Oren Klaff On Keeping Your Position When Selling

23 replies
I got this e-mail from Oren Klaff. Oren is a sales trainers and the author of Pitch Anything.. I think you can use the lesson here when cold calling, presenting, or closing. Here it is...
-------------------


You're really going to like this dealmaking "script".
I think it can 2X your revenue and you can even start it using today.
Here's where it came from -
You know the actor Shia Labeouf? He and I were in the lobby of the Mondrian hotel in LA when out of nowhere he started yelling at the desk clerk, "WTF how did you even get this job?!"
He was really unloading on the woman.
"Take it easy," I said.
I instantly felt bad for that poor woman.
Who knows what she did to ruffle his feathers.
Probably gave him regular water instead of FIJI water, but the point is:
This kind of situation has to do with POWER.
You would only treat someone this way if you felt you had power over them.
Who has power and who doesn't will decide the fate of every deal.
And if you give away your power (or don't have it in the first place), your deal is doomed to fail.
Most people give away their power at the start of a meeting with attention seeking behavior.
For example, have you ever asked
"So, any plans for the weekend?"
"How's the weather out there?"
"Are you watching the World Cup?"
These kind of statements are an attempt to gain rapport, and receive validation. They start the call incorrectly.

Back in the hotel, Labouef perceived that he had the power because he was the buyer. He knew that the hotel wanted to keep his business, which gave him "the right" to complain about whatever he wanted in any manner he deemed fit.
Further, he knew the employee had no authority, and, therefore, no recourse but to endure his rant.
Buyers perceive that they have all he power. SO they believe they're entitled to be as difficult or unprofessional with you as they deem fit.
In other words, they feel justified about their bad behavior, whether it's:
• Blowing off calls without notice.

• Ignoring your timely and professional communication.

• Backing out of a deal at the last minute.
"What can be done?" you might be thinking. It's just the way sales work, buyers have all the power, right?
No, they don't.
A LOT can be done to keep the power you have and gain more along the way.
In this email, I'll to show you a technique to take control of any sale from the get-go.

Below is the script I mentioned, but it starts with knowing this -
At the beginning of the sales call, do away with small talk. No weather, sports, politics, plans for the weekend, etc.
Instead, say:
"Wow, we are so busy right now, [I'm trying to hire two assistants right now to keep up, we're completely booked through July.]"
Then, state clearly "this such-and-such very positive thing just happened..." [eg. Microsoft just made us an approved partner]
"And I wasn't expecting it, but this other good thing happened ..." [Our blog hit 80,000 users]
Then say something self-deprecating (and humorous if possible), for example, "I'm just an engineering geek, I love playing chess and video games so it's a little weird to have all this going on, I'm not used to it..."
Now, move to the business at hand, "Truth is, I'm very interested in your account, it seems like a perfect fit for us, but I have a few concerns about you too, a few things I read online, which I want to talk about on this call."

This script is decievingly simple. But now, the call is set up correctly and you can start your presentation.
Why does this work?
The buyer understands clearly:
• You are busy.

• Your company is succeeding and growing.

• You want the account and are willing to work for it.

• You are humble but hungry.

• BUT, you aren't needy and you're not going to chase a weak account.

• You're not chasing the account, and right now they can't even buy from you because you have some concerns that need to get cleared up.

This kind of set-up is not bragging or acting like a big shot, it won't make you sound like Rosanne or Dennis Rodman.
Instead, you'll be perceived as a professional, experienced and straight shooting executive.
Most importantly, you'll be in control and have all the power you need to get their attention and manage the call.
I learned this method from an executive who is on the staff at Harvard University and has a net worth of $50 million.
If he does it this way, so can you.
Having this strategy under your belt gives you an advantage from the first word.
The method I outlined above is golden. And it's honest.
Use this script consistently and your revenue can pop 2X.

-----------------------------------------------

There it is. Klaff spends his time selling large deals to large companies. But I think we can learn something from different mind sets...different approaches.Opinions? Suggestions?
#keeping #klaff #oren #position #selling
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  • Profile picture of the author helisell
    I wove the Oren Klaff stuff into all my trainings as soon as
    I read 'Pitch Anything' about a year or so ago.

    I think he is probably a genius, he certainly comes close.

