Top 5 Tips from the Most Persuasive Man in Hollywood

jerry-weintraub-interviewElvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon -- none of them would have reached the summits they did if it weren't for the efforts of uber-producer Jerry Weintraub. To say he could sell ice to an Eskimo is a gross understatement. The kid from the Bronx without a college degree didn't just take Hollywood by storm, but the entire world -- and he's finally selling the secrets of his incredible powers of persuasion in a new book, When I Stop Talking, You'll Know I'm Dead -- Useful Stories from a Persuasive Man.

In it, he tells the remarkable stories of how, when he was in his 20s, he convinced Colonel Parker to take Elvis on tour, and how he was so successful that the Chairman of the Board, Sinatra himself, recruited Weintraub to do the same thing for him. And how he also worked with Bob Dylan, The Moody Blues, Led Zeppelin, the Beach Boys, Neil Diamond, John Denver and more.

And that's just in the music world. Weintraub also relates how he put together some of the most star-studded and successful film packages ever assembled, such as the Ocean's franchise, the Karate Kid franchise, Oh God!, Diner -- the list goes on and on, and includes a number of TV shows as well.

What's his secret? Well, he has a number of them, and they're surprisingly simple. In an exclusive with AOL, Weintraub shares these secrets with AOL readers.


jerry weintraubJerry Weintraub's top 5 tips on the art of persuasion

1. Be persistent.

Do not hear the word no. Almost every time I have a new idea, someone says, "No, that will never work." But to me, "no" is just an opportunity to convince someone to say "yes." When you hear "no," you say "What? Say that again, I didn't catch that." If someone says "Get lost," you say, "Go where?" Keep knocking, keep pitching, and the door will open for you.


2. Have conviction.

Act as if the result you want has already been achieved. When I first signed John Denver he had only one genuine hit, but I still called his next record John Denver's Greatest Hits, making it seem to the public as if he was already a star, like they'd known his music forever. They already loved him -- they always had. I knew Denver was a star; I could feel it, and I believed it. And the rest is history.


3. Respect yourself.

This is key. If you respect yourself, you will be treated with respect. Consider my relationship with the great Chicago power broker Arthur Wirtz. Wirtz was a huge man, 6-foot-6, all power, a very intimidating guy. When I first went to meet him, he made me wait outside his office for hours. He did not even look up when I finally walked in, just sat at his desk signing checks. Then, from the side of his mouth, he said, "Yeah, what d'ya want?" So you know what I said? I said "[bleep] you!" Why? Because he was not treating me with respect. He looked up at me and smiled. I was no longer one of the thousands of faceless nobodies asking him for a favor, but an individual. After that, we forged a relationship that lasted for years.


4. Be creative.

Think your way around problems, come up with novel solutions, improvise. If you think you have failed, you simply haven't thought hard enough. As an example, watch the animated video here about the first show I did with Elvis. I had 5,000 unsold seats in a 10,000 seat arena with only hours until showtime. Big problem. I was never going to find enough people to fill the seats. But I quickly realized a solution: not more people, but fewer seats. 5,000 to be exact, unscrewed from the floor and carried out the door. Voila. No more empty seats.




5. Go nuts.

I don't mean go crazy, I mean reach for the moon. Most people think that if it hasn't been done, it can't be done. But if it hasn't been done, that probably just means it hasn't been tried. This is the story of my life, the kid who tries what no one thought to try before: putting on concert tours in sports stadiums, selling the greatest hits of an artist that has only one hit, having the greatest singer in the world (Sinatra) perform in a boxing ring in the heart of New York City. Listen to me: It is OK to fail. Fail and fail, again and again. You learn by failing. And if you fail 10 times for every one success, then why not fail a thousand times? It will make your success into a legend.

At a youthful 72, Weintraub still has lots of new (and surprising) projects up his sleeve that could well become legends.

Continue reading: Interview with Jerry Weintraub >>



Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell

Editor

Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award-winning multi-media journalist and author of Career Comeback--Repackage Yourself to Get the Job You Want.  Her work has been translated into 20 different languages, and she is a frequent expert guest and commentator on news and talk shows. She has been featured in The Wall St. Journal, on the CBS Early Show, NBC Today, CNBC, Fox Business News, Dr. Phil, Oprah.com and many other media outlets.  Lisa discusses her AOL pieces each week and interviews vital guests on the web TV show, This Week in Careers. Learn more on LisaJohnsonMandell.com.

