Transcript for Oren Klaff – Pitch Anything (Billionare Pitch-man Oren Klaff, teaches how to: Pitch Anything!)

welcome to the human experience podcast

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strangers thank you for listening we can

let this go if no no it’s all good my

producer is gonna love this by the way

nobody sent us a million dollars for

that that’s not a real company

we just have just made it up here okay I

know it sounds good

everyone calm down in fact you can steal

that idea it doesn’t matter how good

your product your service your idea your

company is if you start that

presentation from the low status

position you will not be listened to

what’s up guys what an interesting

interview with me author of a book

called pitch any big mr. Oren cloth and

it’s really intriguing what he has done

as far as the neuro economics behind how

we pitch things in our lives whether

it’s to billion-dollar companies that

has an entrepreneur or startup or to

your girlfriend or your wife or your

husband or boyfriend’s and where you’re

going to dinner that night but you put a

formula into not selling but pitching

different ideas and there’s so much

value in this conversation I really

really truly think you guys will enjoy

it here is that conversation or at least

the public section of the conversation

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the human experience is in session my

guest today is mr. Oren Klaff Oren thank

you so much for your time and presence

sir welcome to hxp hey for the three

seconds I’ve been here I’m happy to be


well I mean the you know the history of

me finding you is pretty interesting I

talked to a friend of mine and I was in

the process of pitching these these

startups and I’m sure he’ll be listening

but he’s just like you’ve got to check

out this guy named Warren Oren Klaff and

I’m like what do you tell when you talk

money’s like he wrote this book called

pitch anything you’ll love it you’ll

love it so I dove into your material but

for the people that don’t know anything

about you can you just kind of lay that

out for us please well let me see yeah I

mean if we’ve got the the audiobook is

about six and a half hours so let me

read that to you now if you have listen

listen so the most of us aren’t straight

up and down attack dog

salespeople or CEOs or engineers or

salespeople entrepreneurs we’re pitching

a deal and we don’t like this sense of

always be closing

selling asking people begging people

being in the supplicant position trying

to close a deal from the low status low

power position so what happens if we’re

just a regular we’re an engineer or a

CEO or an entrepreneur we want to pitch

ourselves authentically but powerfully

without selling without feeling cheesy

that’s very difficult to do and pitch

anything is a way to understand how the

mind of the buyer works so you’re

presenting your company your deal your

product your service whatever it is so

it comfortably slips into the mind of

the buyer they feel good about it you’re

not being cheesy and it’s a comfortable

fun novel interesting experience for

everybody to meet you while you’re

selling your deal whatever it is and so

as people have learned to do it the way

I do it the the reputation is built and

I know maybe half of Silicon Valley now

pitches deals to pitch anything wait

because you don’t feel cheesy you don’t

feel like you’re begging and you’re

doing things the way humans actually


to work with each other maybe I would

explain it that way okay let’s let’s go

back a little bit and dig into the pitch

anything method you send out a lot of

different emails about all of your

different experiences in in pitching all

these different companies it’s very very

intriguing so if you could just just

back up a little bit and give us the

breadth of the the pitch editing process

please yeah so what I mean I would go

back to one step from that when you look

online most of the information online as

sales or motivation or life coaching or

how to start a business are from

marketers they really haven’t done

anything or they’ve done it once I’ve

spent my life day after day on the phone

or in boardrooms trying to get ten

million dollars 50 million dollars 70

million dollars from banks from

billionaires from private equity funds

hedge funds venture capital group’s

companies and so pitch anything is

really about those experiences having

done that a thousand times being in a

thousand pitches raising a billion

dollars in capital and seen a thousand

pitches being given to me and so it’s

born of experience not ideas or reading

a science journal on Harvard Business

Review and and sort of thinking that’s

how the world works based on that what

I’ve learned is that it doesn’t matter

what you say as much what you say in a

presentation is how you got to that

presentation by that I mean what is the

status that you carry into a meeting

onto a call it doesn’t matter how good

your product your service your idea your

company is if you start that

presentation from the low status

position you will not be listened to

people don’t pay attention to those with

low status and if you’re inexperienced

some people come in with low status and

