Every business needs capital for growth. However, if you don’t know how to get people to want your company or sign contracts with you, then how can you succeed? Change the way you think about raising capital and closing sales forever with a powerful paradigm shift from best-selling author and Pitch Master, Oren Klaff. Oren is a successful investment banker who has helped companies raise capital and sell their big ideas. Left wounded by his initial business venture, he was fired up to learn how finance works to raise capital. In this episode, Oren shares the tactics and sweet tips you never knew existed. He also talks about this best-selling books and how you can emulate his achievement. Don’t miss this chance to catch Oren’s giveaway – a chance to win a private half-day consultation with him.
The Inception Close: How To Get The Buyer To Make The Close with Oren Klaff
Our guest wrote a book that sold a million copies. Normally, a business book is considered a bestseller with less than 5,000 copies. Here’s a reason why it’s sold so many copies and has become a required reading throughout Silicon Valley. It’s because my guest specializes in raising capital and negotiating deals and is widely known as an expert in all aspects of closing sales. That’s old news. He’s going to talk about his book, that after reading just one chapter has already changed the way I think about selling and closing sales forever. With this powerful paradigm shift, almost anyone who sells anything and that means you, is going to want to pay attention. This one interview may shift everything for you. Strap in and build up, we have a wild ride ahead. Welcome, Oren Klaff.
Mitch, that was a nice introduction. I’m going to have to hire you. I probably can’t afford you as an introducer.
After this book, I think you can afford just about anything you want. It is such a joy to have you. We met once at Camp Maverick some years ago. You told that amazing story about buying your son a Jeep before he was old enough to drive and the joy that you had over the years and sharing that with him.
That’s a great story. Thank you for remembering that. It was good to meet you at Maverick.
It’s amazing because you’re a super successful guy, and like many of the people who come here, we all have a beginning. The readers would love to hear the beginning of how your career started and how you got to where you are now.
No great stories start with, “I think I’ll have a salad.” Many years ago, I had a software company and we were before the internet. It was a packaged software, CD-ROM, data analysis company. It was growing fast and it was myself and my partner. We were in Florida. We moved out to Southern California and we added ten people. We added fifteen people, and pretty soon, we had 70 people doing almost $10 million annually. There wasn’t much venture capital at that time. It was mainly devices, hardware, maybe a little bit of software, but it was certainly not like it is now where every nine-year-old knows where to go to raise $3 million. We started running out of money because we were growing too fast and we didn’t have a pro forma or a financial model or a marketing plan. We were selling software.
What year was that, Oren?
That would have been ‘95, ‘96. Internet would have just been turning the corner, but there wasn’t any internet distribution. When you sell into retail, you get paid on a lumpy cycle and you add employees. We just started growing ourselves out of cash. As we started running low on cash, somebody said, “You need to raise money.” I started talking to venture capitalists, some private equity and Wall Street, and they said, “Where’s your pro forma? What are your KPIs? What are your key assumptions? Let me see your model. What’s the marketing plan? What does the business plan look like?” We didn’t have any of that. In two weeks, it’s a pretty tall order to make all that stuff, especially when you’ve never done it before. As much as people wanted to give us money, we couldn’t produce the things that they wanted to see. We ended wrapping up the company and sunsetting it. It wasn’t an implosion but it wasn’t a continuing affair which settled over a period of time. That wounded me, that’s somewhat of a failure around the area of finance. That became a hole in my heart.
I said, “I need to know how finance works. How do you raise money?” I went on to raise from their $6 million for a company, then $8 million, $30 million, $47 million. A partner and I went on to raise $500 million on a one-and-a-half-year run. I got it figured out. If you’re in sales or you’re in marketing, how does this apply to me? How do I get Oren Klaff out and read something better? The reality is when you’re raising money, you’re selling equity or a note from the company. It is the most extreme form of selling. That’s what’s magical about raising money. You’re selling the product, which is the company, and you’re trying to obtain a commodity, which is money. It informs all other kinds of selling. It’s the most extreme form because if people say, “What’s the difference between a pitch and a sale?” When you go to pitch, you go to a bank, to a private equity firm, to a customer and you have one bite at the apple. You have what you have. You have to present it to them in the best light possible. When you’re selling, you’ll have a service or product that can be form-fitted in many ways to the needs of the buyer.
