How to create a perfect sales pitch: 5 lessons from The Wolf of Wall Street

  1. Introduction
  2. Wolf of Wall Street Sales Motivation
  3. Sales lessons from Wolf of Wall Street
  4. Conclusion


A sales pitch is the opening sentence you say when you call/meet your customer. In other words, it’s like a pick-up line. The only difference is that you use a sales pitch for your prospects/customers, while a pick-up line is mostly intended for people you are romantically interested in. 

Every sales professional wants to nail the perfect sales pitch or have a formula that applies successfully in creating sales for their business. But, we all know this is not how it works in reality. However, there are some successful sales lessons one can learn from pop culture/media, like the infamous The Wolf of Wall Street.

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, this film is an adaptation of a memoir of stockbroker Jordan Belfort who indulged in corruption and fraud to make money which ultimately led to his downfall.

Wolf of Wall Street Sales Motivation
Photo Courtesy/ Facebook/@officialwolfofwallstreet

Wolf of Wall Street Sales Motivation

The Wolf of Wall Street is a controversial film for many reasons, including explicit profanity, hard drug usage, and the inappropriate portrayal of women. For these reasons and their surrounding debate, the sales motivation that is the primary driving force for the lead character (Jordan) gets diluted.

Jordan Belfort plays a persuasive salesperson who imparts sales motivation to his friends, colleagues, and employees throughout the film.

From holding two meetings a day to motivate his employees to drive sales to practical training during lunch hours, Jordan Belfort practices what he preaches. 

Let’s take a look at some of the sales lessons from the film.

5 Sales lessons from Wolf of Wall Street

Lesson #1: Recognise the need before making a sale

The most famous and often quoted sequence from the film is – Sell me this Pen. In this, Jordan is training a group of misfits into becoming salesmen. He asks each one of them to sell a pen to him.

Answers that follow include:

“This may be the last pen you ever have to buy.”

“This is the same pen used by Abraham Lincoln”…

All of these are relatable sales pitch techniques, but Jordan is not convinced until a friend of his grabs a pen and hands over a piece of paper to write his name on. When Jordan says he does not have a pen, this friend hands him the pen and says, “Oh, you don’t have a pen anymore. Supply and demand, bro.”

This sales pitch teaches us that until a need is recognized, your product/service, no matter how good, will have no buyer.

Lesson #2: Organize and improvise your system

In the film, Jordan creates a perfect sales pitch script by creating a system that follows a particular script that keeps on improvising according to the customers’ needs, desires, and motivation drive.

Because he targeted the wealthiest 1% of the society, who were thought to be financially aware, Belfort took no chances. He trained his salespersons precisely to address the needs of this fraction of society and sell stocks accordingly.

 The right sales pitch starts with creating an emotional connection with your customers
Photo courtesy: Facebook/@officialthewolfofwallstreet

Lesson #3: Identify and expand your market

The Wolf of Wall Street specialized in selling penny stocks. Not to the lower-middle class, which is generally the case in all parts of the stock market worldwide, but to the wealthiest people.

That Was because Jordan realized the multiple advantages of selling penny stocks to people with handsome money. ( I’m sure most of you are thinking about Harshad Mehta now.)

Therefore, identifying your market is necessary. However, if that prospective market does not have enough customer base or capital to buy your product/service, it is of no use. 

By identifying your niche and selling in it, you can become an expert salesperson and market leader in that domain.

Lesson #4: Motivate yourself/ colleagues and your sales team

Sales is an exhausting process. A profession that has been functioning on numbers ever since mankind began conducting business. Therefore, keeping yourself and your team motivated at all times is essential to keep burnout and monotony away.

In The Wolf of Wall Street, Jordan makes it a point to have two daily meetings with his team to keep up the drive and motivation to sell. He delivers pep talks and leads by practicing the principles he preaches. 

He also handsomely( if not vulgarly) awards top-performers. While you may not have to copy Jordan precisely, but as a leader of your sales team, you too could devise innovative ways of keeping your team’s morale up at all times.

Lesson #5: Don’t stop selling

To create a perfect sales pitch, you have to be persistent. In the film, Jordan Belfort wouldn’t put down the phone until he made a sale. Not everyone possesses that level of persuasion, but unless we fail, we don’t learn, and until we don’t discover enough, we have to keep trying.

For a sales professional who interacts with his/her customers every day, it is best to use soft skills to create an instant connection with your prospects to win their confidence. From there on, like Jordan, you too can drive sales for the service/product you are selling.


While the Wolf of Wall Street may not be the prime film to draw moral and ethical lessons from, its business template is something every sales professional can learn from.

If you liked reading about the sales lessons here and wish to explore a career or polish your skillset to address the changing needs of the market, consider applying to Great Learning’s Advanced Certificate Program in Sales.

It is a 15-week course delivered by industry experts and offers dedicated placement assistance and a job interview guarantee for eligible learners. (T&C Applicable)


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