Home > Personal Development > LOA Experts: Who Attracted Bernie Madoff?

LOA Experts: Who Attracted Bernie Madoff?

All the LOA advocates here, I've been wondering something...
  • These poor Bernie Madoff victims (and they were victims)...
    how is that they attracted getting royally screwed and ruined from their wealth?
I mean, most of these people it seems were doing they're thing
in life... they were rich, enjoying life, enjoying their wealth,
loving expensive things.... appreciating the fortunes they've amassed (it seems) and then wham.... the cards tumbled and they found themselves...

POOR, BROKE, IMPOVERISHED, and in some cases DEAD.

So help me to understand... how did the law of attraction put them in that situation?

Thanks. - by MaxReferrals
Listen Max, the Law of Attraction is one thing but just because everything in life that you need just shows up does not mean that when your Spider Sense Is Tingling, you should ignore it.

Ponzi Schemes have been around a long time, starting with Louis Ponzi, who died a pauper. They work because of a part of the human condition - one of our many failings, called;

Avarice!

By using one's avarice - their greed or greediness - you can exploit people. And, since there is abundance beyond anyone's wildest dreams, I don't know why anyone would want to do that but some do.

If he had not had the background he did, it is unlikely he would have grown it that big or that it would have lasted that long ...

To me, it is just as abusive to say that COLD CALLING IS DEAD or THAT DOES NOT WORK ANY MORE (about sales and communication), as it is to guarantee the rate of interest of an equity investment. These things are equally invalid or unacceptable.

There was a huge Ponzi Scheme in Canada a few years back, amounted to $110 Million, I warned a few people it was not real (it was shown to me early on). They did not listen and got a lot more people involved.

$50 Billion is easily the biggest one that has ever happened but it still comes down to the same thing; "if it sounds too good to be true it usually is."

We only use AVARICE in sales when there is a real need and, of course, a real product/service. In other words, when we understand that while selling that a prospect's greed is influencing their decision, as does happen in various investment sales, we need to calm the buyer down.

Examples of this recently; people switched to buying real estate limited partnerships when the market collapsed, as they qualified for tax deferment (RRSP, 401K). However, if a prospect shows interest in putting all of their wealth into one partnership or even several they could end up in trouble. If a partenrship cannot sell for a period after that person would need to start drawing on their investments (in retirement for instance) then this is a bad thing. The Securities Commission would see any rep doing this as abusing their position of trust with a client. Rightly so!

I am not sure what caused Madoff to start thinking of how he could get into a position to have 'made-off' (forgive the word play) with the money. It just might come done to salesmanship or lack there of. In other words, though he ran the stock market, he never learned how to sell, so he had trouble getting clients once he retired from his AMDIN job and started his investment business.

The situation probably caused his creative juices to think of how he could guarantee results or at least provide them consistently rather than actually making a guarantee in order to start getting referrals. Once it worked he could not stop ...?

My guess is his own greed took over.

Think of what he could have done if he knew how to sell? With his past life managing the stock market he would have had thousands of clients referred that way too, after he was able to do a few things through his own sales efforts but because he could not sell, so he got desperate!

I doubt he started out as a crook or thinking of doing what he did. And as he got more and more into trouble there was no way out. I would feel sorry for him except for one thing; he never learned how to sell, all he did was tell bold faced lies to people's faces, taking their money with no way to repay it (once the cash flowing in stopped).

Something, eh?

if you asked me how best a person can develop themselves, and if I knew I was talkign to a sales person, a budding professional, I would lead them to learn to master all aspects of sales practices.

Become a master sales person, you will always earn enough to have adequate insurance coverage and income to protect your loved ones and then some. Then you will not ever become desperate. - by Gold Calling
All valuable points, but still not understanding
how this could have been "attracted," according to
what the LOA advocates.

Thx. - by MaxReferrals
Okay...I hope I don't offend any one.....

The Law of Attraction.....It really isn't a law and it really isn't science. The scientists that say that it is science are people who are out there and often members of cults.

