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Success Story Podcast

Oren Klaff, Author & Managing Director at Intersection Capital | Pitch Anything | SSP Interview

By June 21, 2020March 5th, 2022No Comments


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Oren Klaff is one of the world’s leading experts on sales, raising capital and negotiation. His first book, Pitch Anything, is required reading throughout Silicon Valley, Wall Street and the Fortune 500, with more than 1,000,000 copies in print worldwide.

He has written for Harvard Business Review, Inc., Advertising Age, Entrepreneur and has been featured in hundreds of periodicals, podcasts and blogs. He is an investment partner in a $200 million private equity investment fund and in his spare time is a motorcycle enthusiast.

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The Success Story podcast is focused on speaking to incredible people who have achieved success through trials, tribulations, wins and losses. In each episode we sit down with leaders and mentors. We document their life, career and stories to help pass those lessons onto others through insights, experiences and tactical strategy for business professionals, entrepreneurs and everyone in between.

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sales, people, buyer, pitch, selling, autonomy, control, problem, status, book, business, deal, question, ideas, attract, salesperson, company, plain vanilla, finance, podcast


Scott D Clary, Oren Klaff


Scott D Clary  00:06

Welcome to the success story podcast. I’m your host, Scott Clary. On this podcast I have candid interviews with execs, celebrities, politicians and other notable figures, all who have achieved success through both wins and losses. To learn more about their life, their ideas and their insights, I sit down with leaders and mentors and unpack their story to help pass those lessons on to others through both experiences and tactical strategy for business professionals, entrepreneurs and everyone in between. Without further ado, another episode of the success story podcast. Alright, thanks again for joining us. Today, I am very excited to be sitting down with Oren Klaff, who is the best selling author of Pitch Anything and flip the script. Now Oren Klaff is one of the world’s leading experts on sales, raising capital and negotiation. His first book Pitch Anything is a number one bestseller with more than 1 million copies sold in print worldwide. He has written for Harvard Business Review, Inc, Advertising Age entrepreneur, and has been featured in hundreds of periodicals, podcasts, blogs, he is an investment partner in a 200 million private equity investment fund. And in his spare time, he is a motorcycle enthusiast. And thank you so much. I really, really appreciate you coming on. That’s the boilerplate intro but just a personal intro, I discovered Pitch Anything I was a big fan when I was just sort of expanding my sales knowledge. And it’s an honor to sort of give you an opportunity to tell like, tell your story to discuss your career and and unpack because I think that the one thing that got me about Pitch Anything, the sales strategy, the the way, the position, the way the clothes, that was all great, but it was, I think your story that was very exciting and very well told and narrated by yourself. So I’m very, very happy to sit down and sort of unpack that for everyone else. So thank you.


Oren Klaff  01:56

Oh, yeah, yeah, good to be here.


Scott D Clary  01:59

So let’s, let’s just start it off. I think that to walk through where you came from, in your career, what led you to where you’re at right now, which is obviously sort of morphed from, I guess, just your experience in raising funds and all these things that you’ve sort of learned and, and written about across your career. Just walk me through where you started and where you’re at now?


Oren Klaff  02:26

Sure. I mean, where does anybody come from pain, misery, suffering, anxiety and frustration? You know, that’s, and, you know, I think if you track people’s career, you know, how did you get to where you are? Oh, I was 18. And I jumped to the backseat of a Camaro. And we had a baby. And then I had to get a job that a well, you know, so that’s a backstory, for me, is very interesting. I had a company that was doing very well. But we didn’t know anything about finance, new accounting, new sales, new and really well, software company in sort of before there was venture capital. And we grew, and we grew, and we grew. And then the accounting guys made an accounting error, you know, they have money in one account and other accounts. And a lot of it we saw on credit cards, because it was, there wasn’t online ordering. It was actual software that people bought, and the bank came, and they said, Oh, my God, we have a company of young people sitting around the desks, with laptops, there’s no furniture, there’s no, you know, there’s no furniture, there’s no posted pictures on the wall. It’s not like a proper office, it’s just pop up tables. And laptops are the things we’re used to seeing. And so what they did is they said, We want a million dollar escrow account, on all your credit card charts. And so they just as charges came in, they just took the money. And escrowed it still can happen today. And so we suddenly short a million dollars, we used to operate the company and, you know, buy cars and travel. And


