Pitch Anything Book Summary: In Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff, the main points that I learnt about were of frame control, and removing neediness. In communicating with people, you should only use simple concepts initially, otherwise your message will be ignored and you become invisible to the audience’s mind.
The best pitches follow this sequence, STRONG:
Set the frame
Tell the story
Reveal the intrigue
Offer the prize
Nail the hook point
Get the deal
Using Frames To Win Pitches
A successful pitch depends on your ability to build strong frames. Defiance and humor are the keys to seizing the frame, with being playful and enjoying the game as the best approach.
In decision making, it’s a myth that we do analysis. Instead, we go with our gut. So it’s imperative that you learn how to stack frames up together.
Even with frame control, you will still face discomfort and people pushing back. The key is to always keep moving forward, and not show self-doubt. Plow forwards, like an ox plowing a field.
The Power Frame
Customers who have a big ego, big titles, or are entitled.
If the customer is busy on their phone and not paying attention to your pitch, say: “Hey, I would just hate to have to use my superpowers to take your phone from you while I finish my amazing presentation” and smiling big at the same time.
The Intrigue Frame
No one takes a meeting to hear about something they already know and understand, so when the customer thinks they have discovered the answer, they’ll mentally check out.
The key is to share your personal story, and not fully, keeping them intrigued. Keep it exciting with emotions like risk, fear, tension, uncertainty, etc.
The Time Frame
Close with a time frame, example: “Unfortunately, this is a temporary offer, I will keep it open until the end of the day at the most.”
Customer: “Hey, I only have 5 minutes, but come in.”
You: “Thank you for your time. Thanks for fitting me into your busy schedule.”
This is the wrong approach because you’re handing the power to the customer. Here’s a better way.
You: “Sorry I don’t work like that, we can’t reschedule unless I know we can work well together and trust each other. I need to know if you’re the kind of person who can keep an appointment, and stick to a schedule?”
This breaks his time frame.
When the customer is saying they only want to know figures and numbers, they’re using the analyst frame. Don’t get trapped, or you’ll waste your time spitting out numbers and projections that your customer isn’t even interested in listening to.
The most effective way to overcome the analyst frame is with an intriguing story with a personal narrative and lots of emotions and hooks.
The Prizing Frame
Get your customer to understand that he is a commodity and you are the prize. Never let it go the other way around.
People confuse money with the prize. Money is never the prize; it’s a commodity, or a means of getting things done.
Position yourself as the prize and someone who the client would be privileged to work with. Make the buyer qualify himself to you. Value yourself, and do not hesitate to walk away if the other side doesn’t give you what you want.
For example: If the key decision maker didn’t arrive for the meeting, do not start the meeting. Wait 15 minutes and if that person still doesn’t show, politely leave.
Whenever people ask, you should always know who you want to work with, and who you don’t want to work with.
The Moral Authority Frame
Align yourself with strong moral character and with significant, intangible issues that your customer will value. Oren Klaff says, “Show the brain something that society values, and you won’t just be hitting hot buttons, you’ll be stomping on them.”
While his sales competitors were busy focusing on plans, figures, spreadsheets, etc, his team’s pitch was about understanding the airport’s history, respecting its heritage, and making important contributions to the airport’s local community.
Status and framing go hand-in-hands. Having a high social status is helpful to gain dominance in a frame. To enhance your alpha status, use phrases such as “Have you done a deal this large before?” or “Remind me again why in the world I want to do business with you?”
Essentially, you want to demonstrate defiances that strengthen your frame, which also elevates your status. Remember not to be aggressive or forceful – ideally you want to be challenging and funny.
Never do things to enhance the other party’s alpha status. Always be on time, but never wait for the other person. You can wait for 10 minutes, but leave when the time is up.
Pitching Your Big Idea
Phase 1: Introduce Yourself and the Big Idea (5 minutes)
Even before you think about explaining your idea, give people your background. However, there is no point in spending 15 minutes or longer on the background.
Rather than one great, one good and one mediocre thing, stop with one great thing. Only big things are worth talking about. Get your track record on the table, and do it fast, clean, and problem-free.
This is an ideal introduction pattern for establishing the big idea:
For (target customers)
Who are dissatisfied with (the current offering in the market)?
Our product/service is (a new idea/product category)
That provides a solution to (key customer problems).
Unlike (the competing product),
We have (differentiating key features).
Phase 2: Explain the budget and secret sauce (10 minutes)
All the essential stuff must fit into the audience’s limits of attention (commonly 20 minutes). Keep information novelty high.
Don’t dwell on the figures but instead, focus on demonstrating excellence in budgeting.
Indicate “worst case scenarios” and that your company has the cash to last through bad times.
Secret Sauce: Don’t hesitate to talk about your competitors. Describe your competitive advantages, and the unfair advantages and edges you have over others.
Phase 3: Offer the deal (2 minutes)
Tell them, simply and concisely, what they’ll get when they’ll do business with you. Include all the essential details, preempting any doubts or questions.
Neediness, such as validation-seeking, causes a person’s croc brain to take over. Neediness is a sign of weakness/threat. Examples of neediness after a pitch ends are:
1. “So, what do you think?”
2. “We can sign a deal right away if you want us to.”
When we want something that only the target can give us, like money, we set the stage for neediness.
- Try to eliminate your desires, at least in the eyes of the public. It’s not necessary to want things. Sometimes you have to let them come to you.
- Be excellent in the presence of others. Show people one thing that you are very good at.
- Withdraw. The moment your audience expects you to chase after their money, do not do it. Just step back a bit. If the situation worsens, walk away saying something like “I’m not convinced about the deal.”
Examples of strong closes (non-needy):
- This deal will be fully subscribed in the next 14 days.
- We don’t need VC money, but we want a big name on our cap sheet that will strengthen our initial public offering (IPO) registration.
- I think you guys are interesting, but are you really the right investor? We need to know more about you and the relationships and brand value your firm can bring to our deal.
Pitch Anything Book Summary Lessons
Thank you for reading Pitch Anything Book Summary. The above book summary is just a concise summary of the lessons that I had learnt from the book. I’ve also provided a link to a PDF version of this below. To get all the points and stories covered in the full book, you should purchase the full book.
Buy The Book: Pitch Anything (Amazon)