Jordan Belfort: The Wolf of Wall Street, Boiler rooms, Leonardo DiCaprio, Pump & Dump, sales

Jordan Belfort. Ever hear of him? You will. He built one of the most successful sales organizations in Wall Street history before he was indicted for securities fraud and money laundering. He served 20 months in federal prison for a pump and dump scheme, which resulted in investor losses of approximately $200 million. Belfort was ordered to pay back $100 million that he took from stock brokers.”The Wolf of Wall Street,” an adaptation of Belfort’s 2007 memoir, will star Leonardo DiCaprio with Martin Scorsese directing. I am anxiously awaiting to see the film, after reading his books, and seeing him on TV. But, there are a few things that intrigue me.

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The motto at Stratton Oakmont said it all: “You don’t hang up the phone until the customer buys or dies.” Customers were buying shares that were grossly inflated and of which Belfort and his partners owned large chunks.  By setting up  foreign bank accounts and corporations, they were able to secretly buy millions of shares of underpriced stock. Then, they would drive up the price and sell chunks they owned. They cashed in and the investors were left with worthless stock and huge losses. “Pump and dump” schemes have two parts.

In the first, promoters try to boost the price of a stock with false or misleading statements about the company. Once the stock price has been pumped up, fraudsters move on to the second part, where they seek to profit by selling their own holdings of the stock, dumping shares into the market. These schemes often occur on the Internet or call center where it is common to see messages or sales calls urging people to buy a stock quickly. 

Often, the promoters will claim to have “inside” information about a development that will be positive for the stock. Just ask Jonathan Lebed. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Lebed

He is now sober and a reformed motivational speaker, who helps both people and organizations in breaking through whatever barriers hold them back from achieving success. I find this amazing. A room full of hungry salesman or a packed convention center filled with ‘everyday people,’ like you and me and Belfort’s teachings is said to captivate and inspires new audiences, and he is still making lots of money.

His website  http://www.jordanbelfort.com/ showcases new selling techniques called, Straight Line Training. His reformed version of selling.  He tells a great story too. 1) Employing a thousand young kids working under him that didn’t have entrepreneurial skills or education, but he managed to train them to be the best “closers” around, which ultimately made them all rich.  http://www.thebelfortsellingsystem.com/

What can you learn about selling from Jordan Belfort? Do you think he would be a credible source of sales information, even for what he did? Do you think he is no different than the others…. and just has a good story to tell? What would you say to the real Gordon Gekko? Was he still a motivational leader? Did he know how to grow a company? Did he have a gift for recognizing talent? I don’t want to ruin it. But, I heavily promote this book before the movies comes out. I would love to see Belfort on a reality TV show.

Maybe a game show of similar types of business men competing for a cash prize or just bragging rights. On one side, you would have the ethical, Shark Tank, Donald Trump types and on the other side you would have the Don King, Jordan Belfort, Gordon Gekko types. Maybe the goal would be to have each team raise enough money, by promoting a start up product or service that falls under their umbrella.

Maybe there is some innovative software for real estate investors that Donald Trump might like. Maybe Dana White or Don King is partial to new technology that will improve UFC or boxing judges and fight statistics. Maybe Belfort knows of some new company or technology that helps ex- millionaires get out of debt.

They could promote it any way they wanted, as long as it was done legally. They could go door to door, call prospects, use social media and the internet. At the end, a winner would be declared, rewarding the team with some stock options. Obviously, there is an “underdog” theme to this show, but it would be an interesting way for  two totally different teams, with different philosophies showcase their experience in an ethical, transparent business situation. The new company would get exposure, increase awareness and earn a sponsor. Everybody wins and no one goes to jail.

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