Scott D Clary  04:01

that’s trial by fire. And it’s fine. As far as


Oren Klaff  04:04

that that company ended up having to sell it and shrink it. It wasn’t that. And the real reason was, you know, a lot of people said, Hey, we want to invest in the company want to help you refill this million dollar gap? Give us a financial model, give us a projection. You know, let us know what your forward 12 month projection is? What have been the trailing 12 What do you see the key metrics? What are the assumptions on growth that you’re making? Who’s your competition, and the old finance questions and know anything about finance quite a long time ago, and so that so I lost that company in many ways, and we went up selling in and was good, but it could have been a big company. And I create a wound it myself around finance, right? The ability to go and ask for money and get the money you need for your company just became the thing I felt like I had to solve and so that leads you into the world of pitch. Because the way you raise money or get money for your company is you go and you pitch and it’s a little different from sales, right? It is selling, you’re selling equity, you’re selling a piece of the company, you’re selling yourself, you’re you’re making a presentation of value, and you’re asking something in return. So it is sales, right? But the things that are different about raising money, and really straight sales are this the stakes are very high, you go in and you have five or 10 minutes to make your pitch. Maybe sometime in the meanwhile less an hour, but really, you got 10, maybe 15 minutes to make your pitch. And sorry, Scott, I lost you I was seeing you guys your video on


Scott D Clary  05:51

guys, guys videos, not No. Good. You’ve


Oren Klaff  05:55

got so I’m just talking into I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I think when you go in, you know, and you have such, it’s so high stakes, everything has to be done precisely in the right way, in the right order with the right amount of detail to fill the gaps in the minds of the buyers, the investors have exhibit, they know what they want. They’re professional buyers, they’re looking for certain things. And the narrative has to be perfect. A different when you sell paper or you sell cards. And so you know b2b services and accounting, the buyers are much more forgiving. In finance, like you have to be perfect how you do it, the way the order things are in the amount of detail you give. And the strength of the narrative matters more than any other sales environment. And so I learned how to raise money and it became a superpower skill back now show help other people raise money and run an investment bank. But the things that you learn in raising money became absolutely clear make a difference in sales. So if you could do things as precisely, as well, as cleanly in such a good narrative format in a regular sales environment, not finance, you could also do extremely low conversion could go up the sales cycle, go down and get no pricing pressure, the all kinds of benefits from doing it correctly. So then the question became, in my mind, what is the right way to Pitch Anything. And as I became known for thinking, you know, for, for talking on the subject and thinking about it, you then then met, you know, did a couple radio shows, I met the Howard Stern people and they said you’re great, but I didn’t want to drive to their location. And finally, somebody introduced me to a couple book publishers, and then McGraw Hill, then said, Hey, you’re not a known publisher. But we’ll give you a book contract, and then Pitch Anything came out. And just word of mouth that you found that everybody else said. So a million copies were the most well known business books in in any book arena today. So that’s the whole story.


Scott D Clary  07:58

I think I can remember it. No, it’s a great story. And I think the reason why it’s so it’s so revered as a business book is because the traditional sales don’t speak about psychology, the way that you put it in the book. They just speak. They speak about the process, and they speak about the things that everybody speaks about, and trains over and even look at different sales process. It doesn’t bring in the psychology. How did you figure out the psychology of this is that it’s not your undergrad? It’s not your degree. It’s not your you’re a sales guy, finance guy, entrepreneur, and you figured out psychology.