Isn’t that the idea of selling in general? Don’t we want to make sure that we know our prospect well enough to know what they need, what their pain points are, how to take what we have and convey in a way that solves their problem?
Sure. It makes life a little bit easier to do it that way, but when you’re raising money or selling a deal, you have what you have. You can’t conform a piece of real estate to the buyer. You can’t conform a software company to the needs of the buyer. It’s a very instructive form of selling because you don’t have the benefit of features and benefits of making the thing you’re selling fit the buyer’s needs. You have to explain it in a way that’s as compelling as possible and run a process where they want what you have. You take those same rules, skills, methods or ideas and you apply them to everyday selling and you get an incredibly powerful toolset or skillset. That’s what I’ve done is I’ve taken the things they work in money and let people apply them to everyday sales. The results are amazing.
It’s like the marathon. The most difficult way to sell anything is by raising money. Amazingly, our lives had run on parallel tracks for a little while. I too started a software company before the internet. I did sell packaged software. I sold it retail. I sold it through Egghead Discount Software and eventually to corporations as well. I grew that company also to around $10 million, but I sold it. At that point, I was ready to go. We found an amazing buyer and we took advantage of that. Now they know you, the only thing I could think of is I probably didn’t get enough for it.
That’s the other thing is a lot of people can sell what they have, raise money and everything like that. It’s not, “Can you do it? Can you complete the sale?” but at what terms to do it. If you could get better terms with the way you present, the way you pitch, the way you sell, then you’ve got a success. Once you move beyond, “I can sell. I can raise money,” into “What are the best terms I can get?” You start to see people be successful.When you sell into retail, you get paid on a lumpy cycle. Click To Tweet
In your life, you transitioned from a software company to helping others raise money, raise capital for their venture, whatever that might be, whether it’s real estate or even other software companies or technology companies.
What’s instructive for people reading, if I think, “I’m reading, what can I take away from this?” is when you are going in and asking for a resource. You have to do a couple of things that are needed, whether it’s money, a sale or a contract. You’re trying to get hired. It’s got to become a process where A) You’ve got their attention. B) They believe you’re an expert. C) They don’t have the desire to look around and try and find what you do at a better price. If there were KPIs, those are the things you have to create that aren’t there naturally. Attention is very limited more so now than ever. I was trying to buy some video editing SaaS plugin software for some of the videos we’re doing on social media. When you go up to Instagram, it wants you to format in a certain way and then you’ve got a format for Facebook in a different way. It takes a lot of time to do all this formatting. There’s some software. I’m chatting with the company about their service and it’s technical stuff. It’s got to be at 60 hertz set up faster than 30 frame rate, but not faster than that 60. It can’t be more than 59 seconds and 59 milliseconds and there can’t be certain on Facebook. It’s very technical.
I’m chatting with a guy and he said, “We can do that. That’s easy for our software. All you do is you use our plugin.” I said, “You’re a very nice guy on chat, but it sounds like you’re new there. You’ve got to escalate me to someone who knows what they’re doing. It’s the technical stuff.” The guy writes back, “I’m the founder.” The point is that if you don’t have a model to communicate that you’re an expert in the customer’s problem, then within the page or the sale, you can’t even move on to giving features, benefits, trial closes, objections, overcoming objections, closing and all that stuff. None of that matters until the buyer believes a couple of things about you, until this belief system about you is changed. There’s no point in doing a traditional old style, old script kind of sale.
What could that guy have done specifically to have prevented you from thinking that he wasn’t qualified to answer your questions?
