How Entrepreneurs Can Learn Direct Response Marketing From The Wolf Of Wall Street
Posted on May 23rd, 2019
2 min read
Imagine you’re a stockbroker with a lot of high-end clients. Your job is to help wealthy people decide where to invest their money, and if you steer them in the right direction, you’ll make a boatload of cash from commissions.  

But if you don’t do your job well, your clients will lose millions of dollars, and your professional reputation will be destroyed.

Sounds difficult, right?
Now imagine another scenario. You want to make the same money that the world’s top high-end stockbrokers make, but you’re not exactly a gifted investor. But what you lack in investment capabilities, you make up for in sales and persuasion skills. It also helps that unlike most professional salespeople, you have no ethics.

Now that ethics are out of the equation, you have a new plan. Here are the steps:

• Buy lots of stock in a low-value company

• Deceive lots of people into believing the value of your stock is going to skyrocket. Offer to sell it.

• As you convince more people to buy the stock, the value actually does increase, which means you can make a massive profit as you continue to sell it.

• By the time the value of the stock inevitably plummets back down to reality, you’ve already sold all of your shares.

• Rinse and repeat.

In the world of finance, this is known as a pump and dump scheme. If that sounds familiar to you, it’s likely because you’ve seen The Wolf of Wall Street. Jordan Belfort, the real-life protagonist of the movie, made a fortune off this type of scheme before getting caught.

Now that Belfort is out of prison, he can no longer make money through pump and dump schemes. Thankfully, he has turned his life around and found other ways to profit from his sales abilities. He’s a popular motivational speaker, a marketing consultant, and an online business owner. He’s also given up drugs, alcohol and womanizing, and appears to live a more wholesome life--a real family man. 

As we explained in our Billy McFarland blog post, even the most honest entrepreneurs can learn from the experiences of people with less than admirable histories. And if there’s one thing entrepreneurs can learn from Jordan Belfort’s experiences, it’s how to make a sale.

The Best Persuasion Tactic For Business Owners - Direct Response Marketing
Jordan Belfort is a naturally gifted Direct Response Marketer. Don’t worry if you’ve never heard that term; it’s likely that even Belfort wasn’t familiar with it during his Wall Street days.

Direct Response Marketing is any type of marketing designed to compel someone to take action. Whether you want a prospective customer to sign up for a mailing list, visit your store, or make an expensive purchase, Direct Response Marketing is the most straightforward way to make those things happen.

Television infomercials are examples of Direct Response Marketing, while advertisements for sneakers and smartphones are usually designed to give viewers a positive impression of a brand, not explain why viewers should buy a product or service right now.  

Sales pages, including the one on the I Want Digital Marketing home page, are also examples of Direct Response Marketing.

Jordan Belfort conducted his Direct Response Marketing over the phone, but he used the same sales tactics as copywriters (the people who write sales pages) and infomercial producers.

The 1-2-3-4 Approach To Direct Response Marketing
If you want to learn how to be a great Direct Response Marketer, ask a professional copywriter. Sonia Simone, a staff writer and pro copywriter at, has a popular article explaining the most basic formula for an effective sales page. She calls it the 1-2-3-4 Formula For Persuasive Copy. The formula has the writer answer four questions:

 1) What do I have for you?

 2) What is it going to do?

 3) Who am I?

 4) What do you need to do next?

And here’s where ethics become important. If you have honest, compelling answers to these four questions, there’s a strong argument that it’s virtuous to sell aggressively. After all, selling products and services that actually benefit people is a win-win: you make money, and the customer gets what they want.

But if you’re a con artist selling low-quality stocks, the 1-2-3-4 approach becomes more of a Dark Art. As an example of how effective it can be to lie about the answers to these questions, take a look at the following clip from The Wolf Of Wall Street. Listen closely to how every word of the sales pitch addresses one of the four questions above:

The 1-2-3-4 Approach...Done Ethically
Fortunately, when Jordan Belfort is forced to run an honest business, he’s more than capable of using the same sales tactics in a more ethical manner. As an example, the sales page for his Straight Line Persuasion Course address the questions in the 1-2-3-4 formula, but in an honest way.