Oren Klaff  08:31

Yeah. Yeah. Because I mean, I think it just boils down at some point, I just thought about cats and dogs. The difference the difference in a cat and a dog, right? A dog, you can train him to do things. Right. And he’s trainable. And so you can get the dog, you know, over time to sit and roll and go to the bathroom outside and eat at a certain time and not wake you up and everything like that, right? And then I thought about cats. Cats are not trainable, nothing you can do, right, can train wake up at a certain time. I mean, maybe there’s a cat trainer out there. But in general, like you can’t train a cat, right. And so litter box, you cannot train the cat to go to the litter box doesn’t does not accept training, and dog will take training the cat, you can only attract the cat to something, the litter box has to be the most attractive place in the whole apartment in the whole house in the whole block for them to go to the restroom that you can only attract. So then then I started to understand the difference and money. You can only attract you can’t sell the money because money is not trying to solve a problem. Right? They’re not going hey, we have $2 billion that we have to get out of here. In order to solve a problem, right? The money is attracted. And so when you then apply that same principle to sales you can you can And push what you have, you can’t train the buyer to buy your stuff you can only attract them to so then you ask the question, what are the laws or the principles of the ideas of attraction? And I could get start to get some answers, right? And then you, you know, you saw in the book, and the ones I came up with is a people, why would they can have, that’s a attraction principle. People want what they can’t have people chase that which moves away from them. And people only value that which they pay for. Now, I had something. When you think about every sale, every pitch that you have, in terms of that framework, people want to they can’t have people chase that which moves away from them. And people only value that which they pay for. And now you look at your sales presentations, they how does that match up with the principles of attraction, you say? Not very well, right. Because most people come in and say, here’s our solution. This is what we have. So we know how to do, these are the problems we solve, here’s the value we offer. Here’s the logos of companies, we’ve done this before. These are the people that say we’re great. Here’s how our pricing framework works. And here’s our offer. And basically, you’re saying you can have it, and the buyer says great looks really interesting. You know, it looks like you could solve our problems, they hit the pause button, put you on a shelf, and say, now have an option. Right? Let me look around, you know, we’re going to get some pricing, do some comparison, we’ll call you back for the money, are there additional questions, you have no control, lost all control, because you’ve told them, You can have my product at this price. People only want things they can’t have it, this is at odds with the law of attraction. And so the goal now of a sales presentation is not to say this is what I have, and you can have it at this price. The goal is to say, this is what I have. This is what I’m an expert in, I’ve solved your kind of problem 1000 times before, it’s easy for me to fix all the problems, all the pain, all the frustration, all the issues, you have to push a button, you have the problem, I don’t have that problem, we fix this problem all the time. And as much as I like you want to get accounts, this is a sales presentation. We’re also pretty busy, and I’m not even sure you can have it, the service the product, whatever it is, I need to know more before I can commit the time and energy, even write this up and figure out how to deliver what we have for you. Are you a good customer Do you know, you look like it. But there’s also some red flags, I want to clear up, you came to the meeting late I saw on your website, you know, you guys have a little bit of crazy talk on there. You know, maybe it hasn’t been updated while but you know, before I get involved with you, and really invest in you, I want to know some things about you so so I can allow you to buy what it is we have, that’s a framework that really creates amazing sales, lowers the sales cycle increases the margin keeps you in the high status position, and keeps you in control. So now you know, everything I know about selling or ever wanted to know.


Scott D Clary  13:10

Now, I love the way you you switch the the mindset when you go into the sales conversation. But a lot of people I think, have an issue. Trusting like it’s just trusting the process, right? A lot of people have an issue trusting the process. So I guess you have advice for someone who’s selling who doesn’t want to blow the deal. Like that’s the constant thing that’s stuck in everyone’s head. And that’s why people default to the other way that traditionally the not good way of selling?


Oren Klaff  13:42

Yeah, I haven’t thought about this before. But uh, you know, be great. I know, you have very sophisticated listener base, you know, maybe maybe they could memorize this line and try it. It’s sort of when you have the customer who’s trying to take control the senses, you know, Hey, Scott, just when you think you know the answer, I change the question. So. And by that I mean, the predictable nature of your behavior as a salesperson is the thing that works against you. People come to meetings, not to hear the features and the benefits and the price you get that on the internet. Get them on a zoom call, right? People come to a meeting to meet new, interesting, colorful people with real insight about their business, who’s an expert in their kind of problem, who they can work with to really get a solution to the problem they have. And so that person has to be you. They spend time with that person when that person offers insight and novel solutions to what the buyer already knows. So if you are Just diligently giving a buyer what it is you have the features, the benefits, the solution for your customers are the the the, it is putting the buyer in total control. And so when you feel like you don’t want to put any pressure on the buyer, or blow up your sale, you’re doing the exact opposite by not pressuring the buyer in any way. And just following the you know stamp of sale plan, you’re actually jeopardizing the sale, right? The buyer will chase you and be interested in start to invest time, when he knows you’re an expert, you have a great product, you’re the best in the world, right? And that you’re not just allowing him to buy and be in total control. When you take that control away, it raises the stakes and makes the buyer interested, you cannot end a sales presentation by saying so what do you think? Would you be interested in this? Do you have any questions? The buyer gets control is I have any questions right now. Similarly, material, you don’t mind sending a proposal, we’ll take a look at it. I gotta show to the committee. You know, I meet with the Sasquatch, and the Loch Ness monster, you know, every 13th of the month, they tell me when I’m allowed to budget, I gotta check budgeting. I’ll get back to you that if we have any more questions, and then they’re going to go look for another version of what what did you sell cheaper? Better from China? What Yeah, yeah. So, so without? So to answer your question, when you don’t go for control, because you’re scared of it, you’re actually harming yourself more than you ever could, by going for control. The issue is control by not attempting to take control at all, you end up being controlled by the buyer.


Scott D Clary  16:50

So I love that. Thank you. Because I think a lot of people have to hear that again and again and again and beat it into their heads because I I fully agree that if you can’t control that you can’t offer anything besides the points that are listed on a website, you’re taking a step further, obviously not putting a very simple like very simply. But if you’re just offering the points on the website, what good are you you’re walking brochure, and that’s not gonna help anybody, right? That’s not helping the customer. If you actually care about the customer, you’re actually doing them a disservice. So let’s talk about at any point, I don’t know where the good kickoff point to flip the script is. So you tell me, but control flip, flip the script sounds like a control thing. I know you spoke a lot about controlling Pitch Anything about framing about and I don’t know is that is control something that you always have to fight for? Or does it come naturally? How do you? There’s so many techniques and strategies? How do you know when you have to think about controlling when it’s just the way you conduct yourself? And then we can go and flip the script?


