Watching “Wolf of Wall Street” recently, I was struck at how much you can learn about the skill of selling! Specifically, one instant of the movie, which was so simple, yet so profound, really struck me.

In the scene, Leo DeCaprio’s character is teaching his team to sell. They’re out to dinner and he passes one of them a pen, and he says, “sell me the pen.”

The gentleman takes the pen, looks at Leo, and says, “Take that napkin and write my name on it.

Leo says, “I can’t, I don’t have a pen.

Here you go – supply meets demand, boom!

Now, we don’t all sell pens, but the point is, if we could all sell our services this simply, we’d sell a lot more! So, here are some thoughts on how to break down what this scene simplifies, and use it in your business:

  1. Think backwards. What does your service allow your customers to do? Make more money? Be in less pain? Buy a new wardrobe because they are more fit? Write down the end result.
  2. Get to the underlying reason they need your service. Are they feeling fat? Do they need to pay the rent? Do they want to go on a vacation?…There are likely several reasons, that’s ok, write all of them down.
  3. Make the equation. If your service is “the pen/the supply and the underlying reason is “the paper they can’t write your name on without the pen/the demand” how would you sell to them?

Let’s try a sample. You’re a fitness trainer. You enable your clients to but sexier clothes. The underlying reason they need you is they can’t fit into their clothes and don’t like the way their body looks. The equation: “Why don’t you buy sexier clothes?” Answer, “I can’t. They don’t fit and I don’t like how I look in them.” Your response, “Work with me, and the only clothes in your wardrobe will be smoking, and you’ll love how your body looks!”

Of course, you may not be able to have that exact conversation, but if you can nail down the key problems your clients have, then you can start having conversations about those problems and how you’ve helped people overcome them.

Now you try…

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