“She didn’t buy anything.”
How often is this little tragedy repeated in your business?
Your time is valuable, your overhead expenses run on – and it costs you real money when a prospect doesn’t make a purchase.
In this article, I’ll show you how to close more sales using the straight-line persuasion system.
SLP was created by Jordan Belfort, the real “Wolf of Wall Street”.
You probably know him. The stockbroker who was making $1 million a week, manipulated some stocks, got caught and went to prison.
Unfortunately, that’s all most people know about this guy.
In my opinion, he is the best sales trainer out there.
The weakest of his sales staff were making $250K a year. The top salespeople were making more than $1.7 million.
Jordan Belfort has trained more than 20,000 salespeople since then.
He trains sales teams of Fortune 500 companies, small business owners, and even solo internet entrepreneurs. The beauty of this system is that it can train everyone no matter their social or intellectual background.
Introduction to SLP
Jordan Belfort created this system in 1989 to train his sales team.
The SLP it’s goal-oriented from start to finish which helps you take control of every aspect of the sale.
You can use it to sell everything, not just on the phone but also in everyday communication.
The steps are:
- Get their attention in 4 seconds
- Create rapport
- Ask questions to gather intelligence
- Give a short presentation
- Deflect the objections
- Close the sale
- Make a customer for life
Buyers vs Non-Byers
Even though you’re going to learn the most powerful selling system, that doesn’t mean you’re going to close every sale.
You should never give a presentation to someone:
- If it doesn’t fulfill their needs
- And that cannot afford your product.
Often salespeople give an amazing presentation and the product is really a good fit for the client. But, he still doesn’t buy.
The truth is he was not going to buy anyway.
The types of buyers
Let’s say there are 100 people:
- 30 of them are ready to make a decision. They know they need it, they have enough pain, and they are waiting to be influenced enough to say yes.
- 20 people are just shopping around. They may or may not buy. They can make a decision if they’re ready.
- 20 people are just curious. They haven’t thought much about it and are not ready to buy.
- 30 others either have no money, or your product doesn’t fill any need for them. Of course, they won’t buy.
The first group is where you should spend time and focus. They’re stressed out and they know it’s time to do something. Also, the second group is worth spending time on.
Caution: This is a very powerful system. You should never use it to convince someone to make a decision or to buy something they shouldn’t buy.
Three tens of your product
Before buying a product, the customer needs to be certain that the product fills his needs, eliminates any pain it might have, and is a good value for the money. The client needs to be certain about three things. And on a scale of one to ten, the three things need to be an absolute ten.
1. The product, idea, or concept
Your prospect must be certain that it loves your product.
(Uncertain) 1———————————10 (Absolutely certain)
On the right represents a 10. It means that if you ask the customer what you think about this product, they’ll be at: ” I love it. It fills my needs and I’ll probably use it again in the future”.
On the other hand, on the left represents a 1. It means that the prospect thinks your product is crap. And it is going to be difficult to change his mind.
As you go through the line you have various degrees of certainty.
The number 5 represents a state when the prospect can’t make up his mind.
The closer you’re to 10 the more chance you’ve at closing the sale. And if your prospect is anywhere below a 5, you don’t have a chance at closing them.
In other words, their current state of certainty is just that– current. It is not permanent and they’re eagerly waiting to be influenced by you.
Let me ask you a question. Let’s say you made an awesome presentation and the prospect needs your product. In addition, they’re a 10 on the certainty scale, will the prospect buy from you? The obvious answer is yes, isn’t it?
Well, the correct answer is maybe. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t. What if they don’t trust you? What if you said something during your sales presentation that made the prospect not trust you? This leads us to the next point.
2. They trust and connect with you
During the presentation, you must show the prospect you’re an expert and trustworthy. And that you pride yourself on giving the clients the best service possible and that you’ll be there if any problem arises.
3. They trust your company
If they don’t trust the company you work for, then they’re not going to buy from you. And you need to convince them of the opposite. In fact, this is why it’s easier to sell to existing customers than to new ones, even if you don’t have a personal relationship with them.
Three things you’ll transmit constantly
You need to be perceived you’re:
Sharp as a tack – You must come across as someone who is worth listening to because you can help them.
Enthusiastic as hell – This sends a subliminal message that you must have something great to offer.
You must sound upbeat, enthusiastic, and full of energy.
Show them you can be a positive influence in their lives. If you believe in the value of the product you’re offering then it’s easier to describe it passionately.
An expert in your field – From the time we were young, we were taught to respect and believe in authority figures.
In sales situations, you need to convince the prospect you’re an expert in your field.
You can do that by offering a unique perspective during the sale and demonstrating extensive knowledge.