Oren Klaff  17:50

Yeah, interesting. Because the reason it’s a scary word is you can’t control people. It’s not possible. Right. So now you have Oren Klaff. Scott Clary talking about control, right, until you’re confused and understand you should be so because you cannot tell people what to do. You cannot force anybody to do something you cannot corner. Anybody into a position you can’t ask. A by the way, this is sales on Gladiator, you know, how do we corner somebody? How do we force them? You know, all the time when people say, Hey, I’m ready. You having a good time? You know, everybody here ready to learn something? Yeah, motherfucker, I came to the conference. You know, it’s nine in the morning, I had a cup of coffee, nothing can go wrong. Something those are rhetorical questions. It’s a setup. Right? Hey, Mr. Mr. Jones, you know, if I could get you the air conditioning unit, you know, that could air conditioned your whole building and lower your price. And we could take away your old unit wouldn’t cost you anything? Is that something you’d be interested in? Yeah, asshole. Of course, I’d be interested in it. But that’s not how the world works. Right. So when you net, the buyer is not gonna probably call you a motherfucker. Right? But he will think okay,


Scott D Clary  19:04

depends depends on the buyer. But yeah.


Oren Klaff  19:08

I’ll do it for you. Oh, but but the rhetorical questions are asking, doing sort of exploratory discovery calls. The discovery call is very popular today with young people. I don’t know how young you are. You’re like 23 years old. But, you know, these 2223 year old Millennials have sort of glommed on to this idea of the discovery call. I think you’re being so smart and clever. And so you know, how long have you felt this pain? Where do you see yourself in five years Scott? You know, if you could solve this problem would that mean for you? You know, the, you know, how long have you been dealing with this? You know, what would be the ideal solution in your mind? Hey, hey, listen, asshole, right? I came to a sales call for you to solve my problems, not for me to solve my solve my problems. I really tried to solve them. You know, the buyer. I’ve tried to solve my problem that I failed. I ordered some stuff online, it didn’t work, I hired a local consultant that failed, I hired my my niece, you know, just got an MBA to set up the website, and she screwed it up. Now we have holes in our data system. So I failed at this, okay? I cannot teach you anything, just look at my problem, right? understand the basics of it, and give me your insight. And where solution can come from, I don’t spend half an hour telling you, I have a very common problem, my firewall doesn’t work. Right? You tell me what you know about firewalls. But this is not a, I don’t want to spend 1520 minutes sharing with you all of my problems, you should be able to recognize my problems, and be familiar with it. So the the, by doing a discovery call, by being nice by being looking for rapport, by doing all the things that you sort of see other other salespeople do, you are not only you’re losing control, but you’re you are not controlling the sale, in a way that’s frustrating for the buyer, the buyer wants to see you controlling it. Okay, he wants you to ask very specific questions, it looks like your firewall is, you know, causing a couple of data security hacks, they’re coming over the TCP IP 11 Looks like you’ve got, you know, 17 breaches in the last 60 days, you know, five of those involved the real data loss, you know, we see this pretty often this happens in you know, 50 to 80% organizations, as they start to crunch through eight petabytes of data, is that about, like, I’m not even in this business, right? But Is that about right? You know, they want to see you starting to control the set of ideas, and the conversation controlling the frame, yeah, around which the conversation is happening. So Pitch Anything was about frame control, how to focus the buyer, on certain things that matter, and get their focus away from things that don’t matter how to control you know, how to frame time, how to frame power, how to frame scarcity, and these are the things that can be done. And it gives them ideas on how to do it. Flip the script gives the scripts to control the the presentation and the conversation and the sales process with the buyer, you have. So so the real outcome was flipped the script, it lets you create a sandbox. And that’s where the control is, it lets you create a sandbox that the buyer can then play in and do anything you want to have autonomy. That’s what that’s the problem of control, right? When you really try and control somebody. So Scott, what do you think is something you’d be interested in? If I can get you the price that you were looking for, you know, is it something we could sign up for today, what I have a special discount it expired to that week, I’ll talk to my manager, and he’ll approve you, I can get this for just $900 a month just so we can go forward with right? That is aggressive and it’s controlling. The reason you don’t like that is because it takes away your autonomy. And autonomy, you can have Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. What he forgot to put on it is autonomy, food, water, shelter, love safety, above all of that stuff is autonomy. I would rather die on my feet than live on my knees, every human has that built into their DNA, right? autonomy and self governance is the highest emotional, highest survival need. So when you as a salesperson start to take away autonomy, self governance, self decision making ability, then you’re losing the sale. So you work so hard as a salesperson to be nice and, and prepare a presentation of the features and benefits, then towards the end the sale sort of take the buyers autonomy away when they’re tired, they want to leave, they really don’t want to see your face anymore. And now you’re going for control take their autonomy away, that creates a failure state. So flip the script lets you create a sandbox where you set all the parameters and then you back away and you give total autonomy to the buyer at the time that he wants it and that’s why when we close like you say you know hey Oren Klaff so the million copies of Pitch Anything number one most interviewed sales you know trainers sales guy pitch guys finance guy you know on the internet and what’s your best clothes and my desk closes this so that’s anything else we should do here um I think we’re wrapping up um you know, if you don’t have anything else we probably can pack up our stuff and leave that’s my clothes. You can’t close it and there’s nothing you can do with any sale to push somebody into making a purchase. Now if you do most the time, it just falls apart like it’ll fall apart contract and fall apart finance follow it so so yeah, maybe you can get a signature you can get a yes But in a deal, and rattle sell TVs, you know, I raised $10 million or so million dollar contracts or $500,000 things, you know, maybe you could sell a TV that way, I don’t know, an iPhone, maybe a car, you know, but but when you really get into enterprise sales or services, the end of the sales, not when you construct to control someone to put them in the deal, even if you get it will fall apart. So what you can do is set the whole thing up big idea, problem, the solution, why doing now, the the, you know, the value proposition, what you get, how it works, the social proof or the reputation. You know, who else we work with? What we think the solution is? And then you could say, but I need to get more, you know, I need to know more about you, as I said before, before we sort of agree to work with you. Right? And and so when you set it up in that way, you set up the sandbox where they are pitching you to become the of you know how to work with you, as opposed to you pitching the idea that they should, you know, sign an agreement will give you a yes.,


