Can You Sell Like a Wolf on Wall Street?

On my Whatever It Takes TV show, I interviewed people to determine how good they might be as potential salespeople for me. I would give a glass of water and tell the person to either sell the water or sell themselves. Sometimes I’d tell them to sell whatever option they didn’t choose. For example, the candidate would say, “I’ll sell myself” and I’d respond, “Sell me the water.” What follows is the problem most people had during the show, and the problem almost all salespeople have to this day.

Most of the candidates in my reality show focused on the water’s features or benefits, saying stuff like, this isn’t no ordinary glass of water, it’s glacier water, or, this water will quench your thirst!

Sometimes it got ugly:

It’s easy to separate amateur salespeople from professional ones when you ask them to sell something. Amateurs start immediately focusing on features and sometimes the benefits. The pros know that the sales process includes something called qualifying.

What’s harder than selling a glass of water? Selling a pen. Jordan Belfort, the real Wolf of Wall Street, did an interview with Piers Morgan and was put on the spot—Piers wanted him to sell him his pen. Here’s what happened:

You also should be qualifying people before presenting, proposing, and closing. Qualifying always includes asking good questions.

Here are some BAD qualifying questions:

1. “Can I help you?” The answer to this question is typically “No” Which means you’ve lost all chance to interact with your prospect.

2. “What is your budget?” First off, most people have no clue and secondly, when they give you an answer it will always start your discovery process with you chasing a number that is unachievable. As a buyer, my budget is determined once my problem is solved. More often than not, I exceed my desired budget range by many times. A better way to ask this question is to find out what they paid for a similar product in the past. “The last time you rented an apartment what did you pay?” Past experiences are a good barometer for a customer’s future actions.

3. “Are you the final decision-maker?” This causes people to think that if they are not then you are not interested in them and many will answer this question “yes,” even when it’s not the case. That’s because the question challenges the person’s ego. A better way to ask is “Other than yourself, who else might influence the decision?”

4. “When are you thinking of buying?” The customer translates this to mean that you are only concerned with yourself and your commission. This makes you sound self-serving and sleazy.

5. “What would it take for you to do business with me today?” The ultimate stereotypical salesman question that even the salesperson hates to ask. Typically management pushes for this “commitment” question in order to create urgency to purchase. I have been in front of thousands of salespeople and can tell you most will not ask this question due to poor results and discomfort. To get a sense of where you’re at in the sales process, try this instead, “On a scale from 1-10 how comfortable are you with this product for solving your problem?” or better than that, don’t ask and assume it is the right time by saying, “Follow me and allow me to show you how easy it is to get started.

If you don’t qualify your buyer, you’re not selling them.

If you want to be more effective and increase your closing ratio you have to ask great, professional questions that demonstrate that you care and get the answers to those questions.

If you’re ready to take your sales to the next level, don’t miss our Billion Dollar Sales Summit at 10XGrowthCon 2018 next month. You don’t need to sell a glass of water or a pen—but you do need to sell yourself along with your product or service.

Be great,


Grant Cardone is a New York Times bestselling author, the #1 sales trainer in the world, and an internationally renowned speaker on leadership, real estate investing, entrepreneurship, social media, and finance. His 5 privately held companies have annual revenues exceeding $100 million. Forbes named Mr. Cardone #1 of the “25 Marketing Influencers to Watch in 2017”. Grant’s straight-shooting viewpoints on the economy, the middle class, and business have made him a valuable resource for media seeking commentary and insights on real topics that matter. He regularly appears on Fox News, Fox Business, CNBC, and MSNBC, and writes for Forbes, Success Magazine, Business Insider,, and the Huffington Post. He urges his followers and clients to make success their duty, responsibility, and obligation. He currently resides in South Florida with his wife and two daughters.

(Visited 1106 times, 1 visits today)

About The Author