As I dedicated to the first couple chapters in the book is first, he should have communicated that he’s an insider to the problem that I have. Someone’s going to view you in one of two ways. That you’re an insider to their problem or an outsider who touches on it but isn’t intimate with the problem. The way to do that is to talk in the language of the buyer. How does the buyer talk to another person in his business? If you can talk in that language, then you’d be viewed as an insider. Until you’re viewed as an insider, buyers will be very skeptical of you. They want to move very slowly and very resistant to the assertions into believing the assertions that you make. You’re a car guy. What car do you drive?
I drive a Jeep Grand Cherokee.
That’s a great car. Is it brand new or got a couple of years on it?
It’s a brand-new Jeep Cherokee, you hear a noise coming out of it. You take it down the Jeep dealership. It’s quite a distance. You take it down to a shop and they go, “That’s making a noise and it sounds like it’s coming from the fan area. Why don’t you leave it here? Mitch, I’ll give you a call tomorrow. It’s $200. If we end up working on it for the assessment, we’ll credit that $200 towards the service work.” You go, “It doesn’t sound too good.” You go down the road to the next shop, drive in and the guy listens to it. There’s a little squeaking coming. It looks like a real mechanic with a couple of tattoos up his left arm and puts his hands in his pocket and touches a tire with his toe. He tells you to get back in your car and hit the gas a little bit loud and the fan squeaks.
He comes out and goes, “What you got there, that’s a 25373 fan belt. They probably put on the 25373 R because they ran out of them, the factory from March and April last year. This one, you probably took delivery in April. There are about 200,000 of these made. We see them quite frequently because most of them were sold in this area. The replacement for that isn’t available yet, but we’ve adapted a 17534 from the prior model Jeep Cherokee, which is a perfect fit. We’ve done about 1,500 of those. If you leave your car here, I’ve got 50 in the back. I can have the 2743 and also it looks like you’ve got a little bit of an oil leak. We got a tension. The rod tensioner probably another two or three Newton meters. We’ll throw that in. It’s $400. If you come back at 5:00, I’ll have your car ready.”In sales, you have to explain your product as compelling as possible so your buyers will want what you have. Click To Tweet
That’s what I wanted to hear. “You’re uploading to Instagram, you probably need to be at 60 hertz. You know when you’re using Hootsuite, you’re getting the double fail rate on both LinkedIn because the character count is different on both. If you get the 30-frame rate, get the characters into two different posts and split those in half, we can get the text off of those and uploaded to both Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn in a 50-millisecond repeater pattern and have that up. We won’t have the problem anymore.” Where do I sign up? I think what happens is we think buyers are the old kind of buyers that are dumb and don’t know much. The reality is they know as much or more in some cases than you, the seller. They’re very technical. They don’t want to be taught about fan belts or about the hertz rates or about accounting software or whatever it is you do.
What they want is to know that you’re an expert, that you’re technical and that you’ve solved their problem from the insider position 1,000 times. Until you can communicate that and show them, not tell people. I think a lot of people try and tell folks, buyers, that they’re an expert. It’s like, “These are our accounts. We work from Microsoft. We’ve been around since 1996. These are our customer logos. These are the lights we have.” Every other competitor has those same lights, logos, customer accounts and success stories and everything like that. Not that they’re bad, but when you’re selling, you’re telling someone you’re good, you’re an expert. You’re not showing them. Show people that you speak the language of their problem. You solved that problem 1,000 times. The book shows you many different ways that you can take a buyer through that journey of believing that you’re an expert to consult his kind of problem.
You still need to be that expert.
You need to either be that expert or have that expert on hand. Many times, we win or lose deals on this account. If somebody comes in and they want us to help them. They’re a fabulous semiconductor company and they want to sell the company or raise money. If we don’t speak semiconductor internally from someone, and you’re an analyst or a junior account manager or somebody, we’ll more than likely lose that account if we can’t speak. Not for minutes and hours and get super technical, but if we can’t speak 100, 200 words of semiconductor, “That’s a .01 micron semiconductor that the processing power of the AMD forthcoming chip, but it’s 10% faster so you get a two years competitive advantage because of the IP barriers that you’ve licensed in which. Either Intel or AMD will be releasing until 2022 based on the recent filing.” It’s 150 words. Unless we can speak their language, we would lose the account. People want to know that you’re an insider and you’re an expert before they know what the features of your product, service or idea are.
