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Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal Hardcover – February 16, 2011
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Using the S.T.R.O.N.G. Method, you will discover that PITCH ANYTHING gives you a common vocabulary in identifying hurdles that might keep you from getting your next deal. You will learn how to read subtle (but obvious) shifts in power during meetings; how to own the room by creating local star-power and capture the alpha position; you will learn when to press forward and when to pause. Once you realize you have control over the agenda and the flow, you’ll always stay composed, get the high-status position, own the frame, and get to the hook point. Then, closing is easy.
PITCH ANYTHING is a fast-paced narrative packed with crystal clear examples illustrating the unique S.T.R.O.N.G. Method, which takes advantage of how the brain really works by Setting the Frame; Telling the Story; Revealing the Intrigue; Offering the Prize; Nailing the Hookpoint; and Getting a Decision. These are methods to get frame control, a way of making your perspective the dominant one in social encounters. Each of these tactics can get you closer to closing a deal. Used together, they give you complete control over the pitch process.
IF YOU’RE THE FRONT MAN, THE PERSON WHO HAS TO PITCH THE DEAL OR SELL SOMETHING, THEN TODAY YOU HAVE TO RISE TO A NEW LEVEL. Your marketplace is more crowded than ever. Socially,with people’s attention splintered over half dozen devices, and the speed of life increasing, the attention of your target is growing more and more scarce. If you can’t get and keep your target’s attention, then it doesn’t matter how well you present the information about your product or deal. And getting attention isn’t a technical or business skill; it’s become social skill.
From the Back Cover
ADVANCE PRAISE FOR THE PITCH ANYTHING FORMULA:
"Fast, fun and immensely practical."
--JOE SULLIVAN, Founder, Flextronics
"Move over Neil Strauss and game theory. Pitch Anything reveals the next big thing in social dynamics: game for business."
--JOSH WHITFORD, Founder, Echelon Media
"What do supermodels and venture capitalists have in common? They hear hundreds of pitches a year. Pitch Anything makes sure you get the nod (or wink) you deserve."
--RALPH CRAM, Investor
"Pitch Anything offers a new method that will differentiate you from the rest of the pack."
--JASON JONES, Senior Vice President, Jones Lang LaSalle
"If you want to pitch a product, raise money, or close a deal, read Pitch Anything and put its principles to work."
--STEVEN WALDMAN, Principal and Founder, Spectrum Capital
"Pitch Anything opened my eyes to what I had been missing in my presentations and business interactions."
--LOUIE UCCIFERRI, President, Regent Capital Group
"I use Oren's unique strategies to sell deals, raise money, and handle tough situations."
--TAYLOR GARRETT, Vice President, White Cap
"A counter-intuitive method that works."
--JAY GOYAL, CEO, SumOpti
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-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.
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.
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.