Scott D Clary  26:16

So there’s there’s three things that that makes a lot of sense to me. There’s three things that you mentioned, outside of everything, the positioning, the value, Prop, like all these things, all these like classical sales, things that people will recognize, that a lot of people won’t recognize. So when I pull the book, it says, status, alignment, certainty gap, and presenting your ideas as plain vanilla. Well, the presenting ideas plain vanilla sort of does speak for itself. But even that is something that probably a lot of people, it doesn’t really, it’s something they think of when they’re pitching a product or a solution. So the Sandbox is setting all the points so that you know that by the time you’re, you’re closing your laptop, you’re walking out of the room, you’ve already set that sandbox, but it’s a controlled sandbox, and they’re going to be buying from you, they’re going to be almost soliciting to buy from you because they want that they want that. So that’s like the the sandbox II let the plan. But what are the other points that you mentioned,


Oren Klaff  27:09

an example of that we had a guy come in, uh, you know, I met him here at the office for the weekend. It’s a big deal, you know, multi couple million dollars, and made a little presentation to him. We started leaving, cuz I had to get back to my family. You know, again, it was a weekend. And I said, Hey, John, so you know, what are we doing here? What’s the plan for getting the agreement signed up? You know, it’s we’re leaving. And he said, Oh, the agreement? Yeah, I signed out. When I walked in, I just wanted to meet with you a little bit. It’s on the conference room table. So that is the idea of inception, you know, that flip the script covers is you put all the ideas in the buyers mind. And then with no control, no force, no pressure, no aggression, those ideas assemble themselves into the notion I have to work with Scott, I have to work with or I have to work with Joe bag of doughnuts, whoever you are. So So you know, going back to your thing, I think, yeah, we’ll touch on those couple of points quickly, status alignment, if somebody does not believe that you are a peer to them, in their industry, he will always be very difficult to close a deal. The low status position, the the, the occupying the lower point in the dominance hierarchy of business. And society means someone will be looking down at you and not working across from you. When people look down at you. They feel like they have a power. Right? When somebody has power over you, whether it’s perceived or real. Couple things really happen. They see you physically at a very surface level, right? They don’t see your depth and your capability and your character and your insight. And that’s where the value in a sale comes from your transparency, your honesty, your value your integrity, your experiences who you are as a person, they discount all of that right? I mean think about it when you not to be mean but when you go valet, your car, you know hey motherfucker, here’s the keys don’t think it right? I got a picture of you. And then you’re you know, you’re not interested you’re going to college you know, why are you working here? What’s your you know, what are your goals in life? You know, none of you just see that person


Scott D Clary  29:21

as a valet and then you just lose everything else. But there are a million there are a million levels deep as a person but in that particular interaction that’s not going through your mind