It’s the analysis of what happens every day that people generally don’t pay attention to. Salespeople learn scripts. Salespeople go down a pathway. They follow others who’ve been down that pathway and learn from them. What you’re doing is you’re cracking the code and giving people the freedom to understand this process at a much deeper level. Honestly, that’s what your first book did. It talked about frames, about all the ways that you would handle different situations. What I’m fascinated about is what the second book talks about. I love the movie analogy. Why don’t you explain not just how that works, but how you did it?
The way I’ve referred to it is as inception. We don’t want to tell somebody what to think, ask them to buy from us, do it, close on them. I don’t know any closing and say, “Are you in? That’s what we have. What do you think?” The buyer goes, “I don’t know.” The only tools you have to drive the sale forward is discounting. If you think, “If I have to ask the buyer to say yes or to buy or to agree with me, and he does agree.” If you’re an executive or you’re a sales guy and you’ve been in business any amount of time, just because somebody says yes, it doesn’t mean you have a deal. When you ask someone, “What do you think? If we could get you in that color red, if we could get you the 2073 server stack for the price of the 2320 ones, would you be ready to go ahead?” Yes, Mitch, I would. I’ll take that service like that. You may be as far from a sale is when you started because when people agree with something you propose to them, it is a delicate agreement. It’s a delicate relationship. It’s very sensitive, and more often than not, the decision can be reversed. You’re chasing that thing still to close. You can chase your tail for a long time.
What I discovered is when somebody comes up with the idea that they want to work with you and they come up with that idea on their own, it’s inception. It’s created within them. They go, “Mitch, I like this. How do we get started?” That does not require a discount. It’s going to be incredibly stable. It’s going to be based on a relationship and that deal is going to go through. The question was, “How do we create inception inside of someone?” We’re never doing a trial close and they’re spitting out objections. We’re trying to overcome objections and we’re saying, “Mr. Jones, press hard. The fifth copy is yours,” is the kind of joke from the olden days. If you mention the car dealership, the general manager with the buyer of a new car sitting there. “Mitch,” handing you a pen, “Press hard. The fifth copy is yours.” How do we put these ideas in someone’s mind so they can arrive on their own to the desire, the wanting and the suggestion to buy from you to work with you and to close the sale? That was a question.
The answer was to put the things that the buyer needs to know about you into their mind in a very specific process. Buyers buy when they get information in the order that they need it, in that amount of detail that they can consume for that meeting, Skype call, phone call, presentation or whatever it is. Buyers buy when you give them the information they need in the order that they need it and the amount of detail that they need it. That was a question, how do you do that? It’s funny they say to me, “Oren, what happens when somebody is looking at their phone or interrupts you during the presentation, meeting or speech?” I say, “I don’t know because people look at their phones when I’m in meetings because I’m giving them the information they need at that moment to move to the next moment.”
