71 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pitch Anything...
The book of the week was Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff. Wow. I haven't been this excited about a book in quite some time. I have found myself talking about this book a lot this week. I have even suggested it to several of my friends that sell for a living and I did so without getting to the end yet. Klaff is a dynamic writer and the whole book is fascinating. I have read a...
Published on February 26, 2011 by Trevor J. Flannigan
31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars some strong concepts (not) backed by poor examples
Oren gives some good pointers for making 'sales' pitches, even though he couches most of his pitches in terms of raising capital for new ventures. It's good exercise to try to imagine his techniques being applied in your line of business.
He gives a good perspective on the 'reptile brain' which you may find as a breakthrough in your own thought process. His...
Published on November 14, 2011 by OrlandoM
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71 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pitch Anything...,
This review is from: Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal (Hardcover)The book of the week was Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff. Wow. I haven't been this excited about a book in quite some time. I have found myself talking about this book a lot this week. I have even suggested it to several of my friends that sell for a living and I did so without getting to the end yet. Klaff is a dynamic writer and the whole book is fascinating. I have read a ton of books and what I look for in books anymore is uniqueness... A lot of books overlap ideas when you get into the realm of business and leadership. The books that do well nowadays are the ones that have a few individual revelations. The ones that do great are the ones that completely revolutionize their subject matter. Pitch Anything is one of those books.
There are a lot of "Oh wow" ideas in this book. Klaff uses neuroscience in selling. He has analyzed the way the human mind reacts to communication and teaches best practices for selling. There are two things I want to lay on you that I learned from this book. The first about attention and the second is about neediness.
Obviously it's important to get attention when you are selling to someone. This is obvious, but most people don't know how to get that attention. A lot of salesmen may think they do, but a lot are wrong. Attention is the combination of two things: desire and tension. Not only do you need to have someone interested but you also need them thinking that it's going to be on your terms whether they get it or not and they would be lucky to have it. Desire is the easy thing. You have a great product or service and you pitch how wonderful it is to your customer or financier. You are most likely passionate about what you are selling, so it should be easy to find ways to incorporate the other party into that desire. Klaff talks more in depth about the ways to really drive in this desire as well. The desire releases the neurotransmitter dopamine, this is half of the cognitive cocktail you're after. Tension on the other hand is not as easy to create. You have to push and pull while you are pitching. "I'm not sure if we are the right fit" *Pause* "But then again if things do work out, this could really be something great." This is a low-key example. The first statement pushes them and mentally they are thinking, "Wait, what, why can't I have this" and then you pull them in with your second statement. Be convincing while you are doing you pushes and pulls or they won't work. And if you pull it off you will release the neurotransmitter norepinephrine. This is the second half of the cognitive cocktail. It makes them pumped to want what you are selling. Dopamine is the chemical in the brain that chases rewards and norepinephrine is the chemical that helps your brain stay focused. If you are able to learn to communicate in a way the releases both of these in the person you are talking to, you need to learn it!
The second thing I really liked was Klaff talking about not being needy. If you appear needy it gives the other party all the power. You want to have the power in your pitch. It is incredibly common for salesman to do everything but beg (maybe some beg too) to get the sale. And you probably do "need" it... or at least you think you do, but do not wear that on your sleeve. I read an article a couple years ago about the best sales people in the nation. There was a Car Salesman that sold more cars than anyone else and the way he did it was act like it was no sweat off his back if they didn't buy the vehicle. It was his propensity to avoid neediness that really sold his cars. Needy doesn't work. Keep the control and maintain utter confidence.
This book is very interesting. I could spill tidbits I learned all night long, but I don't have the time. Instead, I encourage you to pick this book up. It is incredibly interesting. And if you are sitting there saying that you don't sell... you're wrong. Everyone sells. It may not be your main career, but whether you are asking for a raise at your job or even interviewing for a job, you are trying to sell yourself. As always, if you have any questions on the book don't hesitate to ask. I would be more than happy to help anyone that wants it.
31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars some strong concepts (not) backed by poor examples,
This review is from: Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal (Hardcover)Oren gives some good pointers for making 'sales' pitches, even though he couches most of his pitches in terms of raising capital for new ventures. It's good exercise to try to imagine his techniques being applied in your line of business.
