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Learn How to ‘Pitch Anything’ with Oren Klaff, Ep #127

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Are you able to ‘pitch anything’ in the trenches of a difficult negotiation? Do you walk in a room and command respect, or position yourself as an inferior to your prospect? In this episode of Negotiations Ninja, I sit down with Oren Klaff to talk about building power, leverage, and the ability to pitch anything.

Oren is the Director of Capital Markets at Intersection Capital where he provides training, management, and advisory services. He is the President and CEO of Pitch Anything, and author of the books Pitch Anything and Flip the Script: Getting People to Think Your Idea Is Their Idea. He’s all about getting deals done efficiently and effectively. If you’re ready to engage and persuade on a higher level, don’t miss this fun-filled episode!

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:42] Oren Klaff’s background
  • [5:10] Neediness kills deals
  • [13:15] Establish yourself as a peer
  • [17:32] Run a meeting properly
  • [19:59] Take it to the next level
  • [24:40] Prove you understand the problem
  • [26:34] Is the Coronavirus an opportunity?

Pitch anything: getting deals done

Per Oren, he “toiled away in the coal mines of finance” helping companies raise money and grow. He worked in the “economic engine” of the United States at places such as Goldman Sachs and Bear Stearns. He learned how negotiation worked at a high level:

“You’re selling something but you cannot sell. You’re asking for something that you cannot ask for. You want something, but you cannot show that you want it and you need money and the whole time you have to say “I don’t need it”.”

He learned how to master this skill in the world of finance, but it is applicable in every industry, especially sales. He wrote Pitch Anything to be the manual for any meeting where you must learn how to maintain control and power—in a room full of people with authority and power. 

Oren points out that no deal gets done saying “please” and “thank you” with verbiage such as “I hope” and “I want”. Keep listening to find out what he means.

Neediness kills deals

You need to look like you’re willing to walk away. Easily said—but how do you accomplish that in reality? 

According to Oren, if you look needy, feel needy, or sound needy, the other person feels more powerful than you. This sets off a physiological response in that person. They perceive you at a surface level and take more risks with you (that they wouldn’t take with a peer or a superior). Neediness triggers danger inside of us on a subliminal level. Neediness transfers power to the other person. Oren doesn’t sugarcoat it: neediness kills deals.

That begs the question, how do you control that? How do you flip the switch off? Oren proposes that you simply don’t give up the little power that you do have. Anytime you hop on a call with a prospect and say things like “interrupt me with questions” or “is this still a good time for you?” are examples of statements or questions that lower your status and tell the other people they’re more important. If you keep listening, Oren shares a unique example to drive the point home.

Stop shooting the breeze

For those of you who are new to sales and negotiation, how do you navigate the process and espouse a sense of confidence you may not have? When asked this, Oren shot back: “Do you know how to run a meeting?”. Even if you’re not confident, if you know how a meeting should run, it’s all you need.

First and foremost, meetings don’t run economically or professionally if you start them off shooting the breeze. Sports, weather, politics, weekend plans, and barbeque grills are NOT the task-at-hand. There is a time and place for small-talk—and it is NOT during your business meeting.

Instead, walk through the big idea, what you think the problem is, your solution to the problem, who else does this, and what you think is the best choice. If you set expectations for the meeting immediately you’re steering it on the right course and therefore projecting confidence.

It’s time to raise the stakes

Oren points out that “Nobody wants to be in a meeting with you to hear things they already know, opinions that they already have, and hear about things that are changing that they’re already well aware of”. Your job is to highlight changes that will raise the stakes and effect the buyer, or show the investor something new is happening. Doing so frames you as the expert.

You must get the prospect to believe that you’ve solved their problem a thousand times and that it’s easy for you. That what you do is hard and other companies struggle to do the same thing. Instill confidence in them that you can carry them to the other side of the problem.

Oren notes that it’s better to spend the majority of a meeting talking about the problem and how familiar you are with it. He states “If you’re smart enough about the problem, people will believe that you have a solution”. As soon as you flip to pitching the solution, people are ready to wrap up the meeting and move on, so hold off as long as possible.

Listen to the whole episode as Oren talks in-detail about the concept of pitching anything. He also shares a Game of Thrones analogy to drive his point home. Don’t miss it!

Resources & People Mentioned

  • BOOK: Flip the Script by Oren Klaff
  • BOOK: Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff

Connect with Oren Klaff

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