When people believe they know what you’re going to say next, why you are going to say it or they’ve seen it before, then they start to check their phone because they’re bored. When you give people the information a certain way and you guide them through a sale, then you can make these sales. You can close these things without ever getting to that awkward, uncomfortable, high-pressure point where you’ve done your presentation and now you’re just talking about price. That’s where most sales go to die, is when the presentation is over and they say how much is it. You say, “It depends.” Now the things are all over the place. They’ll say, “This looks good. If you can send us over to the presentation and a proposal, I’ll take this to the committee. I’ll take this to the CFO. The CEO, the board of directors, my partners, some mythical approval committee that I just made up so I don’t have to make a decision here.” They’ll take your proposal and your pricing and they’ll go to the internet and look for the same thing, free or less, literally.Buyers buy when you give them the information they need. Click To Tweet
You’re familiar with shopping and proposal. When we get a price from a bank on a deal, a $5 million loan or a piece of equity or whatever, they’re very sensitive because they know how valuable that term sheet is. If they give you a definitive term sheet with a price on it, they’re very aware that you’re going to take that and shop. You’ll see a no-shop clause in a lot of these things where they want to at least have a relationship with you. Having a term sheet from a bank, $5 million at such and such rate at such and such terms, and most people are going to take that shop at and try and get a better rate on it. That’s what you want to avoid at all costs, is being shocked. Being put in a box saying, “One thing around here that I will not let the salespeople say is or agree to, they make a pitch for a deal.” If the buyer or prospect or whatever potential customer says, “That’s good. Now we know what our options are, we’ll get back to you if we have any additional questions,” or “Now we know it’s an option, we can figure out what we want to do.” We don’t allow that. We’re not an option that you keep on the shelf. We’re not in a box that you take out when you want to look at it.
We invest a lot in our potential deals. We make the pitch, we apply it to what you’re doing, we give you the information, certainly walk you through the KPIs, the assumptions, the pro forma, the features, the benefits, how we do it, what the cost is, what the expectations are, what the deliverables are, all that stuff. We want to drive forward to a decision. We don’t want to keep trying to chase your account around. That’s what our process does. Is this a customer? Do they have a budget? If they do have a budget, are they right for us? If they’re right for us, can they make a decision on the timeline that works for us? Ultimately, Mitch, we teach them how to buy from us. That’s what this book is about. When you’re creating an inception, you’re showing somebody how to buy from you. If they won’t follow the rules of how to buy from you, then they’re not a buyer.
Readers, we are talking with Oren Klaff, the author of Pitch Anything and Flip the Script. It’s an exciting book, a book that will change the way you sell forever. Oren, I want to summarize what you’re doing here and it’s different than just about anybody else who sells. Is your goal to implant the idea that they need this and should buy it from you in their mind without asking for the order. Is that basically the idea?
That is exactly the idea.
The way you do that is by answering their questions in advance so that they should not have any significant questions at all. The way you portrayed it in the part of the book that I read is that it’s almost as if you don’t care that much about whether they buy. You’re there to show them what you have and if it’s good fit, fine. If it’s not, it’s not and you need to grab your Uber and get back to the airport.
I feel like the thin line that goes between a great sale and a lost sale is on both sides of it, it is caring and not caring. How do you straddle that line? Caring about the client, showing them that you’re passionate, showing that you’re excited potentially about working with them and the same time going, “I’m just here in the moment. I care, I’m interested in this account. I’m excited to be working with you, but there are some things about you that make me nervous as well that I have to clarify while we’re here.” Ultimately, your job as you get into the inception sale is to say as much as you’re evaluating us as an option to work for your business, provide you services, provide you product to work together to sell you our products. We are also evaluating you because taking on a customer is very important to a company. We want good customers who are around for years and we want to avoid bad customers. We think it’s a good account. Microsoft, what else can you say about it? There are some things that we have to get straight before we’re in business together.
You flipped it around. In effect, you’ve gotten to them to the point when now they need to sell you if they want to do business.
Customers have to be in a position where they recognize you’re the best of what you do. You’re the expert, you’re there briefly in the moment. Everybody in the business is roughly a commodity and you are a commodity plus. We move on to they have to understand that as objections start forming in their mind, the answers to those objections should already be pre-answered. That’s interesting and that’s one of the chapters in the book is Pre-wired Ideas. Concepts are so complicated now. SaaS software, there’s API plugin for tax accounting software, software that has automatic API plugins that will adapt your database to Amazon’s sales system or Shopify through Amazon account management with fraud detection. These things are hard to explain and they’re complex. Whatever it is you do, there are 300 other companies that say they do the exact same thing. There are 7,000 marketing tech companies. If you batch them together in groups of 300, 400, every segment has got 400 companies that say they do the exact same thing.
