90% of the communication we do mostly end up in the ‘croc’ brain of our audience. Croc brain is the oldest part of the brain, often known as reptile brain. It deals with survival, new situations, fight or flight, fear and sex. Here’s a typical croc brain response to your messages:
Boring -> Ignore it
Dangerous -> Fight or run.
Complicated -> Radically summarize (and lost ideas in the process) and pass it in severally truncated form.
The good news is the croc brain is attracted to novelty. Pitch Anything explains just that, a new and novel way to pitch anything in your life.
Make your sales pitch STRONG
- Set the frame
- Tell the strong
- Reveal the intrigue
- Offer the prize
- Get a decision
Use and embrace frames.
Whether you realize it or not, people are always trying to impose frames on each other. Imagine frame as a picture of what you want the interaction to be about. The most powerful thing about framing is only one side dominate. When two frames collide, the stronger triumphs over the weaker. Here’s an example when Oren entered a building to drop a sales pitch:
Receptionist: Good morning how can I help you?
Oren: I don’t need help, just tell me which office Don is in.
Receptionist: I’ll see if he’s in.
It’s not a typical conversation that goes down at the front desk. Sure, I feel like he’s being arrogant and condescending. However, Oren has a point and I believe there are circumstances where you better show your dominant form.
And remember, just because you have control doesn’t mean you will always have. The other person can push back anytime. So be prepared for that.
Know when you’re being imposed a frame.
Customer: hi, yes, umm, well… I only have about 10 minutes to meet with you, but come on in.
Salesperson: I really appreciate your time. Thanks for fitting me into your busy schedule.
This is again a common dialogue and a form of business etiquette. But it’s something Oren want you to avoid. It implies you saying “Here, please, crush my frame, control me and waste my time.”
Disrupt the frame.
Customer: hi, yes, umm, well.. I only have about 10 minutes to meet with you, but come on in.
You: No, I don’t work like that. There’s on sense in rescheduling unless we like each other and trust each other. I need to know, are you good to work with, can you keep appointments and stick to a schedule?
Customer: Okay, you’re right about that. Yeah, sure I can. Let’s do this now. I have 30 minutes. That’s no problem. Come on in.
Don’t react. Impress.
When you’re reacting to another person, that person owns the frame, not you. When he’s reacting to what you do and say, you own the frame.
Frame Control Checklist
- Politely ignore power rituals and avoid beta traps.
- Be unaffected by your customer’s social status.
- Look for opportunities to penetrate small denials and defiance.
- Take power, quickly move to discussion where you’re a domain expert.
- Apply a prize frame (position yourself as the reward for making the decision to do business with you)
- Confirm alpha status (it’s not as scary as it sounds)
Display your alpha status.
One way to show you’re alpha in a pitch is to make the other person defend himself in a light-hearted way. Oren says something like:
Oren: Remind me again why in the world I want to do business with you?
Customer: Because we’re the largest bank in town, Oren.
Intrigue with stories.
- Your story must be brief. The subject must be relevant to your pitch.
- You need to be at the center of the story.
- There should be risk, danger and uncertainty.
- There should be time pressure.
- There should be tension.
- There should be serious consequences for inaction.
Trendcast using 3 market forces.
When you describe your idea or product, give it context. Frame it using 3 market forces (trending patterns) that you believe are important. They are:
- Economic forces
- Social forces
- Technology forces
Economic force: The cost of making this product has just gone below $10 mark. This means retail price can be adjusted to $69. We’ve been waiting 2 years to hit that point.
Social force: One of the changes in our society today is people don’t sleep enough or sleep well. This problem is growing only 1.8% a year but awareness of its implications are skyrocketing. People know they need better sleep. It’s a hot topic at all levels of society.
Technology force: This device requires a controlling chip that is small enough to carry with you. And it has low production costs which allow us mass-market capabilities.
Trendcast using 3 steps.
- Explain the most important trends in their business.
- Elaborate the impact of these trends on the business.
- Explain how these trends have briefly opened a new opportunity.
Introduce ideas using Moore pattern.
The venture capitalist Geoff Moore developed idea introduction pattern decades ago which still works today. The pattern is:
For [target customers] who are dissatisfied with [the current offerings in the market],
my idea/product is a [new idea/product] that provides [key features].
Unlike [the competing product], my idea/product is [describe key features].
Here’s an example:
For companies with large buildings in California and Arizona, who are dissatisfied with their aging solar panels, my product is a plug-and-play solar accelerator that provides 35% more energy from old panels. And unlike the cost of replacing panels, my product is inexpensive and has no moving parts.
2 biggest realizations Oren got from sales journey
A good theory of mind matters more than the amount of information you give. All important stuff must fit into the audience’s limit of attention (which usually is about 20 minutes).
Pitch Anything: Getting Started
- Learn to recognize beta traps and how to step around them.
- Start stepping around beta traps.
- Identify and label social frames.
- Begin to intimate frame collisions (with low-risk safe targets).
- Take control of a social frame (create a certain amount of conflict and tension).
- Don’t force frame control (lighten up a little, smile, a twinkle in your eye, use humor, be positive).
- Work with other frame masters (apprenticeship leads to mastery faster than going it alone).