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savoiaj

Jerry Weintraub is the living proof of "Unstoppable drive". He is the Icon, and ultimate example of "Pure success!" He envisions where he wants to be by letting nothing stand in his path to the top! Arnold Schwarzeneggar and Donald Trump live according to these similar rules of accepting nothing less than number one! The only way to make it to the top is to earn it with hard work, and "blinkers on" determination. Life is full of wild pitches and slap shots, and you have to take your lumps on the way up! This is what labels you a winner. Never give up, and believe in yourself!

Joe Savoia, Ridgefield, CT

May 17 2010 at 6:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gail Gill

Looking for home business opps.

May 09 2010 at 7:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Louise Chambers

I saw a comment about your work at home business. I would like to know more about it.

May 09 2010 at 3:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
patricia mello

Jerry, If you are reading these comments then I am asking, begging ,pleading with you. Teach me,mold me, mentor me. I want to be the female version of you. I want to make the seemingly impossible happen,over and over again.I have it in me already but I need a little fine tuning. I know everyone reading this will think I'm crazy, but not you , you make things happen by wanting them to happen and believeing you will succeed.I believe you will read this or hear of it. I'm ready today to learn all you have to teach. I'm looking forward to hearing from you soon!

May 08 2010 at 9:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tavy

This is a WARNING to all posters on AOL message boards. Your information is NOT private. A "profile" is created the moment you sign on. And that profile will contain every letter you've ever written. And it is accessible by Google and anyone who clicks onto your screen name. That name is printed in BLUE, and contains a hyperlink which brings up your "profile" ..which may be your real name if you've used it anywhere. Check it out ... this site is a dandy ... there's a listed "archive" for each poster.

Here is a copy of my complaint to AOL ...

I am trying to remove my "profile" name XXXXXX ... which I was NOT told would be published when I first began writing messages on message boards We are assured our names and email won't be published, but there's a hyperlink under each blue colored nickname. Which clicks onto a profile with an archive of everything ever written. On not one, but any message board you've written on.

We are NOT warned about this invasion of privacy. I am outraged. I am trying to have XXXXXX removed from that profile. I don't remember the "password" from March 2008 ... a series of indecipherable letters and numbers. I would like that profile name changed or removed. It has ruined my life and AOL is being very devious about this.

There is NO need for a "profile" archives ... and not providing the AOL member with the information that a profile will be created is I believe, a major invasion of privacy and may possibly be illegal.

May 08 2010 at 2:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
david

Big deal, a smooth talking charlatan with no real skills made some money capitalizing on other people's talents. Happens every day. If you want inspiration, look at a real success story like Bill Gates who worked for years developing his own innovations into a multi billion dollar empire or Stephen Hawking, a truly inspirational story of survival and social contribution. Bugging the hell out of people until they book your hokie, no talent entertainer (like Elvis)is not a skill, its an indication of a lack of real job skills and laziness.

May 08 2010 at 1:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to david's comment
Alex

Very well put. After years of what he himself sees as a wasted, no talent, no skills life, he decides to seek redemtion with a boring book detailing his uselessness to society. Wondeful. A non educated scourge of Hollywood. A slippery, slick piece of human filth who belongs in the Gulf of Mexico where he will blend in nicely.

May 08 2010 at 2:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John

Just do it. At 50, I wrote my first book "Trust Me" got it published and now it's available worldwide. People said it could not be done . Ha ha
ISBN 9781615462667

May 08 2010 at 1:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Susan

P.S. Micky, you're a moron. No one could be less close-minded than I am. Did you even bother to read my posts, before commenting? I think not.

May 08 2010 at 1:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
janis karber

Jerry, your amazing and you are a STAR in every sence of the word. YOU are a Legend.

May 08 2010 at 1:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Susan

To all of the people who responded to my comment about people posting comments on here that have nothing to do with the article: At the time I posted that, there were only comments about people wanting to find the love of their lives or find a new career. Next time, look at the time that I posted my comment, before responding.

I applaud Jerry Weintraub. He's a winner. You have to get out there, persevere and not let anything get you down. And this crap about his being a Jew in Hollywood is just that -- crap.

May 08 2010 at 1:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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