Bias and Influence in Action. Jordan Belfort (fictional) sells a Penny stock

Came across an interesting tweet today

The sale starts from 2:50 into the video.

“Hello John. How are you doing today? You mailed in my company a postcard a few weeks back requesting information on a penny stock…”

Make them come to you. Don’t sound desperate, like a travelling salesman. Set the “seller’s market” frame, from a “buyer’s market”. Make them come to you.

“.. with huge upside potential and very little downside risk.”

Anchoring bias. Even before we get into the pitch, right at the outset, setting an anchor in the mind of the listener of the perceived value of the stock. Everything the listener hears from this point on, is colored by this perceived value.

“..the reason for the call today John, something came across my desk today John. It is probably the best thing I’ve seen in the last six months. In 60 seconds I would like to share the idea with you.”

Scarcity bias. People psychologically perceive what is scarce as something valuable. By setting a false time constraint (60 seconds), and flipping the script from being a seller, to offering a rare reward – you bypass the listener’s resistance to sales pitch – and have him swallow your pitch like an eager puppy.

Also notice how many times the name “John” is repeated. This is stealthily creating a rapport with the listener by using the sweetest thing to one’s ears … our own name.

Name of the company, Aerotyne International, it is a cutting edge…

Now this is the real sales pitch. Delivered when the listener is at his most receptive.

..will have huge military and civilian applications.

Future pacing. This is taking the listener on a journey. Creating a story.

Now. Right now John, the stock is trading at 10 cents a share, and our analysts indicate, it could go a heck of a lot higher than that. Your 10,000 dollar invesment will be upwards of 60,000 dollars.

Trigger scarcity bias. The emphasis on the word now after future pacing makes the listener feels he is buying something at a huge bargain.. “our analysts” is triggering authority bias.

“Upwards of 60,000 dollars” is setting another price anchor, so the listener thinks in terms of the minimum floor of rewards he can make (60,000 – or upwards).

I never ask my clients to judge me on my winners, I ask them to judge me on my losers because I have so few

Authority bias. Belfort brings attention to the high value he is bringing to the interaction, and subtly hints at himself as an authority on stocks, securing the listener’s trust towards the end of the interaction. Always-Be-Closing.


Does the above sound similar to a lot of boiler room operations selling stocks on Whatsapp? Well, now you know when you’re being played.

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