they lower it even further from there

what can we do to a preserve the little

status we have and B grow our status

very quickly prior to even giving the

information about what we have that’s

one of the central questions around how

to give good great amazing presentation

I love that because you’re right

I mean status if you just as an example

when we started this show it was

difficult to get big names on it was

difficult to get people to listen to

what we’re doing now it’s extremely rare

for someone to say no to being on the

show after they see the numbers and the

metrics and the people that we’ve had on

just so it’s a very status oriented

thing you also talked about frame

control how does this how does the

person work with frame control are using

NLP term first off now get mad because

we’ve talked early it’s Thursday it’s

not a Mondays I’m nice on Thursdays kind

of a dick up so so NLP let’s just if we

can strike that from our vocabulary it

is not taught at any credentialed

college university academic institution

it’s not a real thing

you can’t touch someone on their left

shoulder look up to the left and have

them you know by your service

there’s just the NOP is not a thing by

contrast you can look at something like

EMDR which is as obscure sounding as NLP

it which you move do you know yeah they


yes yeah its movement of your your eye

movement to evoke an emotional response

but not what it means so so yeah just in

ten seconds or less EMDR is the movement

of the eyes which releases your ability

to access emotional trauma that you

might otherwise be blocking I look I’m a

finance guy hocus-pocus it’s not for me

but EMDR is real it’s taught at Harvard


you know it’s clinically valid in NLP

never been clinically validated so

anyway um the I’m sorry we got lost down

the NLP

raffle but I think that’s it

I’m a little bit delirious because I’ve

been working pretty hard all week as

well so we can let this go I mean if no

no it’s all good my producer is gonna

love this

so Bob frames frames are an abstract

subject you know in a radio show and a

podcast but we’ll try and get at them

really quickly okay what I found in most

presentations is that the call an

entrepreneur going to pitch a startup

right he gives the information it is a

growing market of Millennials who can’t

find the right kind of lunch and pet

care therefore we have a website that

has pet care and lunch listings similar

to Craigslist we have 50,000 freemium

users here’s what our key assumptions

are here’s who our team is here’s who

the competition is here’s how the market

we believe is growing and here’s the

amount of capital we need to fund the

start a very basic startup pitch right

by the way nobody sent us a million

dollars for that that’s not a real

company we just have just made it up

here okay I know it sounds good

right everyone calm down in fact you can

steal that idea so but the problem is

that doesn’t have a narrative around it

it is just information and it allows the

audience or the investor to frame the

information in his own way right because

there’s no ideas it’s just information

and so a frame is literally a window

that you give the investor or the buyer

or the other person you’re doing

business with to see what you have

because there are too many points of

views too many angles too many ways to

assemble the information that you’re

giving that if you don’t frame it

they’ll interpret it in a way that you

definitely don’t want them to and that’s

what selling is is once somebody builds

with their own narrative and feeds it

back to you about what you have then you

spend the rest of time going no the way

you’ve seen this is wrong here’s how you

should really see it that way you would

see value so once you let somebody frame

what you have

in their own mind in their own

perspective then you’re spending the

rest of the presentation trying to

reframe it and bring them to your

perspective the job of you is to give

the the perspective that you want them

to see your information at the beginning

that’s framing no business deal can be

done unless two people on other sides of

the table have the exact same point of

view right if you think the price should

be higher they think the point should be

lower price should be lower no deal can

be done if they think the product is too


you think it’s perfectly suitable no

deal can be done until both sides of the

same point of view the same frame on the

same information can’t do deal your job

is framing hmm interesting okay so what

I saw from pitch anything was you call

it the strong method which I’m going to

go through really fast but you can do

probably better than ease setting the

frame telling the story revealing the

intrigue offering the prize nailing the

hook point getting the decision we

talked about moving into the pitch and

setting the frame how do we tell a story

with what we have okay

so setting the frame is really about

building and narrative alright and give

you an example software company comes to

me and they have a router that is for

public services so 911 oneplus works on

it 9-1-1 emergency calls work on it and

it sort of routes emergency data i then