He gives a good perspective on the 'reptile brain' which you may find as a breakthrough in your own thought process. His emphasis on story and time is equally valuable, as is his insistence to keep 'analyst details for later' until we know we want to do business. I realized I used many of these ideas myself, but had not formalized them with the amount of research he has done. It's nice to put things in a framework always. Speaking of 'frames', his 'death match' concept of social interaction may not appeal to you, but it's a fresh perspective none the less.
For me the weak part were the stories, they got a little over the top, especially the climactic 'pull it all together' story where he spends weeks moping about in obscure resorts while a desperate friend lands in private jet on a small strip trying to get back to win a $1 billion deal, which he does elegantly.
He claims to know Hollywood scriptwriters as friends, and their effect or help shows as he narrates stories where he storms into a Ponzi scheme office and claims to be able to call the FBI in unless he gets the money back for his friend, or where he cuts off half an apple from one of the leading billionaire investors' plate 'to grab his attention'. He even manages to make a gripping narrative out of a 'french waiter' situation.
Read this book if you're frustrated with your current sales method, if you're tired of making 100s of calls for making 2 deals, if you feel angry with the way you're treated in client office lobbies or if you just want to try something different.
Caution: this is strong sauce indeed, so try it with friends and colleagues before trying in formal situations.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read - my notes are below,
This review is from: Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal (Kindle Edition)I took these notes while reading Pitch Anything. It's a great book and there's more to it than I share here. A recommended buy.
-Good pitching depends on method. It can be learned.
-Pitches are sent from the modern - and smart - part of the brain, the neocortex. But they are received by the old "croc brain."
-This is not numbered based selling or being pushy. Both sides should leave happy and not feel like they were used or tricked.
-Keep it fun. Once the power shifts take control and direct conversations where you want. Give and take power. Let the game be fun for both sides. It should be mutually exciting not dominating.
-Selling makes you supplicate, make rational appeals to the neocortex and ask invasive questions.
-When explaining your track record of success people remember the average of your achievements not the sum. A few good strong stories are better than many weaker ones.
-Hot cognitions are unavoidable - you can control the expression of emotions but not having them.
-Don't create like or analysis, create want.
You must set the frame. Create novelty and intrigue. The STRONG method:
Setting the frame
Telling the story
Revealing the intrigue
Offering the prize
Nailing the hookpoint
Getting a decision
-Your point of view is your frame (perspective). The stronger frame absorbs the weaker frame, when frames collide the winner has frame control and his/her ideas are accepted.
-When you are responding ineffectively to things that the other person is saying and doing, that person owns the frame, and you are being frame-controlled.
-If you have to explain your authority, pwer, position, leverage and advantage, you do not have frame control.
-Strong frames activate basic desires.
Frame collision - instigate a mildly shocking but not unfriendly act. Use defiance or a small denial and light humor. This captures attention and elevates your status by giving you "local star power
Types of Frames:
Power Frame - Comes from ego and status. Shows arrogance and lack of interest.
-avoid falling into this frame by reacting to it. Don't strengthen it. Basic power rituals in business settings (small talk, letting ourself be told what to do) enforce the other party's power frame. Abiding by rituals of power instead of establishing your own reinforce it.
Prize Frame - when yo own the frame others react to you. Reframe everything your audience does/say as if they are trying to win you over. Even when you're selling, the question is "why do I want to do business with you?"
101: Make your buyer qualify. Withdraw if buyer tries to change time, location, attendees, etc..
201: trial closes are crude and ineffective. Don't ask questions and seek validation. Make target perform a task to earn the deal. Remember, money can't do anything without you, the money needs you.
Example open: `'I'm glad I could find the time to meet with you today. And I have another meeting right after this so let's get started."
Time Frame - When the room is cooling down don't wait for them to set the end time, that leaves you reacting. Running long or beyond the point of attention shows weakness, neediness, and desperation. Talking faster and forcing more information leads to less retention.