You should understand the market, industry, product, prospect, and competitors.
When you establish these three things, they roll up into one simple fact in the prospect’s mind, that you’re worth listening to.
Rapport on a conscious and unconscious level
Have you ever spoken to someone and their voice just seemed to have such a relaxing, hypnotic effect on you? In a way that it didn’t really matter what the person said, you just enjoyed listening to them.
Some people have a natural form of hypnotic tonality, and these people seem to get along with a wide variety of people just by the use of voice alone.
The vast majority of us don’t have natural hypnotic tonality. But, don’t worry because you can learn it.
The first thing you want to do is achieve a soft, relaxing sort of tonality in your voice.
A mistake most salespeople make…
A lot of salespeople think that letting the prospect talk on and on about different things creates rapport. Of course, you’ll talk about his life or his job but that should not take much time. You see, you’re an expert and your time is money. When the conversation is spiraling to Pluto, in an elegant way turn them back into the sale.
The first four seconds
We have to accept the fact that human beings make snap judgments. It takes less than four seconds to create a mental image of the person we’re talking to on the phone and in only a quarter of a second when you meet them in person. That’s how fast our brain reacts.
So, we have 4 seconds to make a good first impression. Now, if you screw up the first four seconds, you have another ten seconds, but after that, you’re done. It’s basically a lost cause. You can’t influence him.
How do you convince the prospect that you’re enthusiastic and an expert in your field, in the first 4 seconds?
The answer is simple: Your tone of voice.
Tonality is a very important part of persuasion. Words with the right tonality will leave a powerful impact on an emotional and logical basis.
You’re basically controlling their emotions with your tone of voice.
According to Albert Mehrabian, human communication is:
Body language- 45%
E.g. When my mother used to call me when I was a kid: Edison (in a soft tone) means that it’s lunchtime. When she used to call me Edison (in a very angry tone), I instantly realized I was in big trouble.
You see, it’s the same word but the tone of voice gives a different meaning to it.
Tonality is the most important aspect of selling and persuasion. Yet, it’s the easiest one to master. You’ve been using it unconsciously during your entire life.
Tonality is the secret weapon of influence because it’s an unspoken language. Your prospect hears words and tonality influences without even knowing.
You’re going to attach the correct tonality to every word or phrase in your script.
We’ll use the tone of voice to express:
Absolute certainty- Your voice takes a firmer, more definitive tone. You show absolute conviction about whatever you happen to be saying. You’re certain that your product can help them.
Sincerity- It is a calm, confident, low-pressure tone that implies that what you’re currently saying to the prospect is coming directly from the heart. It shows you’re being absolutely sincere with them.
Enthusiasm- You don’t show enthusiasm by screaming. It’s bottled enthusiasm. It’s like a volcano inside you ready to erupt, but it doesn’t because you’re an expert.
The reasonable man- You use this tone at the beginning to ask your prospect for permission to explain the benefits of what you are offering. You want to imply that you’re both reasonable men, and it is a reasonable request.
Scarcity and intrigue- You lower your voice to just above a whisper. Applying this tone of voice triggers a sense of scarcity in the listener’s unconscious mind.
E.g. “This is the last week it’s going to be on the market”.
Implied obviousness- You create an impression in prospects’ minds that the benefits of what you’re selling are a given.
E.g. “Now, Bill, you’ll make money with this, but more importantly, what I can do for you over the long term in the way of new issues and arbitrage plays…”
I feel your pain- It is a tonality you can use when asking questions about uncovering their pain points and, if necessary, amplifying them.
The key to this tonality is to express empathy or sympathy. You truly want to help them resolve it.
Micro agreement- As you introduce yourself, you are going to infer some micro-agreements. You can do that by phrasing a declarative as a question.
E.g. Hi, my name is Bill Peterson, calling from the Forex trading company in London. How are you doing today?
Now, each one of these is a declaration:
- Hi, my name is Bill Peterson
- Calling from Forex trading company
- In Chelsea, London
Now we are going to phrase them as questions.
This implies: Right? Right? You’ve heard of us, right?
Now Bob is thinking: “Should I know this person? I better sound as I do!”
In that instant, your prospect’s brain goes into search mode, and therefore their internal monologue is paralyzed from working against you.
This keeps the prospect in the game, opening a possibility for further influence by you.
To better explain tonality and other steps of SLP, I’m using this script as an example.
I will explain which is the correct tonality in each word, why we are using it and how to deflect all the possible objections.
Hi, is John there? Yes
Hi John, this is Jordan Belfort calling from the global capital in Tampa Florida! How’s it going today? Good
Now if you recall, you attended a seminar last Thursday night over at the Marriot Hotel, with one of our top traders there, James Ournell? Does that ring a bell?