I was listening to a show on the radio, something about the brain and magnificent brain or something like that. They were talking about substance abuse. They said, “What’s interesting is if you think about cocaine,” and it’s not something I know that much about or anything about. I was listening to the show and they go, “Cocaine is not some chemical substance that makes the brain go bonkers. The mind or your chemical system has never seen this before and it gets into the brain and it stimulates all this stuff and it makes you go nuts.” That’s not what happens. Cocaine works because there are receptors in the brain that understand the chemical compound of cocaine. It super saturates them. That’s fascinating. That flipped the whole idea around. I thought when people talk cocaine, it’s a substance that they’ve never seen before and it made them go nuts. The idea that there are things in the body that know what cocaine is and want it and are pre-wired to receive it. I said, “I wonder if this works in ideas. Are there pre-wired ideas?” I’m calling my buddies who are experts in narratives and storytelling.
I have a friend, David Griffiths, who is a screenwriter. He wrote The Hunted and Collateral Damage and movies you’d be familiar with. I said, “Have you thought about this pre-wired idea?” He’s like, “Oren, are you an idiot?” “Yes, I am.” He says, “There are seven ideas that a movie has to follow. If it’s not one of them, you don’t have a movie.” Man against man, man against himself, man against nature, man against whatever. I don’t know what the other ones are. You don’t have Avengers Infinity War unless you have one of those. You have a weird little art house movie that nobody wants to see. There are these themes that are pre-wired in human consciousness that we want to see, understand and immediately connect with. I said, “Are there pre-wired ideas in business where I can take all these complicated semiconductors, genetic software or SaaS software, medical devices, healthcare devices, all that stuff and compress it into pre-wired ideas that the brain already has channels to accept?” You don’t have to do a lot of explaining and convincing and overcoming objections. One of them from the book and I’m talking about here was this idea of winter is coming. Mitch, have you seen any of the Game of Thrones episode?Put your ideas and your business into a format that buyers will come up with the idea of buying from you before you even suggest it. Click To Tweet
I love Game of Thrones.
Game of Thrones is great. It’s not everybody’s cup of tea. All you readers from Utah, sorry. What you know from the show, there are so many characters, so many character arcs, so many plot arcs, so many confusing interconnecting pieces. Whenever it got so complex, the storyline is that there was no way to resolve it, they go back to, “Winter is coming.” This idea that this great freeze and it organized all the plot arcs and characters. It’s like, “When winter comes, you better have friends, food and somewhere to stay. Otherwise, you’re going to freeze to death.” That became the organizing principle and all of a sudden, the story became easy to understand again. That’s what we try and do in our sales, is introduce this idea that nuclear winter is coming to this industry. I’ll give you an understanding of what nuclear winter is in an industry.
When stadium seating came to the theater industry, it wiped out all other forms of theaters, literally put them out of business in one day. It was a complete nuclear winter, and I’m not talking about the theaters you go to, Mitch, which is they sell sushi and beer and you press a little button and they ask you what you’d like pizza or wine and the thing reclines. I’m talking about plastic seats that are higher than the seat in front of it like it was in the ‘80s. If you are a salesman, then in that industry or consulting, you would come in and say, “Stadium seating is coming. You have eight theaters. When stadium seating comes to your market, it’s going to shut you down. You have eight months before the first one is built and opened. When that happens, you have zero chance. I’m the number one guy who understands how to rapidly retrofit permit, retrofit stand up, market and cost fact the refurbishment of a theater and get a loan for it. You have about 30 days to get started. Otherwise, total annihilation. What would you like to do? I have twenty minutes left.”