Oren Klaff  29:31

because the power because just you have your power right you feel powerful but that person’s you see them in a very surface level, you don’t see any of their value. Number two is you take risks around that person you would not take around appear, check your phone, you know, ignore messages or you leave the room you order some the he started side conversation while they’re talking. If you’re talking to the, you know, the president of your local bank branch who’s approving a $20 million loan for you. Right? You guys are talking about that loan, and it’s the final loan decision. Right? And a call came in from your girlfriend, your wife, you know, your your whoever you’re your partner that you’re not answering that call. You’re not taking that call. Yeah. So when, when you’re trying to sell somebody, they take that call that has meaning they feel power over you. Right? Hey, can you hold on a second? Yeah, Mom? Oh, just so. So, um,


Scott D Clary  30:28

no, 100% 100% I get it. I totally get it. So. So how do you how do you fix that? How do you fix that?


Oren Klaff  30:35

I mean, I think you’ll flip the script goes through that pretty mechanically. But you have to create that status alignment, right. And there’s lots of ways to do it, I’ll give you a really easy way. So most people start a meeting like this. Hey, Scott, thanks for having us. And we’re really appreciate coming in here. It’s a great company, and we want to meet with you for a while, I think our product would really make an improvement to your accounting system. And you’ll find like, if you go with us, and I know you know, you can, you can buy any accounting system, Great Plains is great. Oracle has a great system. But I think you’re really going to like us. And if you if you end up choosing us, you’re going to find customers always right, you can call me on the weekend, you know, give you my phone number. And we we are very service oriented. And I’m just excited to be here today to show you how our system can help you make money. Typical, I’ve seen that 1000 times typical opening, right? That is the low status. You know, position yourself without alignment. You’re not here, when you say those things, your sales guy, right, and you’re giving power to the buyer. So how do you fix it? Hey, Scott, I know you’re busy this time of year, I’m super busy as well, I don’t know if we’re lucky or dumb, or we have a great product. But whatever the case is, we just don’t have enough time in the day. I’m glad we’re able to get this meeting on the calendar. I know I’ve reserved about an hour for it, we might have to cut it to 40 minutes, just so I can keep my day moving along. It does I see your team is here. Does anybody need fluids in or out? If not, let’s get started. Okay, that is just a very simple thing that anybody can do to create status alignment, your time is as valuable as my time. Okay, salespeople have all the time in the world to sit around until they get kicked out of an office are low status. So so that is a you know, time scarcity is a very easy way to get status alignment. Right? You know, again, just when you think you know the answer, I change the question, right? Hey, send me so that’s it the beginning of the end once you guys send a proposal? No, that’s what look, I’d love to give you guys a proposal. What do I put in a proposal? Do we have a you know,


Scott D Clary  32:55

do we have a deal? Why am I wasting my time? If we’re not gonna?