I watched the secret and basically it says you have the power to create things....be a god.

I personally believe that all blessings come from God not that I can send vibrations out into the universe to create things. That is not to say that I don't think positively or set goals to achieve. I practice these daily. I do believe that if I sow I will reap. This is a spirtual law.

I would encourage everyone to seek faith in God and not the law of attraction and faith in one's self.

God Bless,

Sell4alivn - by Sell4alivn
We (people in general) are hard wired to attract the Madoffs of the world, that is the very point of my post (there will be more Ponzi Scheme artists in the future!). All of us, to some degree, suffer from greed and greediness. If we did not, we (sales professionals) probably would not love selling as much as we do.

As soon as you accept this, that it is part of the human condition, that it can be abused - even in our profession - or used against us, if you prefer it better when said this way, you begin to see how the law of attraction more or less fits. With the emphasis on "
more or less".

Of course, it is not much of a leap to understand that Madoff needed to do something to get his investment business going. Since he could not sell, he started running a PONZI, where money coming in financed the interest on monies accepted prior. He was in trouble right away - all because he is a lousy sales guy (and has low morals and likely low self esteem too).

LOA is all good and great but, like so many NEW AGE SELLING concepts, it does not cover all possible eventualities. In science class in high school we learn that any proposed theory becomes less likely to be valid once you must add many sub theories to it ... making it more and more complex and therfore less plausible.

Here is a quote or theory; Life isn't simple. It doies not need to be added to. It covers salesmanship and life. I dunno about you but it sure seems to bring into question some of the LOA stuff (which is okay but it is being taken too far, just like Sales 2.0!).

"Everything happens for a reason" ... yes, true. Does that mean that everything happens because we want it to, because we visualized it? Who visualized the planets and orbits, suns and the universe? God? Surely not humans.

Can "everything
happens for a reason" imply that it also happens because we are susceptible (vulnerable) rather than because we attracted it? Who visualized attracting a rapist????

Geez, Louise, just because we can say things and use deductive reasoning and other logic to argue them is not a good reason to complicate an already too complex life. That is my theory ... and I am only the 40 billionth person to have thought it (I also did not discover anything unique about sales technique either)! - by Gold Calling
But I thought that the whole point of the LOA is that
it says it's all about what you are thinking and doing
to create the experiences you want to attract.

So do you mean to say that these people were
thinking and doing things, and enjoying experiences
in their lives that allowed them to attract
getting ripped off??

Help me to understand, LOA folks out there? - by MaxReferrals
Not trying to start an arguement but honestly the reason they got ripped off was because they ran into a hell of a sales person. Unfortunately their are those out there who give sales a bad name. This guy did what we did, just did it for the wrong reasons. Have you ever noticed a true sales consultant get into an arguement OUTSIDE of sales? We will use our sales close to get the people to do what we want. It's second nature to those of us who have been here awhile. We use assumptive closes and trial closes throughout our everyday life. Everyone does. It really doesnt have much to do with the LOA. It has to do with how the material was presented. I guarantee they were using the Jones theory and fear of loss on these customers. How many times have you as a salesperson convinced a person they were getting a GREAT deal yet you still make 1-2 k off the person (my experience in car sales). It doesnt matter what you think as the seller, it has to do with what the person thinks that your selling to. Honestly if you have any serious sales training including NLP then you are at an advantage over pretty much 90% of the rest of the world. We can read people and know how to get information from the people that most of the civilized world has no chance.

Prime example. Last Sunday I had to go drop off a car we had at a satelite location Saturday night. I was in shorts and t-shirt with a baseball cap (I live in South Texas its 80 degrees :P) I noticed some people looking at one of the cars in the front so I went up to talk to them. These people had no way off telling them if I worked there or not, they just had to take my word that I did. Long story short, in a 10 minute interview, I had the guy write me a $5,000 check and give me all his credit information so I would be able to work the deal on Monday. I didnt even think about what I had done until I climbed into my g/f's car (shes a manager in sales) and she asked me what I was doing. Told her I got a credit app and $5,000 check (with pay to order blank I noticed later) so I can work a deal Monday. She was shocked that I could walk up to a customer dressed like I was and in 10 minutes get all of that information. I didnt even think twice about doing it and I had no other agenda than to sell them a car on Monday, but had I been anyone else I could have seriously screwed these people over. FYI they are signing papers tomorrow so they can drive there new Suburban home.