Here’s a breakdown of how he honestly addresses those questions, and why his answers work:

What Do I Have For You?

Your online program consists of: [list of modules]

Towards the end of the sales page, Jordan provides a list of the modules in his course, offering a preview of what’s included in the purchase. People are more likely to make a purchase when they have a tangible understanding of what they’re paying for.

What is it going to do?

[Teach you] Exactly How To Ethically Persuade Anyone To Take Any Action... PLUS Increase Your Income, Sales, Closing Rate And Confidence!” 

Many people, including marketers, entrepreneurs, and even political activists, would love to learn how to persuade more people to take action. And everyone wants more confidence and a higher income.

Belfort references ethics to clarify that his tactics work for honest and 100% legal applications, not just the scam artistry that he used to engage in.

Who Am I?

My name is Jordan Belfort. If that sounds familiar, it’s because Leonardo DiCaprio made that line famous in the hit movie, “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

While ‘Wolf’ has its fair share of Hollywood-style exaggeration for entertainment’s sake, one thing is absolutely take-to-the-bank factual:

I really ‘did’ crack the code on how to persuade anyone to do anything…and how to teach anyone, regardless of your age, education, or skill level, to be a master sales person, closer, negotiator, online entrepreneur, or speaker in as little as two weeks flat.

When answering the question of who you are, it’s important to emphasize why you’re a credible salesperson of a particular product or service. For a course like this, Belfort has a unique type of credibility: there’s a top-grossing film about how he went to prison for convincing people to spend bucketloads of money on low-value stocks.

Here’s the subtext: “If my tactics can convince wealthy, educated people to make abysmal financial decisions, they can certainly help you with whatever it is you want to persuade people to do.”

There’s certainly a large market for lessons in persuasion from someone like Jordan Belfort, so he’s smart to highlight his former identity as The Wolf of Wall Street.  

What Do You Need to Do Next?

While this breakthrough home study course could easily be priced in the healthy five-figure range, Jordan has decided to price it at a level that is not only totally affordable to even a struggling young salesman or a budding entrepreneur but he is also offering an extremely generous payment-plan option that will allow you to pay over time – allowing the course to basically finance itself.

Click Below To Choose Your Payment Option & Order Now

After briefly explaining why the course is a bargain, Belfort explicitly tells the reader to purchase the course, and presents two clean looking icons with different payment options. There’s no confusion about how to purchase the product--if and when a customer is interested, he or she can easily buy the course.
Should You Market Your Business Like Jordan Belfort?
Jordan Belfort is a skilled and highly gifted salesperson. But the deeper you dig into Direct Response Marketing, the more you will realize that there are lesser known figures who are just as talented as he is.

For example, Clayton Makepeace’s sales pages generate $3,000,000 for him per year in passive income, in addition to the steep fees he charges new clients. He’s that good.

And if you’re looking for copywriters who sell online courses on persuasion, I consider the sales page for Neville Medhora’s Kopywriting Kourse to be every bit as persuasive as any sales pitch I’ve seen from Jordan Belfort.  

Marketers and business owners should certainly learn as much as they can from Jordan Belfort. But if he’s your only source for learning about Direct Response Marketing, you’re missing out. I believe one of Belfort’s main values as a Direct Response Marketer has been his ability to introduce the concept to a wider audience, thereby influencing people to dig deeper into the topic.

I’ll end this post with a list of IWDM’s Top 5 resources for anyone who wants to learn more about Direct Response Marketing and copywriting:

The Gary Halpert Newsletter

GrowthLab's Ultimate Guide To E-mail Copywriting

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Are you interested in using Direct Response Marketing and other cutting edge techniques to promote your business? Get in touch with us by requesting a FREE Direct Response Digital Marketing Consultation. We’ll give you a deep assessment of your current Direct Response Strategies, in addition to a list of your competitors’ you can take your business to the next level.
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