Being a father of six children, I am constantly being pitched to throughout the day, and I have to admit, I do a lot of pitching myself to get what I want from my kids. I always wondered why some pitches to my kids fell on deaf ears, and how some others worked like magic? The answer to that elusive question lies in the book Pitch Anything, by Oren Klaff. When I began to read the book, I knew instantly that it would sharpen my skills on how to raise capital and fund my real estate deals. But who would have thought I could work some Jedi mind tricks on the kids as well!!
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Oren lays out his book in an easy to read fashion, filled with entertaining stories, and he lays out a simple to follow framework that will have any novice capital raiser ready to elevate their status and deliver a masterful pitch.
He begins the book where I would least expect it, in the formation of the brain. His big idea in the book is “There is a fundamental disconnect between the way we pitch anything and the way it is received by our audience.” It was a huge AHA for me, in that he illustrates in the book that there is a disconnect between the message and the receiver. Oren goes on to say that “We are hardwired to be bad at pitching. It is caused by the way our brains have evolved.”
Oren dives into the three parts of the brain:
- Crocodile Brain: The primitive part of the brain that is responsible for the fight or flight response, and generates strong emotions. Unfortunately, the decision making in this part of the brain is also primitive.
- Mid Brain: This part of the brain determines the meaning of things and social situations.
- Neocortex: The problem solving part of the brain and where reason and logic are used to solve problems.
Oren goes on to describe how the brains work independently and together. We think that we are pitching our ideas from our neocortex to the other person’s neocortex, when in reality, we are pitching from our neocortex to their primitive brain. Let me give you a quick example of how powerful Oren’s teaching will revolutionize your pitch.
This is what I would normally do when I was pitching. I would start off by saying how wonderful multifamily is, how the investor would get an 8 pref, what the splits would be, how long we would hold the asset, and then dive into the Three Pillars of Real Estate. By now, I thought my thorough analysis was genius, and the investor would open up his checkbook and stroke the check. WRONG.
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I was pitching my idea to the other person’s croc brain, the primitive brain, the one with the B.S. meter. Oren’s genius idea of creating novelty, interest, and brevity so that it attracts interest from the croc brain will allow you to get the message passed through to mid brain, and finally the neocortex. The goal is to create a message that is new or exciting, and not one that is perceived as a threat.
How have I refined my pitch to a potential investor? By trying to create emotion and intrigue, and by keeping the investor thinking about what I am going to say next. I can start off by saying:
So, investor X, what are the three basic human needs? And they would probably respond with “Food, clothing and shelter”. I would come back and say, “Close. It’s food, clothing and apartments!” I would also remind the investor about the abysmal stock market returns, the lack of control, and the fact that you can’t buy an apartment on the Internet (at least not yet), going back to the basic human need.
Oren then transitions into his framework of how to bridge the gap between the croc brain and the neocortex by introducing his formula: STRONG
- S: Set the frame.
- T: Tell the story.
- R: Reveal the intrigue.
- O: Offer the prize.
- N: Nail the hook point.
- G: Get the deal.
Oren continues his teaching with status, frame stacking, hot and cold cognitions, and the four phases of a pitch. I have just scratched the surface on the immense value that Oren delivers in this book, and if you don’t believe me, you need to listen to our podcast with the pitch master himself:
If you want to learn how to pitch a real estate deal, get your kids to bed early, get out of that parking ticket, or just want to learn how to be more persuasive, then you need to buy the book.
And once you’ve become a pitch master, buy his next book and learn how to Flip The Script.