Why these people get screwed? Unfortunately they ran into a great salesman with no morals or ethics. :sa - by jrboyd
Why these people get screwed? Unfortunately they ran into a great salesman with no morals or ethics. :sa
Appreciate that thoughtful reply.

But when you frame that in the scheme of what LOA advocates, that's counterintuitive and illogical. The fact that the guy was
a good sales person would have nothing to do with it, other than
these people "attracted" a shady sales person and thought
"about" getting ripped off, so they did.

At least, I think....

I'm not a LOA follower, but trying to understand the rationale
in this situation as it is interesting. - by MaxReferrals
The fact that the guy was
a good sales person would have nothing to do with it, other than
these people "attracted" a shady sales person and thought
"about" getting ripped off, so they did.
I understand what your saying. From my interperitation of LOA it isn't necissarly the outcome of the sitiuation that LOA describes but the "Precieved" Outcome. These peoples didnt precieve the outcome to be what it was. They precieved what it was presented to it. The LOA module works great when dealing with positive outcomes or neutral outcomes, however I personally find it faulty when dealing with situations that have a negative outcome. Human nature is programmed for self-preservation except in extreme emotional stress (which alters the subconcious thinking to believe that by doing something (suicide prime example) it is an act of self-preservation. People who commit suicide don't necesarrily want to die, but feel that it would be to hard and stressful to live any longer). So IMHO the LOA module is faulty if you base it on the actually outcome of the situation. If however you took the peoples "Precieved" outcome on what they expected to happen then it would fit fine. - by jrboyd
I understand what your saying. From my interperitation of LOA it isn't necissarly the outcome of the sitiuation that LOA describes but the "Precieved" Outcome. These peoples didnt precieve the outcome to be what it was. They precieved what it was presented to it. The LOA module works great when dealing with positive outcomes or neutral outcomes, however I personally find it faulty when dealing with situations that have a negative outcome. Human nature is programmed for self-preservation except in extreme emotional stress (which alters the subconcious thinking to believe that by doing something (suicide prime example) it is an act of self-preservation. People who commit suicide don't necesarrily want to die, but feel that it would be to hard and stressful to live any longer). So IMHO the LOA module is faulty if you base it on the actually outcome of the situation. If however you took the peoples "Precieved" outcome on what they expected to happen then it would fit fine.
So I perceive all I want, but still I can attract a shyster and
get ripped off out of my wealth...?

OR...

I was perceiving one thing, but what I was really attracting
was what I intended... ?

Something like that?? - by MaxReferrals
More like the shyster read you and knew what your hot points were, and adjusted his presenetation to fit that so you would preceive it to be a good idea. It's all on the sales person, has little to do with you getting ripped off.

These people were attracted to the Idea he presented not to the person himself. - by jrboyd
More like the shyster read you and knew what your hot points were, and adjusted his presenetation to fit that so you would preceive it to be a good idea. It's all on the sales person, has little to do with you getting ripped off.

These people were attracted to the Idea he presented not to the person himself.
Jr, very interesting perspective. thx - by MaxReferrals
np.. Was never a big Law of Attraction fan.. Now Law of Average.. thats a different story. - by jrboyd
... the reason they got ripped off was because they ran into a hell of a sales person.
I could not disagree with this statement more. If Madoff could sell he would not have had to start guaranteeing (or providing) constant high level returns.

Word of mouth made him big, lieing made it start and kept it going. If you call him a "hell of a sales person" because he knew that lies and greed (avarice) would generate referrals then I would argue that marketing masters know how to generate referals too (not intending to call them liars) - meaning that does make them master sales people.

