One of my biggest passions is making movies. My first movie was shot two and half years ago and I played the role of a young investor who lost his money because he invested in a stock that failed. That movie was about the life of Bernie Madoff, so to prepare for that role, I bought all the books about him. The guy had raised over 65 billion dollars in investments from groups, banks and from wealthy individuals.
I really recommend you study the way he did it. Of course, he destroyed other people’s lives, destroyed his own life and left his family but if you look at his life more closely, what he did was a mischievous but very smart thing. He’s a horrible example in terms of business ethics, but there’s a lot to be learned from the way he conducted his fund-raising process.
For example, the only way to be able to invest in his fund was to be recommended by one of his current clients. At the time, he was the President of NASDAQ and he would not talk to you if you were not recommended. You had to know someone who had already gained Madoff’s trust, and you had to come up with a substantial amount of money. He would laugh at you if you came in with “only” a few million dollars and make you feel like you were wasting his time.
He would manipulate his clients in a very subtle way to get their friends to give him even more money.
Of course, it’s horrible because he destroyed lives and entire fortunes of people who trusted him, but the way he did it is interesting. He didn’t accept everyone who was throwing money at him. He would push people away, would make them want the service and then they would just gather everything they have.
Here’s the takeaway to use in your business: turning away prospective clients sometimes creates more perceived value for what you deliver and allows you to focus on clients who have more resources to invest with you. Be picky of who you accept as a client and you’ll be surprised by how fast business can flourish.
What do you think? I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment in the section below 🙂