Oren Klaff’s #1 best seller Pitch Anything has changed the landscape of sales and persuasion all over the world and netted him $400 million over the last 13 years. It’s used from Wall Street to the military. I’ve read Pitch Anything at least eight times and listened to the audio at least 15 times. It’s so underlined it’s literally falling apart. Oren Klaff sets the frame to pitch anything.
Oren, for the people that haven’t read your book yet, can you walk us thru the STRONG method so our readers can get pitching.
S is, Set the frame.
In a negotiation, each party sees themselves through a certain frame, a window – and they’re different. You see yourself and your product thru a frame, and the other person sees you and your product through a different frame, and until those frames combine and overlap to be the same window with the same perspective and the same story, interest, and value – no deal can be done.
Setting the frame helps people see why you’re valuable, why this price is fair, how the competition stands up, why you’re a good person. You have to frame those things or else they’ll frame them in a way that you can’t control. When frames combine the strongest frame will win and that’ll be the dominant perspective. When you have two opposing frames you call that a frame collision.
If the buyer believes your product is a commodity and he can get it anywhere, and that’s the strongest perspective, that’ll be the dominant frame. If the buyer owns the frame, he will force you to see your own product as a commodity and that’s no good.
It’s really important for people to grasp that the only thing that’s a commodity in the negotiation is the money and the buyer (customer) actually. There’s plenty of money and buyers (customers) around, but there’s only one of us.
If you’re lowering your status with the language you use as you set the frame, you’re raising their (buyers) status, so they believe you have a lower status. That’s when they’re going to tell you to do things and ask things that you don’t want to do. They’re going to suck all the information from you, give you nothing, and tell you, “Hey, we’ll think about it.”
You go away and your time has been wasted. Set the frame so your status is equal or higher than the buyer so you have control.
So, STRONG: S – Set the frame.
T – Tell the story.
Information is something people can get off the internet. If you give people information that’s something they already may have, so this has low value.
Tell the story, a narrative, and this satisfies their curiosity with a human story, paint the picture out of the facts and figures by putting in the human relationships and time frames.
Tell the story how tractors are no longer failing out in the field, now not risking farmers lives, far from home etc. The story of one failed tractor when somebody lost their life and didn’t have to, and this product makes sure that never happens again.
Those are stories in human drama terms, so give narratives that satisfy human curiosity over time is very fulfilling.
For example, if you talk about Star Wars and say, Here’s what happened.
Now, Luke he got mad. He got a lightsaber, he went and found this guy and fought him, spoiler alert, it’s his dad. They fought to the death and he returned to base.
It’s the two hour unfolding that makes this a satisfying story. That’s where you say, Come and spend some time with Kerwin.
Without telling you how to do it, that’s what to do.
Buyers are coming to have their curiosity satisfied and they can’t leave a meeting still 100 per cent curious because that’s confusion. Tell the story.
But, we’ve got a limited time frame to tell that story before they check out. With the human brain, 20 minutes is all you’ve got. The chemicals and function processes don’t allow it to pay attention to a static non-dynamic conversation for more than 20 minutes.
The brain is worried about survival, hunger, eating the next meal etc. After 20 minutes it starts to get extremely distracted. If the story’s boring or told very quickly or it’s not in a narrative format, it’s just information, that brain checks out.
S-Set the story, T-Tell the story, R- here we go…
R – Reveal the intrigue.
After you’ve been talking a while and they’re getting to know you, then they start to fade away and start thinking about other things. So you have to bring in something new, novel, something unexpected that re engages the mind and gets some adrenaline going, uses more energy stores in the brain. There’s hundreds of ways to re-invoke intrigue.
S – Set the frame, T – tell the story, R – reveal the intrigue…
O – Offer the prize.
The big difference in my presentations is I offer something – features and benefits 60 to 70 per cent into the presentation. In a 20 minute presentation, I do it in minute 12. It takes a professional to go, these are all the features and that’s what it is. Here’s all the benefits and that’s what you’ll get, and here’s the value. That’s how humans understand things.
How you do it, is very important. Others may do it in the first minute, in the first five per cent.
When people give a feature, they need to give a benefit; feature, benefit, feature, benefit. If you tell someone a feature and straight away tell them why it’s good, they go, “I don’t know what it is yet and you’re telling me it’s good. I’d like to draw my own conclusion.”
Selling, is letting people frame things, tightly, and letting them have the autonomy to draw their own conclusion. Now you’re selling.
S – Set the frame, T – tell the story, R – reveal the intrigue, O – offer the prize…
N – Nail the hook.
At some point, if you’ve done all this correctly the buyer will go – ‘I’m in’. And he will signal that at the hook point by helping a little bit by something that indicates he’s in. You have to be very aware and look for that hook point where the buyer is in. It could be very small, it could be leaning in, asking, “So, is it possible to get delivery still in March?”
And then, you’ve got to back off. At the moment somebody’s hooked, we want to give them autonomy. Human beings want autonomy.
When you’re at the hook point, you can relax for a while and let them regain some of the status you’ve taken away, let them gain some frame control. When I say it’s important to control, it’s not important to dominate or abuse or own. It’s important to guide through a very narrow field to help people understand the value of what you have, and why if they buy the competition it could be a lot worse than working with you.
Once they come to their own conclusion, human beings want autonomy they don’t want you to control them.
Let them come to their own conclusion and explain to you why they’re a good customer, and then, you’ve got to close it off at the end. You got to get the deal.
You can give buyers autonomy but if you give them total autonomy they’ll go, “Well, I’ll think about it.”
For you to get the deal, you introduce scarcity and close it up.
S – Set the frame, T – tell the story, R – reveal the intrigue, O – offer the prize, N – Nail the hook….
G: Get the deal.
Getting the deal, getting the commitment, and be authentic with your scarcity, you do this by showing a true willingness to walk away.
You have to be willing to walk away, and yes, you are going to lose some deals by walking away. It happens to me all the time and I’m thinking, I could’ve got that one if I worked it some more. But you’ll get many more sales and deals by telling people you cannot have this.
On these terms, in this way, for me, beyond such and such time… real scarcity. More people will follow and go, “Okay it’s a deal, let’s do it.”
You have to be willing to say, “That doesn’t work for me. If we don’t do it in this way it’s not going to happen,” and have a buyer walk away and you go, that’s fine.
Many many many more will respect your time, your product, your process. Buyers don’t sit in a static state, you’re either chasing them or they’re attracted to you. They’re never just neutral.
If you’re asking, why would I ever walk away? What is the time frame you spend to acquire a customer – nine, six, 12, 15 months? At some point you’ll lose money by spending so much time in that customer acquisition.
For me it’s sixty days. If they haven’t signed I’m out and I’m walking away. Ninety days is just too long. The number one thing that kills deals is neediness. So, at that point where the buyer goes, “Well, I’m not sure.”
And you say, “Well, what would make it work? What if I paint it black for you, what if I paint it blue for you? ”
You just went from attracting to chasing in a blink and that is neediness. You’re chasing them.
And as the primal brain tells us, that which chases us is a threat and we run away from threat. That which runs away is an opportunity that we move towards.
Yes. If you can’t ever imagine walking away, this will not work for you. So, G – Get the deal.
Okay Oren, can we have three steps to eradicate neediness in the pitch?
Three steps to eradicate neediness.
A definitive willingness to walk away.
Getting rid of; thank you, please and sorry in our pitch vocabulary.
Disconnect your own happiness from the buyer choosing you.
Oren, it’s always a real pleasure to see you and spend time with you, thank you.
Whatever you do now, you must go and buy yourself a copy of Pitch Anything.
For more information, check out, www.pitchanything.com