so they’re the way they started the

presentation is the way you know

probably anybody has a software we have

a software system with two million lines

of code it’s very effective at routing

data between government agencies and it

has a one millisecond you know transmit

time the downtime is less than one

millisecond for 24 hours and it is

cost-effective for local agencies both

fire armor

urgency and place to implement and has

is an update from the existing aging

system right so as with the basic pitch

so I got my hands on this and I felt

like if there’s no Nair there’s a story

behind it there’s not nobody is getting

into your swim lane and appreciating

what’s going on here it’s unfeigned

right so this is how I thought to do

that exact same presentation today if

there’s an unfortunate twist of fate in

your life a slip a fall a crash or worse

your instincts will be to dial 911

election will put your faith in the

hands of a byzantine network of phone

operators private contractors and public

services good luck

once you know how a 911 call is routed

you’ll buckle up more often wear better

equipment for the sports you play and

generally live a more cautious life

because a 911 response time can be 15

and a half minutes or more will you

survive that maybe probably hopefully

but if you’re disabled or critically

injured then seconds count for this

reason it’s possible that a 911 call

will be the last call you ever make but

it’s not just about personal injury 911

is a serious problem for hospitals and

emergency responders too it costs them

eight billion dollars a year in

unnecessary readmissions so that’s my

introduction for us saw your directives

yeah what is it doing it’s raising the

stakes making right now we’re out of

software and we’re into life and death

right now we’re out of unknown economics

into eight billion dollars a year of

unnecessary cost and we’re personalizing

it’s not about 5% the market or 7% the

market it’s about you and what could

happen to you in your life and it has a

psychological realism right and so a lot

of things happening here in less than

160 words that’s proper framing so a lot

of this is really you know designing a

story and

narrative getting your frame right and

and just having having a sense of of

what you’re doing

really so am i yes I’m going to put it

this way get when you start a

presentation nobody is ready to get

received the understand that customers

you have and the number of lines of code

and the ROI and your product then the

value proposition they’re just all

they’re busy right they’re thinking

about their lot their grocery lists and

laundry lists and where they’re going to

go on vacation and which girlfriend they

got to decide on and they’re having a

baby and with the baby’s name going to

be and the taxes are due all that stuff

right you have to get them into your

swim lane with something new interesting

novel and and something they have not

heard before

right so introduction let’s go let’s

keep it let’s keep it interesting so you

know we’re talking about specifics but I

kind of want to get a little bit more

general with you know what you’re doing

what’s the what’s the biggest pitch

you’ve ever done I’m working on I’m

working on the acquisition of a twenty

three billion dollar public company

right now can you recall a moment where

you were completely losing your mind –

right before pitch can you share that

story with us or do you usually have a

good idea of what you’re doing for you

pitch yeah yeah so I think that’s a

great topic with what what I try and do

I mean you always want to pee right yeah

I treat these things as performances

it’s not open mic night it is an

audience has paid they may not have paid

money but they paid with their time the

stakes are high you’re trying to get

something and and you’re going to give a

prepared presentation so I view these as

a performance whenever you’re going to

perform you’re always going to be a

little you know weirded out and

wondering how you’re going to do so I

see yeah I’m going to a thousand

presentations a year people come give it

to me and inside of our platform if you

so if you go to pitch anything calm you

can submit a pitch and I see a lot of

presentations and

people just go and wing it right because

they know the basic information about

the company to deal the product whatever

and so so they go in and wing it and but

for me when you wing it a lot of bad

things happen but but basically your

presentation is a performance that you

should know and be confident in the

order of the things you’re introducing

right and so the way you know you’re

giving a presentation like Mike nobody

interrupts there’s no questions being

asked nobody’s looking at their phone

right because I’m giving a performance

and people laugh and you have their

attention attention the whole time in

fact I’ve given presentations to boards

asking for their business at the end of

the presentation

they’ve applauded right and the head of

the board comes up and goes no no no no

no no we don’t applaud our vendors right

presentation we look at them very

sternly and stoically like a garden

gnomes rind of stone garden gnomes and

