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About the Author
Oren Klaff is one of the world’s leading experts on sales, raising capital and negotiation. His first book, Pitch Anything, is required reading throughout Silicon Valley, Wall Street and the Fortune 500, with more than 1,000,000 copies in print worldwide.
He has written for Harvard Business Review, Inc., Advertising Age, Entrepreneur and has been featured in hundreds of periodicals, podcasts and blogs. He is an investment partner in a $200 million private equity investment fund and in his spare time is a motorcycle enthusiast.
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About the Book
When it comes to delivering a pitch, Oren Klaff has unparalleled credentials. Over the past 13 years, he has used his one-of-a- kind method to raise more than $400 million–and now, for the first time, he describes his formula to help you deliver a winning pitch in any business situation.
Whether you’re selling ideas to investors, pitching a client for new business, or even negotiating for a higher salary, “Pitch Anything “will transform the way you position your ideas.
According to Klaff, creating and presenting a great pitch isn’t an art–it’s a simple science. Applying the latest findings in the field of neuroeconomics, while sharing eye-opening stories of his method in action, Klaff describes how the brain makes decisions and responds to pitches. With this information, you’ll remain in complete control of every stage of the pitch process.
“Pitch Anything” introduces the exclusive STRONG method of pitching, which can be put to use immediately:
BIG IDEA 1 (3:26) – Control the frame, control the world.
This is one of the fundamentals of the book. There are different frames used by you and other people to block or control a conversation.
In the book Oren Klaff talks about how you can break frames by defining expectations. You can do that with a little bit of light humor. For example when someone says they’ve only got 10 minutes, you can reply by saying “no worries, I only have eight”. This helps level the field back with them and changes the power dynamic.
The frames that he talks about in this book are power, time, prize and intrigue. The prize frame where you become the prize that makes the target qualify themselves to work with you. Why should you work with them, never mind why they should work with you?! Intrigue frame is about effective storytelling to create interest and let people experience the story to create better emotional connection with them and avoid over-analysis by connecting.
You will find the examples he shared in the book are things you have faced, could faced or potentially could face when pitching or having that sales conversation.
BIG IDEA 2 (7:16) – Talk to all the brains.
This is the second key concept in the book which underpins everything. It links all the sales techniques, conversations and relationship building to the three brain theory. The three brain theory says that we have three brains which have evolved over time. These are firstly, the croc brain – primal instincts like fight or flight, housed in the oldest part of our brain. In the middle, the midbrain which creates meaning and reason around things. And then the executive brain that makes complex decision making and problem solving.
The author argues that pitchers generally need to talk to all three brains. Not just the executive brain or decision making brain because that is what YOU used to design the pitch. What we miss constantly is going via the other brains to get to the executive layer.
So if you go with your executive level brain and start pitching your plan, without addressing reptilian crocodile brain then you’re missing something. This is because at that point you are wow-ing them with data, they are still wondering if they like you or trust you or not. Therefore they can’t process with that executive layer of decision making.
One of the structures Klaff gives is a twenty-minute pitch. It is because that’s all you’re going to be able to grab people’s attention for. Another structure is thinking beyond the ‘prize’. For example, if you’re selling an investment opportunity as return of investment in the form of money, the real prize is what the money represents, what it means to them and their life.
There is a whole chapter in the book about not being needy. When you’re trying to buy a car or cancel a phone contract, sometimes you get that sense of desperation from sales people. It’s a better position for you to have your clients try to win you to be their provider instead of the other way around. This happens by connecting with the right parts of the brain at the right time and being prepared to walk away from a deal if necessary.
BIG IDEA 3 (11:30) – Preparation, preparation, preparation.
In all of the examples he gave, all the stories he tells and all the escapades he’s been a part of you can see the intense level of preparation that has gone into those pitches. Some of those are multiple million dollar deals.
This preparation is what sets teams apart from each other. There are distinct roles and thinking that people have to work through to get that pitch to that final position. This preparation is not just about the actual ‘stand and deliver’ presentation. The practice responses of all the things that the prospect or the competition might throw up in a discussion. Preparation at this level will set you apart.
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