If Madoff knew how to sell he could have started an investment business ... since he did not, he turned to unscrupulous behavior that locked him into a non-profit business .... the second the base was not groing daster than the interest payout needed it to, it had to collapse.

Study avarice if you want to udnerstand. But, pelase, don't tell me a man who lied his way through 50 billion was even a passable sales person, the thought is highly repulsive and just not valid. - by Gold Calling
He was a sales person without ethics. All he did was what every salesperson is trained to do. Get people to buy their product/service. Unfortunenatly his service/product was a scam, but he was still able to convince how many people to believe it was a good idea. A good sales person will be able to make the customer think he is getting a hell of a deal, while at same time maintaining alot of profit for himself. Its exactly what he did. Not saying he is correct for doing it, just saying he was able to do it utilizing the same skills that the better salespeople use. - by jrboyd
He was a sales person without ethics.
No, was was a crook. Crooks do not sell.

Selling unethically is like taking too much of someone's retirement money into a product that is not easily liquidated, for instance REAL ESTATE LIMITED PARTNERSHIPS. You will get your hand slapped for doing this by the Securities Commission (and hopefully your investment house) for being greedy and rightly so. But to take people's money with absolutely no way to repay them and no security, this is not unethical selling it is a can - illegal in the worst way.

In addition, sales is based on a professional helping someone make a decision. It requires us to learn what is important to them - to the prospects (by probing) and show they how to get it from the products or services we provide (supporting the needs with a benefit of your product). Is that what he did?

You called him "a hell of a salesman" and I cannot beg to differ any more. A great sales person uses a completely different set of tools than does a conman ... a conman does not probe for needs, he sets up a scam and uses people's greed against them.

It was because he could not sell that he began to scam. He took the easy way out instead of learning to sell.

This is not a fine line, the two behaviors do not resemble each other in any way shape or form. And, to emphasize this, I can say that asking a buyer their address is something both Madoff ("made-off" with the money) did and sales people do. The difference is; Madoff did not ask people what they long term goals were, he did not fit the product to the needs (ie. high equities content vs lower risk investments like mortgages) ... he did not ask them anything at all about their needs, he just showed them a BOGUS RETURN thtat was high and hoped his reputation as having run the stock market would do teh rest. Unfortunetly it did, that is greed for you

He used his own money to pay people a very high rate of interest, they told others how great eth retuern is and who he was in his previous life ... that started the greed and others lined up to give him money - it then took on a life of its own.

Please remember, I was one of the people who blew the whistle on a guy in Toronto that did something very similar to the tune of $110 million about 14 years ago. I also expereince anotehr man twenty five years ago that ran a Ponzi scam too (he disapeared, someone did away with him, that we are almost certain of). Neither operated like I do and I do resemble your remark (a hell of a salesman).

No sir, you are mistaken. There is a large difference between lieing to get an order on a product that is of less value than the buyer thought or promising more than you deliver and having no product at all. This I know because of what I saw the two people do with their Ponzi scams ... the diference is that Madoff had previous credentials that mlemnded him credit.

This guy was not a salesperson, he ran a stock exchange - he was an administrator. I would like to see him do what I do!

You do not convince people it is a good idea in a con. What you do is fool them into believing that there is something happening that is not happening. Have you ever done this in your career? In case the answer is no (and I hope it is) let me tell you, misdirection is not a selling technique and never was.

The people who give selling a bad name are pushy, promise more than they can deliver ... that kind of thing ... but they do have a product. And just because Madoff took money does not mean he sold for a living (order takers are not professional sales people). - by Gold Calling
Couldnt agree with you more on "(order takers are not professional sales people)". I do see your point. I may have worded it wrong. He technically wasn't a salesperson your right in that perspective because he didnt sale any product or service that was tangible. So I'll agree to you on that point. However even though he wasn't a salesperson per say, I can guarantee to rip off all those people he had to use some of his sales experience. Look at it like this:

A guy serves 15 years as a ex-special forces soldier. He then becomes a mercanary and kills a bunch of innocent people.