Intrigue Frame - focus on relationships, you know the numbers will work out. Most intelligent people take great pleasure in being confronted with something new, novel and intriguing. Once audience memebers solve the puzzle they check out. When analyst frames are taking power, break through with a story, but only tell part of the story:
1. Be brief. The subject should be relevant to the pitch.
2. You are at the center of the story.
3. Time pressure - the clock is ticking and there are consequences if it runs out.
4. Have risk, danger and uncertainty.
5. Have tension - you're trying to do something but are being blocked by some force.
6. Failure will be bad!
Creates hot cognition, they like the idea/you before they fully understand the facts.
-Intrigue-> prize-> time-> moral authority-> hookpoint
Intrigue - stories about interexting and eccentric people. Witnesseing is brtoing, forced into action and overcoming something is better. Create a short and strong narrative that introduces characters who overcome real-world obstacle.
-Put a man in the hungle, have the beasts attack him, get him to the edge of the jungle, will he get to safety?
Prize - I have one of the better deals on the market; I am choosy about who I work with; it seems like I could work with you, but really, I need to know morel please start giving me some materials on yourself; I still need to figure out if we would work well together and be good partners; what did your last business partner say about you; when things go sidewatys in a deal how do you deal with it; my existing partners are choosy.
Time - scarcity bias. Don't be avert or aggressive with pressure, there is a real time constrain, bring it up and recognize it.
Watch out for situations that will put you in the beta role, they're everywhere. To break out you need to do something that is mildly shocking but not unfriendly, this causes frame collision. Then quickly grab status, shrink the focus of the information being discussed to something that you specialize in, then pull away. Set a hookpoint then pull away again. Momentum is key during this process.
Seizing Situational Status:
Politely ignore power rituals. Avoid beta traos.
Be unaffected by cutstomer's global status.
Look for opportunitis to perpetrate small denials and defienaces that trengthen your frame and elevate your status.
As soon as you gain power switch discussion into an area where you are the domain expert.
Apply prize frame for decisions.
Confirm alpha status by making customers qualify your status (light hearted/interesting).
How the Brain Works:
Croc Brain Filtering:
1. If it's not dangerous, ignore it.
2. If it's not new and exciting, ignore it.
3. If it's new, summarize it as quickly as possible and forget the details
4. Do not send anything to the neocortex for problem solving unless you have a situation that is really unexpected and out of the ordinary.
The brain detects movement. Don't show before and after, try to show the progress but do so without threatening the croc brain.
-The brain reacts to social and physical threats the same way.
-Put them at easy, tell them it's going to be a short and easy 20 minute pitch.
-Tell them your track record of success.
-Explain the market window.
-Paint a picture of the idea moving out of the old market and into a new one.
Tension and Desire Lead to Attention:
-Desire comes when you offer a reward, tensions arises when you take something away.
Desire: anticipation of a reward. Violate target's expectations in a pleasant way.
- People are curious about things they can not explain but that seem explainable.
- At the point of satiation the pitch is over.
- You need to have tension as well for the person to remain alert.
Tension introduces real consequences to the social encounter
- Don't manipulate the person, just keep them alert.
- Push and pull, but not too much of either.
We chase that which moves away from us.
We want what we can't have.
We only place value on things that are hard to obtain.
Hot and Cold Cognition:
Problem solving and calculations are cold cognitions. You can't have and cold cognitions at the same time. Hot cognitions lead to want, desire and excitement.
Showing neediness is bad for frame control, erodes status, freezes hot cognition, and topples frame stacks. It's a weakness and a threat to the other person.
-Want nothing, focus only on things you do well, announce your intentions to leave the encounter.
Theory of Mind:
Simplicity can actually be scary. You want to tune your message to the mind of the recipient. A strong "theory of mind:" means you are able to understand how thoughts, desires and interest of others cause them to act.
-All important information must fit into the person's attention span - usually about 20 minutes.
-It doesn't matter how much information you give, but instead your theory of mind. Tune your info to the other person's way of thinking.
26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exciting contribution to a crowded field,
This review is from: Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal (Hardcover)Though I often find these kinds of business books dry and much too basic,
this one was a great read from the very first page onwards. Written in a lively,
entertaining style, the content relates to any business -- indeed, to any life situation.
The book mixes solid advice and real life stories with interesting scientific research.