then we send them on their way and then

we vote on them and you know and then

they go no it was so good hey Loren can

you do that again we love that right so

anyway the point is I view these as a

pitch as a performance that you’re

giving in some of you have confidence in

and you know is psychologically

compelling Soren I mean essentially

we’re all playing this sort of game

right and in an idyllic sort of perfect

world all negotiations would be in a

win-win sort of scenario but we don’t

live in this utopia where everything

everyone wins there is some there’s a

winner I just love that and often you’re

one of the first people that is you know

brought that to the table and they say

it’s just it’s imperfect and these you

know business deals somebody wins and

somebody loses these are not win-win it

is not the perfect academic calculus

transaction there’s winners and losers

in every deal they are imperfect

so most of my listeners are probably not

itching billion-dollar deals so let’s

just let’s just reduce this down to like

a common denominator thing that we

possibly can which is placing a

Craigslist ad let’s say that you want to

sell your iPad and you know to use the

iPad there’s no scratches on the screen

or anything like that you’ve got the

story down which is you just don’t use

it anymore and you you want to get the

most that you can out of it from the

person that’s going to be buying it they

want to pay least for it so I mean in

that sense

how are you you know how is a person

setting the frame there and in a

relatable way because I don’t think er

you know most people are not them so

there’s all kinds of frames I gave you

some complex one but the one I would go

to is a time frame that’s in frame we

all even have the basic lexicon or words

around right we all say hey what’s the

time frame on this so first of all I

would frame that in time with a time

constraint so there’s one frame you can

put on immediately

okay and what other types of frame

frames are there there’s a power fry so

the moral authority frame I don’t know

what the circumstances are of this ipad

but it was used in our church by the

priest right five times interesting

right and then he asked us to sell it

because he doesn’t use it that much so

there’s a moral authority frame where it

implies that you know the priest of a

congregation is not going to sell you

something that’s broken so it’s a moral

authority frame right that’s that’s an

extreme example but it’s an example of

the moral authority frame and so there’s

a moral authority frame there’s a time

constraint frame there’s an intrigue

frame so a lot of this is just

psychology it’s like they’re in human

human psychology you’re kind of playing

around with perception and humans so I

think that’s right I the thing is human

psychology is expansive

and if you have to dip into the magic

cauldron of human psychology for every

deal every transaction you have too many

tools it’s like you know a home depot

for foot tools and so frames are ones

that are easy to understand work every

time and you just you can see them

working and they’re reliable so for

example if you put a time frame on every

single deal that you have you will

improve your conversion results or your

sales results or your even if you’re at

home trying to pick up a vacation right

for your family and say hey guys we got

to decide by the end of the weekend is

it Hawaii or is it Colorado the function

of bringing a time frame to that

negotiation will improve the decision


I think I think in pretty much any

negotiation adding time or adding a time

equivalent is is going to change the

metrics of what’s happening in that

situation I want to talk about something

that you talked a lot about in your in

your emails and this is what I’ve what

I’ve read from you is getting past this

sort of inbox is very elusive guarded

space that most people have and I think

I think my audience will connect with

this is when they’re pitching someone or

when they’re trying to get a hold of

someone it’s like getting past that that

goes okay so couple things about first

of all people have to recognize we say

hey I’m going to pitch so give me an

example of a something that we’re

pitching and to who so we can just make

this real okay let’s let’s keep it


and use myself as an example let’s say

that I’m pitching someone to come onto

the show the first thing that I usually

have my assistant do is bring up a

contact email address we’ve never we’ve

never exchanged emails with this person

before unless someone recommends them to

us so if we’re reaching out to someone

that we’ve never contacted before

there’s there’s a very elusive sort of

guarded inbox but I think a lot of

people kind of face and we get a lot of

emails here at hxp so how how do you how

do you get your pitch past the lead this

rock three things know five things so

wait 11 think 172 things to worry about

alright job one is to signal I’m not a

robot because we all get marketing if it

looks we’re all good at recognizing what

is your robotic so job one is to have

that thing scream I’m not a robot a real

person at a company wrote this okay job

one it’s lots of ways to do that

