“Sell me this pen,” challenges Jordan.
“Write me your name on this napkin,” replies Brad as he slides the paper serviette in front of his friend.
“I can’t, I don’t have a pen,” smiles Jordan.
“There you go, it’s a matter of supply and demand,” announces Brad triumphantly.
It is an iconic moment from The Wolf of Wall Street that shows the pure marketing genius behind many of Jordan Belfort’s schemes. The previous bumbling efforts of his friends simply show them extolling the virtues of the pen, but the real success came when Jordan was made to believe that he NEEDED the pen.
One of the first rules of marketing is to make people feel that they need whatever you are selling in their lives, and so your whole strategy needs to be based around the idea of dangling something in front of your audience that they suddenly realise they cannot live without.
Jordan Belfort lived a life of fast cars and even faster women that came about as a result of putting into action some of the most basic marketing strategies to devastating effect. Much of his success came from identifying who his market needed to be. When he first began selling penny stocks, he knew that they were targeted at low earners, but Jordan dreamed bigger. He took the small fry of penny stocks and started selling them to bigger fish. By targeting the wealthier market as his own niche, he soon became the king of what he did. Not because he was the best, but because he knew who his market was.
Once he identified his market, he needed to create a plan to reach them. As he calls his first customer to demonstrate his sales prowess, he begins by earning their trust. He started selling stocks from reputable companies: “First we pitch ‘em Disney, AT&T, blue chip stocks exclusively. Companies these people know.” Not everyone can use Disney in their sales techniques, but Jordan understood the importance of giving your brand credibility – make people who have never heard of you before trust you, and they are more likely to buy whatever it is that you are selling.