I love the way you described that because that’s exactly how you described it in the book. What you’re saying is it’s your choice. If you want to proceed without my help and you know it will happen without my help, then go ahead. I’ve got a bus to catch. If you want to take care of this, I’ve got twenty minutes. Let’s get it done. The best part about what you’re describing here, and I think the learning moment for me is that when your research is so complete, when you fully understand exactly who your buyer is better than in some ways maybe they do because you probably know the market more thoroughly from your perspective than they ever could. Once you get to that point, then this flip the script concept of the inception game, placing that thought into the buyer’s mind is more straightforward than it seems. That’s what I’m getting from what you’re saying.
In every industry, I don’t care what you’re in, I don’t care if you’re shipping plastic Santa’s, there is some nuclear winter happening. Tariffs, taxation, moving to the cloud, competitors from overseas, from digital competitors from low-cost areas of the world. Every industry has some dramatic change in it that if the players don’t adjust, they will become rim, they will become Xerox, they will become Sony. They were leaders, but when the change came, the company wasn’t able to adapt. This isn’t light something on fire and then sell people fire extinguishers as it used to be in the old school sales. If you have somebody understand that there truly is a change happening in their industry and they could potentially be caught flatfooted on the other side of the change. You are the expert we were talking about in how things are going to be in the future. That is a pre-wired idea in the minds of people. Environments change, winters come and if you haven’t prepared for the winter, you’ll freeze and die. I will tell a customer, “You don’t want a $10 million deal. Winter’s coming. If you don’t prepare for winter, you’re going to freeze and die.” Let me explain.
This is the same exact way I help my clients sell the certification programs that we build together and we do it in three videos. The world has changed, video number one. Video number two is where the world is going to. Video three is here’s the solution that you can have right now that fixes the problem. This formula has been something that we’ve used for years and it works fantastic. It works well every time because it is changing. In any industry, there is always a winter coming and it’s generally pretty identifiable. In many cases, they already know it anyway.
That is the challenge that I would give people reading. Certainly, the book has a whole chapter on this. I’m putting what you have into a format that the brain already has receptors for. That makes your ideas slide right in, be accepted in without the friction of you having to explain and creating defensiveness, questions, misunderstandings, friction or need for follow up or technical, have people understand instantly in these pre-wired, pre-existing pathways into appreciation for what you’re doing, then you start moving forward towards a sale methodically and easily. You get to the point where you can move on to where you’re introducing your product and your features. Let me say this, if you are selling anything for more than a couple of months, you know what the buyer’s objections are. Come on, there are not 500 different kinds of objections. I saw the Wolf of Wall Street guy, Jordan. Jordan was talking to some audience. He goes, “What’s your problem?” “The buyers have so many objections.” “What are the objections?” He went through it and they’re like, “They have hundreds of objections.” He said, “I bet they don’t. I agree with him.” They don’t have hundreds of objections. There are five, there are maybe seven. If the price is too high, we don’t know enough about it.
Restrictive third party, “I’ve got to check with so-and-so.”
“I’ve got to check with my partner.” What are the other objections that come out? “We’re not ready. I’m not sure we can afford it. It doesn’t have one of the features that we were looking for. I don’t know. I’m running out of objections.”
I get the point. There a certain number of objections that once you learn the basic handling, then it’s rolling off a log. You handle it.When you’re raising money, you’re selling a deal. Click To Tweet
Here’s what I would say. When you get to a point in a presentation where objections are coming out, they aren’t objections. Especially now, they know coming in what it is you have, the technical features of it. You haven’t educated them that much. What they’re saying is we don’t have certainty about working with you, that the things you say will happen will actually happen. Objections are a communication of lack of certainty that the outcome will appear as promised. It is very rare that an objection ever gets chased in a sale and you satisfy the objection and then are able to move on with it. That’s the olden days. I don’t even know if it worked in the olden days.
As objection comes out, when you jump out with a whiffle bat, attack the objection, try and beat it into submission, knock it to the ground and make a piece of candy come out of the Piñata and overcome the objection. It is either not overcome they agree. You answered my question, but it has not been answered. In all likelihood, they didn’t even have that objection in the first place. They’re saying, “I’m just not into this whole thing and I need to think.” I need to think means you need to take your proposal and see if I can get free, cheaper or better somewhere else. Overcoming objections is not a part of the sale that is going to get you closer to closing the deal. Finding these ways to package your ideas to the mind of the buyer with zero friction says, “I believe this expert and I understand what he’s saying, why he’s saying it and what he’s selling me.” That’s very powerful.