Now this guy is no longer fits the true definition of a soldier, however it can be automatically assumed that because of all his training in the special forces, he will be alot more effective as a mercanary even though his goals are not respectable. - by jrboyd
Okay. I'm lost again.

The entire LOA principle isn't about deception, or trickery,
or conning people from what I've heard LOA fans speak of.

I'm no LOA person, just want to understand.

Yes. You have to be slick to con people. You have to act unethically and often illegally. Everyone agrees on that.

Probably have to be smooth talker, and use sales skills to do that also. Agreed.

I'm having a hard time in that the LOA says that (1) what we get in the outer world is a reflection of what we believe in the inner world; (2) we get we you focus on.
  • So (1) these people believed they would get conned and did, and (2) focused on losing their wealth and they did?
They attracted a guy like Madoff, regardless of whether they were taken advantage of, or not, by a con man...

Seems to jive with LOA, but doesn't seem rational to me. - by MaxReferrals
And thats why I am not an LOA fan either. :P I believe the opposite of what LOA states. I believe that your inner world is a direct reflection of your outer world. Example: Go hang out with a bunch of the sales people who are negative and the reason they don't sale is always someone or something elses fault. Even if you are capable of being the top producer if you hang around with these people constantly it will directly effect your skills. In my opinion what you expose yourself to in the outerworld will directly affect your inner personality. - by jrboyd
... we get what we focus on.
You could say this; Focus on greed and you get Madoff (a criminal, not a sales person).
And while we he was committing a crime he was NOT SELLING. But that is not going to make your desire to hold onto one rather simplistic school of thinking make sense.

Keep in mind, as Human,s what we are focused on changes. It is influenced by people and events. It is not so much that 100,000 investors were focused on greed and therefore Madoff showed up as;

One then another then another felt greed, they told two friends and so on, soon there were people investing 5 and 10 million at a crack.

Because one person told another that they were getting consistent 20% returns from a former top boss of a stock exchange (implying the guy was not a rip off artist) does not make Madoff a good sales person. It does show you how people get "caught up" in an event and how the influence of those they trust can change their focus.

LOA is fine. So is THE SECRET ... but, let;'s agree, they are just ideaologies that are intended to help and motivate people to be more positive. Seriously, there is no one theory that explains every possibility in life. Best to just relax and accept what we are, that we are not perfect, that we do succumb to outside things from time to time and keep on moving forward.

This site needs to be about sales mastery. About what is most likely to bring that about and, I can assure you, we have nothing to learn from this man who "made-off" with the loot. - by Gold Calling
Goldcalling has a good point. And I do submit to his point on people being focused on greed so they attracted this man. People got caught up in the hype or the idea. The bandwagon effect or Jones theory or however you precieve it. It's all a psychological thing. But who here hasn't used the Jones theory close before? "Mr./Mrs. Jones bought this product/service because of ....." I not saying there is anything to learn from this man, and definately not trying to say we should try to emulate his behaviors. Just saying because of his experience in sales that it made it alot easier for him to take advantage of these people.

But again goldcalling is right and this site should be focusing on sales mastery. So I will drop from this discussion. Wasn't trying to start a big debate here. Hope you didn't get wrong idea Gold. - by jrboyd
...This site needs to be about sales mastery...
It is; but last I checked this section was about self-improvement/
personal dev.

Thx for your advice on this, btw. Good stuff. - by MaxReferrals
It is; but last I checked this section was about self-improvement/
personal dev.
Okay, personal development ... sure ... with the purpose of being a better sales professional, right? So how does discussing Madoff develop any of us as people and professionals?

Watching THE SECRET is surely something that we can all recommend to each other (as an example) but discussing a criminal will not benefit any of us one bit, in my not so humble opinion.

If the man knew how to sell he would not have had to be a crook in the first place. He did not give selling a bad name, he gave the human race another example of how bad some people can be (or become through desperation).

Best of luck. - by Gold Calling
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