starting with the subject you know

through the first line right the second

thing is

the email is not about you it’s about

them all right okay okay you got me


can we talk a little bit more about that

please sure hey Oren so the subject is

show sh o w all lowercase I have to open

that because JP Morgan did not send me

an email in lower case it says show some

kids either either some robot

malfunctions or you sent it interesting

second is hey Lauren followed what

you’ve been publishing for about two


love the blog post on psychological

realism and the video that you posted

two weeks ago on XYZ would love to

attend the upcoming comments are going

to be there not sure probably in LA at

the time but I hope you continue

publishing the material hmm okay I know

that we have some sort of relationship

that I may not be active in but I’m not

on a list because a list can’t generate

that okay so making it about me lets me

know that this is got some depth right

the next thing is some social

involvement so if it’s just you and I I

can bounce out of this email with no

real consequences you’ve done a good job

because I’ve opened it I know that your

real person and I know that this isn’t

just a marketing message this is about

something right but I can still delete

that email really quickly so what you’re

going to bring to bear is a third party

social relationship which prevents me

from ignoring you for psychological

reasons my friend you know just as you

mentioned refer me to you a couple

months ago he’s a huge fan you know of

the thousand people he’s referred to

book two I’m one of them you see how

that prevents me from ignoring you yeah

and if you by the way if you see seed a

friend right that’s even more brutal

or you say I bcc’d him now I don’t even

know if it’s PC but I can’t piss off a

guy who’s referred a thousand people to

me I have to respond to that you’re not

a robot it’s a real email it’s been

about me and there’s a social connection

I have to respond to it boom

you’re through the inbox done okay okay

so where Orin where do you see pitches

fail failing the most what is it what is

the most common thing that you see

people making mistakes when they’re when

they’re pitching someone something

anything so the biggest mistake is

signaling that you don’t actually have

to pay attention to the pitch to get the

information from it right is you’ve

either seen this picture before

somebody’s either seen the pitch before

it’s extremely fluid and they can guess

what it is you’re going to say and the

conclusion you’re going to make so if

it’s not new novel and intriguing with

things they haven’t heard or know about

that’s a huge mistake if you need to

give someone information you put in a

FedEx package and you send it to them

right that’s what FedEx is for to come

to somebody’s office and give them a

presentation if you signal to them

they’ve already seen this presentation

from another company they can guess what

the rest of it is or phone you know even

if it’s a phone call they will check out

and what was so that’s the number one

problem I see is you can easily guess

what this slide what this topic what

this information is about and that lets

you tune out all right so that’s that’s

a huge problem that most people step

into we already talked about the lack of

a narrative and just go our company

makes a signal processor that is very

effective for increasing bandwidth you

know across

wireless networks and some of our logos

are Microsoft IBM Yahoo and GE and were

differentiated from the other products

by the cost of our box and the speed of

our signal right so that’s the other

thing we see what it is

what the features are and what the

benefits are so people do that in the

first three to five minutes at the start

of the presentation that’s it

nobody needs to listen to you anymore

there’s nothing all they need to know at

that point is price and then go to the

internet and see if it’s cheaper

anywhere else right so without a

narrative just giving the features the

benefits and the differentiation nobody

else needs to hear nobody needs to hear

anything else so starting out features

benefits differentiation logos to me is

a huge mistake in a in a business

presentation for the audience’s sake I

just want to say that we’re there’s some

there’s an iceberg and we’re just

touching the tip of this because you

till you go into something called frame

stacking and then hot cognitions and can

you define what a hot cognition is oh I

can also include that as part of the red

flags or miss you know common mistakes

that you know they see all the time so

another huge mistake right and this is

part of odd cognitions is using a

presentation right somebody comes to a

slide deck slides up on the screen right

and and what I see most of time is the

slide goes up the presenter looks at the

slide and reads the audience the slide

and maybe that’s the same thing on a

Skype presentation or screen share or

whatever right a pitch a sales

presentation telling somebody your ideas

no slides get rid of all the slides

right it means the slides are extremely

just distract and they break the

narrative it should be you talking to

the other people about what it is you