Oren Klaff  33:00

Listen, I you know, I take two to three hours put together a proposal, what do I put in it? Look, I’m not going to work harder in your company than you will. Okay. You guys, look, you need a proposal that’s run through it. What do we put in there? What? When’s delivery? What are the terms? How much financing do you need? You know, when to start date? What’s the suite of services? You know, if we’re really doing a proposal, let’s go through it. We’ll write it up and get this thing rolling. Okay, but no, I’m not going to send over a proposal. Now I had a woman call up. And I mean, we’re busy. And she said, you know, once you heard a little bit about you guys, we were referred to you. Once you tell me, you know, start at the beginning. Tell me a little bit about yourself. Right. And I Oh, no, I’m not gonna do that. She was what, you know, CFO of a $50 million company. Like, I’m not gonna do that. Like, what do you think we do here? I’m the information booth. Yeah, like, you can go to our website and read my book. Right? Yep. That’s it. Listen. Most people show up. And they go, Oren, how do we work with you? Right, not orange. Who are you? Like? And I understand you don’t have to research everybody on LinkedIn. But how hard is it to research Oren Klaff? Just type in Oh, in Google, and everything else will fill itself out. I’m half the internet. Come on. Give me a break lady. Right. She I have never been talked to like that ever. Like you have now. Okay, now that the reality is maybe that becomes a deal. Maybe it doesn’t, but she’s not confused. Yeah. About what level in the Status hierarchy of us doing business. Amen. And in fact, though, what happened is the CEO of that company jumped in and said, All Susan, Susan, like, you got to understand who Oren is like, you know, this guy is amazing. And she calmed down and we ended up doing that deal, but that is and we never had that problem for her again, she ordered the book fell in love with the book and and everything that. So status alignment is super important. And those are some things you could do is not allowed somebody to put you in the low status position. Now, certainty, you know is, I mean, this is why deals don’t happen is it’s not that people believe you’re lying or your product doesn’t work. They just don’t have certainty that the things you say that will happen in the future really will happen. When you say they’ll happen in the way that you say they’ll happen. That’s why people seek out certainty, and they make that decision. Do not can you do it? Are you a good person? Are you hard working? Are you honest? Are you ethical? Do you guys have good clients? Am I certain that the value I want will happen when I needed to happen? certainty. And I feel like certainty comes back to expertise, of all the things I mean, because you could offer guarantees and money back guarantees and logos and, and, you know, prior performance and track record and everything like that, that’s good at papering over history, but I think people make a judgement and create certainty around your ability to deliver value on how big of an expert you are, if you really understand their problem. At the NATs eyebrow, the deepest level. That you know, and they feel like you know, and have solved their problem before and it’s easy for you to solve, that creates a lot of certainty that the promises you’re going to make the the promises you make really will will happen. So certainty can be developed by showing someone that you’re an expert in they’re usually technical problem, or showing them in a technical way that you solve these problems all the time. And then your last, your last question was around a plain vanilla. I think, you know, a lot of people today are focused around getting attention because our product is new, and novel and does things in a way that’s never been done before. Right. So, you know, that’s that’s excitement of apps. You know, the apps tend to be totally new. Do things in a totally different way. And are you know, and that’s why there’s this expression, you know, the Apple fail fast. Right? And so, it, you know, there’s a new app that does this, there’s a new website that does this. And there’s it right, so new, the awesome thing about New is it attracts people to look at whatever it is and try it. Well, there’s no risk in trying out your new website or app and it’s free, and it doesn’t cost anything, right. The problem is when you’re doing real business, and you’re attracting people with the newness of your idea, because it attracts them when they realize and think about buying it and using it. The novelty also creates avoidance and scares them away. For example, using the book as a we’re all sort of be super interested in a robot doctor, right? Who performed surgery on you. It’s cheap. It’s accurate. You know, it’s AI, you know, you can get a surgery that otherwise would have cost $150,000 for $5,000. Right? It’s new, it’s exciting, it’s novel, and so that I would attract everybody to look at this robot doctor, there isn’t a person who wouldn’t look at it, the who would really use it, when they start to think about it. So newness attracts people and gets him to look at it. But the novelty of things also creates avoidance makes people run away. So that’s why we try to make things look plain vanilla. This is just like every other surgery that’s been done. It’s like every other appendix removal that’s been done in the last 15 years. It’s the same surgical procedure. It’s the same protocol. It’s the same medicine. It’s the same, you know, nurses and physician assistants, same hospital, same bed, same drug delivery system, the only it’s just a plain vanilla surgery. The only thing that’s different is we have the doctor assisted by an AI system. So just one new thing but everything else is the same. So now I don’t have to get my head around this entire thing be new and risky and the stakes benign. But But we try and frame things as the same as every other one that’s ever been done successfully, except for this one new thing. So that’s sort of the idea of of plain vanilla. And that’s that’s you know, those are the scripts. Yeah. That are in flip the script.


Scott D Clary  39:53

So,I think that the plane Bunnell i By the way, the plain vanilla makes tons of sense and I just wanted to not beat them to death but the first To the Status Line, the closes are in the gap. So the expertise and then making sure that you’re on the same playing field. I’m curious to know that I think I know the answer. I think I know the answer you’re gonna give me but I’m still curious to ask, do those especially status tip off status alignment? Do those play with every single personality? Or is it just the mindset of I don’t care if I’m going to blow this deal? This is who I am. This is the way that I sell. Because if that CFO was in the room alone with you, and the CEO didn’t jump in, is there a way to? I don’t know dance between different personality types, or is that just absolute bullshit, you just go in? That’s the way it is. And that’s how, you know nine out of 10 deals are gonna close.


Oren Klaff  40:43

Listen, I know a lot of these guys like these, you know, ESP J and SMTP. And, and I’m not saying you know, any FBI hostage negotiation where lives are at stake. Yeah. Right. That that you know, they don’t do a personality assessment on the hostage takers on the hostage you know, in the hostage negotiator goes, he’s a STMP. I’m gonna use TJ the hostages or LMNOP. He’s, you know, and they bring in the mom because, right, but you’re not fucking rescuing hostages, you’re selling copiers, right? You’re selling accounting software. You’re you’re selling you know, SAS subscriptions. You’re selling financial services. And the reality is, you’re not rescuing hostages, and it’s just too fucking complicated. You know, cuz I, early my career, I tried all that stuff. You know, does hypnosis work? Does the ISTJ work? Does personality assessment work? Does, you know? And does NLP work? If you touch somebody on the shoulder and you look up to the left, will they you know, look to the right and what it’s too. When you get in a room, and you’re trying to encode a million dollar sale, and you have a 64 year old CFO that’s been doing this for 20 years, staring across the table, you can ESD J yourself to death is not going to work, you’re not experienced enough. You’re not in that situation, not enough, you’re going to be paralyzed. If it’s too complicated, and the stakes are high enough to you know, to do to do the stuff doesn’t work is too good. So yes, the answer is just status is a very good system for maintaining alignment with a buyer when somebody believes you’re in low status, and they’re looking down on you very difficult to sell or close a deal.