Now, the reason for the call today is that you’re one of the last of the group who hasn’t enrolled yet.
If you have 60 seconds, I want to share an idea with you, go a minute?
Just a couple of quick questions so I don’t waste your time.
How long have you thought about trading?
Are you looking to trade part time or full time?
What kind of work are you doing right now? How is it going for you?
Are you currently investing in the market right now? How is it going for you?
Now let me tell you this: Based on everything you just said, the Forex Program is a PERFECT fit for you.
It is by far the most effective trading systems out there.
What it does is identify nearly imperceptible trends in global currencies at the pound, euro, dollar…
Get their attention in 4 seconds
We want to show the prospect that we are worth listening to. We want to show we have a very important deal for him which he doesn’t want to lose it.
Every word is important.
You’re entering someone’s world. And most of them have a life with a lack of excitement, full of boredom, and tediousness.
When you sound dull like most salespeople, he thinks, “Why do I need this, I already got enough of that”.
But when you’re enthusiastic, you transmit power. It’s something different.
Hi, is John there? (Excited). Yes
In this case, tonality is: “I really want to know”
Hi John, this is Jordan Belfort calling from the global capital in Tampa Florida! How’s it going today?
Now we are going to infer the micro agreements. You raise your voice a little at the words, Global Capital, Tampa Florida.
Is it like saying right? Do you recall, don’t you? His unconscious dialogue goes to, should I know this?
Ok, great ( happy to hear that).
Now if you recall (The tone of mystery), You attended a seminar last Thursday night over at the Marriot Hotel (right?), with one of our top traders there (right?), James Ournell? Does that ring a bell?
There are 4 micro-agreements in there and the person will say yes.
Another important thing: You need to say the words “one of our” together.
When you say “oneofour”, you’re showing that you’re sharp as a tack and an expert in your field.
Ok, great (enthusiastic). Now (upbeat), the reason for the call today (drop your voice to imply scarcity) is that you’re one of the last of the group who hasn’t enrolled yet.
If you have 60 seconds (Pause), I want to share an idea with you, got a minute? (The reasonable tone)
Questions and Presentation
While asking these questions, we’re going to implicit in our tonality that
- We Care
- We’re Trustworthy
- I have the best interest in my heart for you
Find inner clients why. Why should the client buy your product? What is he looking for?
Write down the perfect questions for your specific industry and memorize them.
Ask for permission to ask questions.
“Just a couple of quick questions so I don’t waste your time”. (I’m here to help, not a big deal).
Big picture questions:
How long have you thought about trading?
How long have you actually thought about becoming a trader?
What would you change and improve with your current source?
What’s your biggest headache with your business?
The proper tonality here should convey sincerity, concern, and a desire to help resolve his pain.
Then you can amplify his pain by asking: “How long has this been going on?” “do you see getting better or worse?” “How it has affected your health or your family?”
What is your ultimate goal?
You want to know what they are trying to accomplish here. Your purpose is to help them achieve their goals.
Important tip: As the prospect goes on to answer and express his problem, don’t say your product solves his problem. Just listen. You want to let him feel his pain a little bit. Right now you’re defining his emotional wants and his physical needs.
After, you’ll ask specific questions such as:
What kind of work are you doing now? How is it going for you?
Are you currently investing in the market right now? Any stocks, bonds, or mutual funds?
When you want to ask someone about how much money he got, you need to use an, “I hate to ask, no big deal” tone.
Just for suitability purposes (no big deal), how would you say your current situation is right now? Are you in good shape or struggling a bit (empathy)?
He will give one of three answers:
2-Either great or bad
No matter what he says, you’re going to mirror him. If he says great, answer with excitement. If he says bad, you’ll answer with something like, “I totally understand” (in an empathic tone).
Now let me tell you this: Based on everything you just said, the Forex program is a PERFECT fit for you. (Absolute certainty).
The actual name of the program is Ultimate Forex. It is by far the most effective trading system out there.
What it does is identify nearly imperceptible trends in global currencies at the pound, euro, dollar. And it uses a sophisticated algorithm to find you in and out of the market, generating massive profits at the ridiculously low risk.
Are you with me so far?
Now in the past, these values were used strictly by institutional traders and hedge funds.
Average investors like you were simply boxed out of the market. The software didn’t exist for retail. Meanwhile, companies like Goldman Sacks and Barclays were using it to make hundreds of millions a month with virtually no downside risk.
Does that make sense?
In this case, we created a mental image by using metaphors and comparisons.
You should also link your product or service to an authority figure like in the example above. We used the comparison to show that someone is making lots of profits with a similar system.