Oren, I would love to talk to you all day about this because it’s fascinating to me, but I have to at this point say that we need to move on to the actual format, which is not just me asking you questions because I’d love to do that. I want to ask you one important question that has nothing to do with your book. It has to do with you. I get interested in the people that I interview and I love everything you said now. You’re an amazing individual and I would like my readers to get to know you a little bit better with this next question. Who, in all of space and time, would you like to have one hour to enjoy your walk in the park, a quick lunch or an intense conversation with?
It’s like you’re saying, “What’s your favorite movie?” You’re a movie connoisseur and all of a sudden, you can’t remember a movie. For me, a very interesting character from history was George S. Patton. I feel like war is the study of the absolute raw edges of human psychology. What people will and won’t do when the pressure is on. I see the same thing around money, but what are those things that these generals in those kinds of wars that we don’t have any more learning. I would love a one-hour stroll in the park with George Patton. That would be life-changing.
As a constellation prize, I might introduce you to my business partner whose great, great, great grandfather was George Patton. That’s fascinating. He showed me pictures of him and George Jr. In the backyard of their house in Hamilton, Massachusetts, firing a machine gun into the woods.
I’ve been in the Patton Museum. It’s out here in Chiriaco Summit near San Diego. I’ve flown out there in our plane and that’s super interesting too. I will take you up on that someday.
Oren, here it is the grand finale, the change-the-world question. What is it that you were doing or would like to do that truly has the potential to literally change the world?
What I’m doing is I feel like I’m giving people the opportunity to step out of the cliché old school or instinctive way of getting resources. That’s where I think, whether you’re negotiating or you’re raising money, whether you’re exchanging goods and services for money, you’re getting resources and power to do the things you want. I’m helping people get the power they need by understanding how buyers will sign a check, wire money, sign the agreement. That’s what I’m excited about. If anybody who wants to step into this material and learn how to get the power they need to get things done, I’m here to help.
Readers, you’ve got to get this book. It is incredible. It’s already on my Kindle. I will tell you that you will thank me when you do because Oren is an amazing guy and the book is just sensational. Your free gift is pretty sensational too. Why don’t you tell us what it is that you have in store for readers?
I was giving away a free chapter of the book and my partner said, “Give away more. Give away something I would want.” I said, “I’ll give away two free chapters.” He said, “No. Give away something awesome that I would want.” I go, “What would you want?” He said, “I need a half day with you.” I go, “Are you crazy? I don’t have a half-day. I’m very busy.” He says, “Give away a half-day.” That’s nuts. To give people something that’s truly valuable and then participate with you. Go to OrenKlaff.com and I’m giving away the opportunity to enter and win a half-day with me. I’ll fly you out to San Diego, I’ll put you up on the beach in Carlsbad, in a hotel with a beautiful overview of the beach and we’ll drive around the Lamborghini, the G-wagon, the Defender or the RA, whatever it is. You choose the car and I’ll help you do some of the things that we talked about here. Put your ideas, your business, your product, your services into a format that buyers will pay attention to it, love it, want it and come up with the idea of buying from you before you even have to suggest it. That’s the giveaway.
I hope nobody else enters but me. I think I already entered. That’s it.
You and my mom, it’s going to be a tough battle.
Oren, this has been so much fun. I enjoyed the conversation. I learned something from you. I want to thank you for teaching us all what you are now at the cutting-edge of which is how to get behind what a buyer is thinking and show them a way that they can acquire your product and have it be their decision. Thank you for that. I can’t wait until we get a chance to talk again soon.
It has been a great chat with you. Thanks, Mitch.
Resources Mentioned in This Episode:
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