Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal

by: Oren Klaff

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Book Summary:

Oren Klaff’s Pitch Anything is a great read if you are looking to raise venture capital. His experience and expertise comes in the VC industry and all of his examples relate to that specific type of sales pitch.

However, there is still a lot of useful information in this book. At the heart of the book is a framework and some core concept that allow a reader to assert a dominant stance in an argument by controlling the very basic needs our brain’s are looking for.

The framework is broken down into these 6 steps:

  1. Setting the frame
  2. Telling the story
  3. Revealing the intrigue
  4. Offering the surprise
  5. Nailing the hook
  6. Getting a decision

Some other core concepts from the book are:

The Crocodile Brain: The part of your brain that is responsible for survival. It is always fearful and suspicious. From here decisions are made without your cognitive brain even realizing it.

Hot Cognition: Hot cognition is a hypothesis on motivated reasoning in which a person’s thinking is influenced by their emotional state. Put simply, hot cognition is cognition coloured by emotion.

Beta Traps: These are situations that you are put in, which automatically make pitching much more difficult. An example includes an office’s lobby. You are at their mercy for time, importance, etc. You must bust out of this trap and quickly change the frame when you are pitching.

One anecdotal story I will remember from the book is if someone says “Give me your pitch quickly I only have 15 minutes”, you should counter quickly with “Great, I only have 7”.

Biggest Takeaway:

Make the buyer qualify himself back to you. Do this by asking, “Why do I want to do business with you?”

After the pitch don’t show how much you need them to say yes. Refrain from saying “so, what do you think?”. Instead, withdraw. Withdrawl techniques are about scarcity and include: limited time, lots of demand elsewhere, and express concerns that this client might not be the right fit for this deal anyway because a good fit is so important to you.

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