have and you knowing what the problems

they face are so slides and reading

slides are a huge problem red flag you

know as part of the mistakes and so you

know what is that putting up slides and

reading them or reading about them to

the audience is emotionless right it’s

so flat and two-dimensional and doesn’t

carry any of the nuances and

strengthened notions and color and

ability and language and in

and interest we have as humans so it’s

hot so these are called so when you tell

somebody market size KPIs key

assumptions of ROI features the the list

of features competitive benefits to the

competition these are all called cold

cognitions they require analysis by the

mind of the other person whenever you

put somebody into analysis mode right by

doing math or badoom comparisons making

them think about engineering right you

it’s the term Fodor is called

paradigmatic mode right and when you put

someone in an analysis cold analysis

paradigmatic mode they it becomes very

difficult for them to make a decision to

go with you because they’re in analysis

mode they’re going to have a question

and more question at the end of the

presentation you can say so what do you

think I’m going to say every single

person that you put in analyst mode will

say the same thing this sounds very

interesting or definitely want to talk

about it internally learn a little bit

more please give us the information I’ll

take it up to committee or we’ll meet

with the partners or meet with my staff

and we’ll get back to you if we have any

additional questions so if you put

anybody into analytical mode that’s the

only answer they will ever give you at

the end of the presentation we need to

think about it

those old cognitions rely on analysis

and math and numbers and you know those

kind so so hot cognitions are when you

get people into an emotional mode and

they look it’s no secret and most sales

is about emotions right but pitching is

a little bit different one thing we

didn’t talk about is the difference

between a sale and a pitch okay right

and so that’s an important part of all

of this is when you’re selling you can

sort of have multiple bites at the Apple

right when you sell a paper like in the

show the office right so they call out

this hey we won

bringing by some paper samples and they

drop by the office and what do you think

we have this heavyweight and we have

this new pink and this one doesn’t Jam

and the company goes you know we’re kind

of stocked it up this here there’s all

very interesting why don’t we try one

ream through the copier and come back

next quarter when we have more budget


and so it’s selling right you’re

building relationship and you have

multiple bites at the Apple you can come

back show different products when you

have something new you can always come

back in its selling when you go to pitch

get a role in a movie get a loan from a

bank get some investment from a venture

capital firm you know in the it’s

there’s one shot right and it’s yes or

no you can’t go to a bank and pitch a

deal and then they go listen it’s a no

but once you come back in a week or a

couple weeks and let’s take a look at

the deal again maybe we’ll like it then

that since the beginning of time has

never happened right when you go to a

venture capital firm they go sorry for

us it’s a pass

they don’t go it’s a kind of pass once

you come back in a couple weeks look at

the past is the past try it

saving you’re in your laughing so when

you’re pitch you have to you will get a

yes or a No

at that either go forward or don’t go

forward at the end so the stakes are

higher ups or high or high

you know Orrin it stick with me through

the clothes here but where you know

where can people find your work bitch

Jenny thing working people find more

about you is your are you doing

workshops or anything like that seems so

great yeah so the easiest thing to do I

think is go to pick anything calm and

sign up send you some of my thoughts and

email and you see if you love that stuff

and you want to keep getting it which a

lot of people do and then will say hey

we got our workshop here wanted to

they’re usually there in LA or San Diego

but the place to start

it’s picked anything calm and of course

if for some reason you’re the one person

on earth left who hasn’t read pitch

anything go you know find that and and

read it so all right man I really enjoy

the energy man I really enjoy the

playfulness in the openness of this

interview and your time and presence the

rest of this conversation will be posted

in the members content area where we’re

curating the core meat of what we’re

talking about with these people know

their secrets and if you want those

secrets you’re going to want to become a

member it’s super worth every penny of

that I promise you so get over to the

human xpcom slash members that will

direct you into becoming a member and it

will help support the show you will help

us continue doing what we’re doing if

you can connect with what we’re doing

then you know you should want to do that

thank you guys so much for listening and

this is Xavier we will see you guys next

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