Book Review: Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff – Part 1
We know that every good business has a sales procedure that covers everything from expected sales activities, sales targets, prospecting methods, open and closed questions, scripts for different markets, but importantly, it equips the sales force with the tools they need to hit the ground running.
Have you ever noticed those people who are really talented when it comes to “selling?” From experience, many of the start-ups we have worked with have all struggled with their pitches, even though most of them had incredible ideas. Why are investors so reluctant, sometimes, to move forward with the deal?
Oren Klaff, author of Pitch Anything and fearless competitor uses the acronym STRONG (setting the frame, telling the story, revealing the intrigue, offering the prize, nailing the hook point, and getting a decision), a one-of-a-kind method, plain and simple. Now, let’s go over his key points.
Setting The Frame
When you are about to make your pitch, you may get stumped with the power frame, time frame, or the analyst frame. Think of frame like a mindset or the current state of the person you are dealing with. Klaff uses a series of frames such as the power-busting frame, time constraining frame, intrigue frame, and prize frame to conquer the above three frames.
The power frame is usually present when one party believes they are superior to the other. According to Pitch Anything, “when you abide by the rituals of power instead of establishing your own, you reinforce the opposing power frame.” For example, if someone is used to seeing $100 million deals close up in a single day, they aren’t going to be interested in a $60 million deal in 30 days. To control this power frame, Oren suggests using defiance and light humor because it captures attention and elevates your status as well. Oren refers to this as the local star power meaning you elevate your status and captivate attention.
The time frame is referred to technique and used to show that your time is valuable. For example, let a person know that you can fit him/her in your 30-minute period of time. This ensures that the other person will give you their focused, undivided attention instead of treating you like just “another pitch.”
Another technique Klaff uses is the prizing frame and this one is by far my favorite. What you have to do is reframe everything your audience says as if they are trying to win you over. He uses a line such as, “Can you tell me more about yourself? I’m picky about who I work with.” In many business situations, I saw myself getting stuck in the beta trap, which was a social ritual where I was stuck in a low-status position and remained there. This meant that I was stayed under the decision maker in any social interaction.
Lastly, Oren Klaff then presents the analyst frame in which he talks about pitches that dive into the “technical” side of things and where one can lose the attention of the audience. Klaff refers to statistics, facts, problem solving, and calculations as “cold cognitions,” which may take you away from your audience. You can conquer this frame by deploying an intriguing story frame. This story must be kept simple. You are the center of the story and by creating dimensions of danger, time pressure, and serious consequences; you maintain your audience attention.
Now that you have learned the use of framing, we will review Klaff’s big idea for pitching next!