Going to a soft close
Most people do not buy quickly. When you attempt a soft close they may not be convinced to buy.
Getting enrolled is really simple, just question some basic information along with your card details, and I reserve a place for you at next month’s training session.
All I’m asking is this, you give me one shot and if I’m half right (absolute certainty), believe me (certainty). (Pause) The only problem you’ll have is that I didn’t call you six months ago to get you started then (calmness). Sounds fair enough? (reasonable man).
It went from certainty to calmness to reasonability. That’s your basic closing pattern.
You shouldn’t close with utmost certainty because it shows you don’t care. But, with the “No big deal, we’re both two reasonable men”.
Here you don’t want to reveal all the benefits. Just a couple of basic ones, that are good and logical.
The Art of Looping
Looping is the phase where you try to establish the three tens.
When someone says he needs to think about it, you cannot go forward to the close. You step back, try to establish again the three tens, and ask for the order.
Looping requires you to talk less about the product and more about your integrity, your company’s integrity, and what you can do for them in the long term.
As you talk, each loop gets tighter until you hit an objection. At that point, you overcome it and there you ask for the order.
Now, let’s continue with the script. The prospect will most likely say: “It sounds good, but let me think about it”.
In this case, the best way to answer is by using a metaphor. You create an example for him that is undeniably logical.
Exactly, the true beauty of the system is that you’ll be investing your funds directly alongside institutional money. Do you know what they say about institutional money?
It’s smart money. Even when it’s not, it’s enough to fuel the market anyway, you follow me? He says yeah because that makes sense.
Now it’s time to sell yourself.
To do that you create an example that is undeniably logical that the prospect has to admit you’re right.
Let me ask you a question.
If I’ve been your broker for the last 2-3 years, making you money on a consistent basis. Giving you accurate information, you wouldn’t be saying let me think about it, but which is the next move, I’m I right? (Disarming tone)
Obviously, you don’t know me. I don’t have the luxury of having a track record together.
Let me tell you a little bit about myself: My name is JB and I’m a broker at X firm, and I pride myself on giving customers the best possible result. I have been working for this company for 5 years and I’m planning to become a top producer this year.
And I cannot go there by being wrong and not giving clients the exact result they want.
If he says yes, move further in the line. If he says no or maybe, you have to be very certain.
Listen to me. Do this (you’re an expert and you’re telling them what to do) start small…
Give them an opportunity to start with a low price (if that’s possible) and then during the course, they can put in more money.
Then they can throw another objection, “I need to talk to my wife”.
I hear what you’re saying, but honestly, you know as well as I do that your wife doesn’t consult you in every single decision she makes.
When she goes shopping for shoes, does she call you on the phone to make the purchase? Probably not. Come on you know what I’m saying.
Listen, here’s the deal.
You are creating a picture in his mind of the massive benefits he’s going to get in the future.
Now, you put him in a situation where he loves the product. You’ve told undeniable facts about why your product is the best. They know it, they feel it.
You have created the picture so they emotionally feel it.
You’ve talked about the wife, about the future to create an emotional one for buying. And the worst it can possibly happen is losing $250. It’s nothing considering the upside potential of buying.
If he gives another objection say:
All I ask is this, give me one shot. Give me 60 days to prove myself to you. And If I even do half as well for you as I’ve done for my other clients.
Believe me, the only problem you’ll have is that I didn’t call you six months ago to get you started then. Sound fair enough? (Reasonable men).
If he insists and says, “I need to speak with my partner/accountant”. Go back into another loop.
In this case, you say “I understand you need to talk with the accountant but let me say this”. And you resell yourself and the company quickly.
Then you say, “The beauty of this system is that is so simple,” and you explain how easy is to start and that he doesn’t need to talk with someone.
A quick summary of phrases for looping
He says an objection, you say “let me tell you this”. Say something about the product, company, about yourself, and ask for the order. Repeat this each time he has an objection.
These language patterns will help you move the client down the line.
Does it make sense to you? Do you like the idea? Use a calm, curious tone.
The true beauty of the system/product. It’s a transition and then goes on to describe how your product will make their life easier.
If I had been. By using this phrase, you’re dealing with the problem of trust.
As far as my company goes. It’s a phrase to transition from selling yourself to selling your company.
What we can do for you besides this transaction? It’s more of a declaration. You explain what he will get in the future.
What’s the worst that can possibly happen? Here you explain there are little downsides and HUGE upsides.
I understand what you’re saying. This is your response when someone objects. It shows that you care and you’re empathic.
Cash outlay of only or It’s an investment. You’re stating that the price is reasonable considering all the benefits you’re going to get.
Check out the book by Jordan Belfort: Way of the Wolf: Master the Art of Persuasion, Influence, and Success