If your life involves coming up with ideas and convincing other
people to buy into them, or if you're raising money, it's
very worth your time.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Misleading,
Returning this book tomorrow. Oren Klaff, I want my $3.99 back for shipping this thing back to Amazon! Amazon, check if your rating system is being manipulated.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars High-testosterone power games,
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That slightly edited quote from Lewis Carroll would serve as a fitting epigraph for this book. It's about how to become the Alpha Male even when the other party seems to have all the advantages.
The first 94 pages of the book describe how to bully or trick the other side into paying attention. I'm sure the game truly is played this way in many corners of world finance. But if you're not secretly wishing you were the star in an action thriller, if you believe in win-win deals and civilized behavior, then this book is not for you.
I did not learn a single thing I could apply with my personality in my own business world, and I literally could not read any further.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crocdile Brain to EQ - A Book That Has It All,
Beyond his acronym for STRONG (Setting the Frame; Telling the Story; Revealing the Intrigue; Offering the Prize; Nailing the Hookpoint and Getting a Decision, his book is laced with essential neuroscience facts about the primitive to the neo-cortex brains. This is one area of knowledge that should not be ignored by crazy busy sales people or anybody who wants to be more successful in persuading others.
There are many gems sprinkled throughout the eight chapters and 218 pages. In the first paragraph, Klaff provides 76 words to summarize his book. Having been an educator and instructional designer of training materials and curriculum, the author brings an honest dialogue as to how people receive and digest information.
Also he connects neuroscience with economics and discusses neurofinance. This connection allows him to pitch anything with far greater success. What salesperson would not like to have that advantage?
The continual reference to the Crocodile Brain (primitive brain) helps to further understand how this first brain is a two-edge sword. Then the simple explanation about the Mid-brain and Neocortex explains how all three brains work simultaneously together and independently. There is also discussion about emotions and how being aware of those emotions (emotional intelligence) helps to further strengthen the pitch anything position.
By weaving his own personal experiences provides a rich context of examples. The reader is taken step by step through this 20 minute process where he or she can learn how to pitch anything with much greater success. Another gem is his discussion about building rapport and how this is truly old school.
This book is not only invaluable to sales people, but to anyone who is having trouble in having their messages received such as speakers, teachers and even parents. One of the best books on sales, marketing, selling and communicating I have read and the end result is here is a another way to showcase yourself to be The Red Jacket in a sea of gray suits.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read,
This review is from: Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal (Audible Audio Edition)I haven't read the book, but did watch the complete video course on Pitch Anything which has the same material as the book. The course is excellent and unless you successfully got funding before, then this will be something new to you. I recommend implementing this for any service company.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bravo!,
On my second read with highlighter.
I've been in professional sales and fundraising for over 38 years and, from my perspective, Klaff has truly discovered a new approach to pitching.
Some of the writing was a bit awkward and a few of the concept threads seemed like they needed a bit more editing (hence the 4 versus 5 stars).
Nevertheless, if you are involved in pitching investors get this book.
Read it carefully.
Begin implementing the concepts.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars some truths, but read with a critical eye,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Sales strategies are often discounted by Oren, which makes me want to put this book down immediately. In my opinion, this is naive and clearly derived from a person with admittedly no sales experience. Building rapport is all about learning about other people's frames, then using a lot of the psychological tools he describes in his book. It's about reframing a conversation, but such is only possible after understanding the person you're pitching's mindset. I'm going to finish this book, because it has nuggets of truth... but, it's important for people to read some sales books as follow-ups.
Oren's counter measures and defined efforts to maintain a psychological balance at the negotiation and pitch table are very valuable. I've definitely experienced the need to deliver a particular image and the power of doing so. Being able to shift one frame to the next is powerful, and I look forward to employing some of these techniques and seeing how they work. All-in-all, a decent read.
The key to sales is remembering why people buy. Oren mentions that money is a tool for investors. This is clearly true. It's a tool to derive value, and there are real constraints investors deal with. Learning these constraints, motivations, and desires has been most valuable for me in talking with investors. I'd spent a combination of efforts learning those, practicing and reading some books like this to get your psychological state in the right place. Here's my list of investment books in case you're curious: http://www.amazon.com/gp/wishlist/S4HVK1MNBNGD
Feel free to ask any f/u questions.
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