Scott D Clary  42:36

I love it. Um, I have a question for I guess just your passion, your you pitch deals. Why do you why do you care about educating? Why is it something that you’re passionate about?


Oren Klaff  42:47

Yeah, because I’m still you know, I said at the beginning, I created this, this hole in my heart for for being able to pitch correctly. And when I see batten it, you know, I went so far down the rabbit hole. Yeah, how to do this stuff. When I see bad art or bad form. I am just compelled to try and fix it and make it better. And so it’s very exciting for me when I get these emails, like not, hey, we sold the TV or an iPhone or a computer. We raised a billion dollars. You know, I went spoke at a conference for Infusionsoft. The CEO of Infusionsoft said the night before, or the two nights before we went to pitch Goldman Sachs to raise our $50 million. Somebody showed me Pitch Anything. We ripped up our own presentation, we redid the Pitch Anything way. And we went in and close Goldman Sachs for $50 million very self gratifying have 1000s of those stories come in. And and so I love doing it.


Scott D Clary  43:50

So So I guess that well, that answers that and it makes a lot of sense. Why? Or what’s what’s next for I had a question for you. I just totally forgot I was getting into your story. I know I was gonna ask you does. When you when you go into any conversation, this is what I was gonna ask you. I remember now, when you go into any conversation, is it hard for you to remove status alignment? Is it hard for you to have normal conversations like with with?


Oren Klaff  44:17

Listen,listen, so this is a great question. We can let’s finish up on this. You know, I go to a meeting. And the first thing people say, hey, I want to do a free me. Discount. Oh, do I have it? I’ll buy it. Don’t fret don’t control me. And the reality is this, the things in Pitch Anything and flip the script are counterintuitive. They’re not. So we didn’t get a chance to maybe next time talking about reciprocity, right? We want to be nice, seek out rapport, be kind to other business people, you know, to the buyers and get that same reciprocity, right. But in business, you’ve heard this expression, no good deed goes unpunished. Right in business people are just looking to get the most amount for themselves at the least price. And so the things that we do in life that we’re programmed to do with our friends, with our colleagues with new people we meet with our neighbors, you know, with people we play sports with, right? Are, we’re seeking reciprocity, we’re, you know, we’re the, it’s just we’re being human mystic. Right, and the way we deal with people, when you bring that to business, you have to reprogram yourself in a counterintuitive way to be controlling, you know, but still empathetic. So it’s hard to do. So no, I don’t do it in every conversation, because it’s not a natural thing to do. I do it when I know I’m getting on a call, going to a meeting, you know, making a presentation. And I need control over this social situation, to raise my status from, you know, essentially, well poop up to, you know, expert in their problem in a very short amount of time, and ask and have the credibility to close a couple million dollars of deal. And that is it programmatic. It’s counterintuitive, and it takes a lot of work. So no, I can’t just let loose and conversations and you know, make all that work. You You really have to think about it. And that’s really the the strength of these two books that they give you the formula, you know, as you know, that allows you to be programatic for that 20 minutes or that hour when you need to be switched on. But then you switch off and you’re you know, you can’t do it all the time.


Scott D Clary  46:29

You’re nice. You’re nice every day. Not not not framing not pitching. I love it. Okay, so, to close this off, where do people go to get more of Oren of the book? What’s the link to download the social tag, whatever.




Oren Klaff  46:43

Yeah,I think two things you just go to Amazon, you get flip the script. You just order it, it’s, it’s whatever it is on Amazon. And then you go over to Pitch Anything and put your name in and you’ll get tons of extra material that you know you’ll love will feed you with with this industrial psychology that really makes a difference. So put your name in a pitch anything.com In order flip the script.


Scott D Clary  47:08

That’s all for today. Thanks again for joining me on another episode of the success story podcast. You can download or stream this podcast wherever podcasts are available, including iTunes, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, I heart, radio, and many others. You can also watch his podcasts on YouTube. If you haven’t already. Please subscribe and share this podcast with your friends, family, coworkers and peers. Please leave us a rating on iTunes takes about 30 seconds as it allows other people to find our podcast and lets our amazing guests reach even more people with their message. And remember any rating is fine as long as it contains five stars. I’m Scott Clary from the success story podcast, signing off


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