark”.
This part was possibly the best in the course.
Are you looking for that right now or do you have to raise the money
Another gem on par with the above one.
The volunteer got the tonality completely wrong and at first blush I totally miss it. Then Jordan Belfort delivers the same line and explains the difference.
Since this is a highly probing question, you have to deliver it matter of factly, with an inflection that says “we know how it is, no big deal! Just tell me, maybe I can help you”.
Just for suitability purposes, how would you say your current financial situation is right now?
With this one you communicate rapport and that your questions are “just for suitability purpose”. Otherwise, you two could have a friendly chat with a beer.
8. The Presentation
In this section, Jordan Belfort goes into the actual presentation of your offer.
He explains the perfect tonalities to communicate:
The parts I liked the most:
- How to box people in (use with integrity)
- Create urgency in the last part of the script
- Use a soft close, such as “sounds fair enough?”
- How to emotionally drive the prospect towards a state of certainty
- Handling rejections with looping
Presentation is key, so make sure to check out:
- Speaking Pro by Roger Love
9. Power of Language
Straight Line Persuasion delves here into the nitty-gritty of language and word choice.
Here are some gems:
Virtually gives you free rein to make as many bold claims as you want without committing 100% or lying.
- Huge upside with little downside
People are naturally inclined to look for worst-case scenarios. This sentence addresses their fears while also allowing them to dream at the same time.
- Incredibly easy to get started
People are lazy: they don’t want to do the legwork after agreeing. Remove the fear of big-time commitment.
If they’re afraid of consequences, say it’s incredibly easy to modify or change the terms.
- It’s a long-term relationship
It assumes you’re closing soon, reassures them and builds rapport.
- Please don’t misconstrue my enthusiasm for pressure
In case you feel you’ve been coming off too strong.
Save the Best for Last
Get progressively more convincing as you get closer to the close:
- If you only do half as well as my clients..
- All I ask is that you give me on shot..
- Believe me you won’t be sorry
10. Becoming a Person of Influence
Jordan Belfort says you must respect if your customer cannot afford the product or if the product is not good for him.
But you should not accept a stall.
If he doesn’t like the product but you feel it’s perfect for him, loop back until you convince him with logic. If the stall is emotional, educate him on your company and your company building rapport.
Finally, Belfort restates again the importance of building relationships based on honesty and trust.
Straight Line Script
You could get the Straight Line Script, but unless you learn to deliver it well, it’s just words on a paper. The advantage of Jordan Belfort course is to learn the delivery from him.
Here’s a sneak peek preview of Straight Line Persuasion:
Tonality is everything on the phone
On the phone, tonality absorbs body language as well and becomes 90%+ of your communication.
Move as you speak
Gesticulate, change your body language and your facial expressions as you speak and you will sound more natural.
Put yourself in the right state
Put yourself in a confident and enthusiastic state before calls.
Self-Help less valuable for me
Straight Line Persuasion dips into the self-help literature with mindsets, beliefs, and internal locus of control.
That stuff is fundamental, and any comprehensive sales seminar should deal with it. But for a guy who has read hundreds of books on the topic, it wasn’t the most useful part.
Still some good parts there though, and I loved this quote:
There is no embarrassment in struggling – the embarrassment is in quitting
A real, proven closer
Jordan Belfort has proven his sales skills and the validity of his Straight Line Persuasion on the field.
Moving on a straight line is the most efficient way of selling.
The slower you go, the more room for mistakes and second thoughts you have. That’s true for most things in life, and certainly is true for sales.
Of course, finding out what exactly “safe” means will make all the difference between too pushy and Jedi sales master, and finding that sweet spot is part of the beauty of the art of sales.
Loved the part where The Wolf has people read his script and then breaks down what they do well and at they do wrong. I wished he had even more of that.
The way Belfort analyzes the interaction between tonality, rapport and human psychology tells me he’s a guy who really understands human psychology.
Let’s be frank:
Jordan Belford has had a reputation as a top-tier manipulator.
However, that’s in his past (?).
As a driven man, he saw a shortcut to riches, and went for it.
Is he now changed?
It’s not up to me to judge.
When it comes to the product and the quality of his training, I was surprised to find out that the famed Wolf is much more than high-pressure sales.
He understands influencing and human psychology not just unconsciously, but in a way that he can consciously articulate.
I’ve been working in sales for many years and read and researched a lot on psychology.
I have worked with a few people whom everyone considered rockstars, and they all had a bit of that Jordan Belfort high-energy vibe.
However, the real challenge and where the true advanced level is, is in striking that balance between high-energy and empathic listening, in knowing when to sell hard and speak passionately, and when to shut up and let the prospect talk.
And I think that Belfort is very good at walking that fine line between the two different skillsets.
When it comes to selling I rate Belfort higher than Grant Cardone or Gary Vaynerchuck, both of whom fall short in the listening and empathizing compartments.
Why I picked It
Before starting the course I wanted to better explore “high-pressure sales” tactics and approaches.
I have been in sales many years and sometimes I have had the feeling that some people scoffing at “pushy” salesmen and promoting “consultative selling” may instead be afraid of rejection and of coming across as pushy assholes.
Some others instead reject it not because it doesn’t work, but because they don’t like it.
Instead, to be the best salesperson you can be, you should probably try different approaches, and maybe even cross that pushy line a few times to understand the limits.
With Jordan Belfort, I wanted to go to a guy who had a proven track record for being great at high-pressure sales.
However, Straight Line Persuasion isn’t about high-pressure tactics at all.
In many ways, that’s a good thing…
Is Straight Line Persuasion Worth It?
At the original selling price of $2000 it was not worth it, in my opinion.
Now it’s down to $498, which means that the higher price tag either wasn’t selling much, or was getting a high refund rate.
And if at $2000, I considered it too pricey, at $498, it depends more on your own current level (keep on reading).
Should You Buy Jordan Belfort Course?
For most people the brutally honest answer is that you can find better products.
To go a bit more granular:
If you’re selling clothes at Primark with next to zero commissions and have no dreams to move ahead in life, this is for sure not for you.
On the other hand, if you are eager and motivated to advance in life and to learn as much as you can when it comes to selling, and if you have income to spare, then you can learn a thing or two about voice tonality.
But don’t expect a complete system: there is no overarching structure to guide you from first contact, to sale.
Who Is It Good For?
I feel this course is best for intermediate and advanced salespeople.
True beginners can use the mindsets and self-help part of the course.
More advanced guys know that stuff already and the main added value for them will be voice tonality.
$2.000 for voice tonality was steep, but at $498 it may be worth it for you.