In The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), Jordan Belfort tells his team to pitch blue chip stocks from companies like Disney, AT&T, and IBM to clients, then sell them lower-quality stocks for a 50% commission. The aim is to attract clients with reputable investments before selling them less desirable ones for profit:

Jordan Belfort: Now the key to making money in a situation like this is to position yourself now before the settlement. Because by the time you read about it in The Wall Street Journal, it's already too late. Then you wait. You wait. And whoever speaks first loses.

Why does the person who speaks first lose?

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    "Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake." —Napoleon Bonaparte Jan 26 at 0:26

1 Answer 1


As we see in the film's screenplay Jordan is teaching his guys client-management skills, in particular using an upcoming event to try to show that they're 'in the know' about what shares will do. If the share go up they'll claim that they're geniuses and if the shares go down they'll just blame the vagaries of the market.

Another day. With Stratton Oakmont signage visible in the b.g., Jordan is on speakerphone with a potential CLIENT, the other Brokers listening in.

JORDAN: --and once Kodak settles the lawsuit, institutions will be permitted to buy their shares in large blocks again. And when that happens, which is any day now, what do you think will happen to the price of Kodak stock?

CLIENT (O.S.): It’ll go up?

JORDAN: Exactly. Which is why you should pick up 5000 shares today, a $200,000 investment.

JORDAN: Then you lower your voice.

Jordan pitches the client, his voice lowered.

JORDAN : Believe me, sir, you will not be sorry.

Jordan stands before the Brokers.

JORDAN: Then you wait. Whoever speaks first loses. At this point, where are we in the sale? Chester?

CHESTER MING: About to close?

JORDAN: No, you sweet and sour douchebag! We’re at the beginning of the beginning! This is where the sale starts. You as a salesman are almost hoping he says no so you can finally do your fucking job!

So what's with the silence? Jordan Belfort describes this technique in his Way of the Wolf: Straight Line Selling book.

"Bill, if you do even half as well as the rest of my clients in this program, the only problem you’re going to have is that you didn’t buy more. Sound fair enough?” And then you shut up and wait for a response.

In other words, if the prospect doesn’t quickly answer, don’t feel compelled to fill the conversational vacuum and start jabbering away and talking through your close.

You’re at that magic moment now, when, in perfect sequence, you’ve summed up the very best benefits, you’ve reduced the energy expenditure, you’ve lowered the action threshold, and you’ve asked for the order in just the right way, using your tri-tonal closing pattern.

So, be quiet and let the client answer!

If you do, you’ll find that about 75 percent of all the prospects who ultimately buy from you will do so right here.

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