    Hard to decipher what you've posted though Claude unless
    people have read the book.

    Good one !
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  • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
    Not to dismiss Oren's work,
    but a word for word cold call script
    Oren verbalized on a live training
    in which a full-time super dedicated pro salesman used...bombed.

    Oren was given the context of the selling environment
    Scott was going into via email before the live call.

    Once I found out what it was there are 2 types of methodolgies
    in the sales world..

    The Oren Klaff way is "sit down, shut up, listen and
    don't talk untill I tell you."

    The other way is consutive.

    There is a third way and it's a hybrid of both.

    The buyer has to be used to that method and agree to it.

    Ambushing a stranger on the phone who hasn't come across it
    and hasn't agreed to it, is a recipe for disaster, as Scott found out.

    We still used the high status, the intrigue hook and takeaway and used it in the script, set the right sequence then made time for the buyer to talk along the script.

    We kept adjusting to the feedback Scott recieved.

    We would not move on to the next part of the script sequence until
    the feedback went smooth, even if we knew the rest of the script broke down.

    Things turned around and records were broken.

    The other approach is the consultavive sale.

    Getting back to the email Oren sent and his pitch structure,
    What's missing, I believe,
    is the context of the sequence of events.

    Oren uses email on the first approach, insert a mutual associte, friend or aquantance where possiblke to
    get an agreement to a quick 5 minute talk
    on the ph to see if there is enough interest to take the next step.

    That next step is what Oren has laid out in his email
    for the opening.

    Scott didn't have that luxury of multi steps.

    It was go for the sale on one phone call.

    Oren hasn't worked under those constraints, he hasn't had to because that is not
    how big deals are done.

    Once again it's understanding the buying environment that works for the buyer
    and adapting to make it easier on the salesperson.

    {Note, I would tidy this up if the system would stop the page jumping around!]
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    • Profile picture of the author helisell
      Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

      Not to dismiss Oren's work,
      but a word for word cold call script
      Oren verbalized on a live training
      in which a full-time super dedicated pro salesman used...bombed.

      Oren was given the context of the selling environment
      Scott was going into via email before the live call.

      Once I found out what it was there are 2 types of methodolgies
      in the sales world..

      The Oren Klaff way is "sit down, shut up, listen and
      don't talk untill I tell you."

      The other way is consutive.

      There is a third way and it's a hybrid of both.

      The buyer has to be used to that method and agree to it.

      Ambushing a stranger on the phone who hasn't come across it
      and hasn't agreed to it, is a recipe for disaster, as Scott found out.

      We still used the high status, the intrigue hook and takeaway and used it in the script, set the right sequence then made time for the buyer to talk along the script.

      We kept adjusting to the feedback Scott recieved.

      We would not move on to the next part of the script sequence until
      the feedback went smooth, even if we knew the rest of the script broke down.

      Things turned around and records were broken.

      The other approach is the consultavive sale.

      Getting back to the email Oren sent and his pitch structure,
      What's missing, I believe,
      is the context of the sequence of events.

      Oren uses email on the first approach, insert a mutual associte, friend or aquantance where possiblke to
      get an agreement to a quick 5 minute talk
      on the ph to see if there is enough interest to take the next step.

      That next step is what Oren has laid out in his email
      for the opening.

      Scott didn't have that luxury of multi steps.

      It was go for the sale on one phone call.

      Oren hasn't worked under those constraints, he hasn't had to because that is not
      how big deals are done.

      Once again it's understanding the buying environment that works for the buyer
      and adapting to make it easier on the salesperson.

      {Note, I would tidy this up if the system would stop the page jumping around!]
      Nail hitting stuff here.

      I've added some of the Oren Klaff principles to my methodology and was kinda pleased to hear that a cold script he created actually bombed.

      In the 'real world' where I, and many others operate successfully, we get instinctive about what works and what doesn't. That's why it's so hard to be definitive. I guess most of us pros on here are a bit like...'ok so what are we selling?...under what circumstances?'

      so let's see...in that case we're gonna need a little bit of this opening technique....and we'll use a bit of this if we get blocked, and well add in a lump of that when we get to here etc etc etc.....In other words..'it's complex and each new product/situation will need a hybrid technique based on 30 years experience and a hundred books.

      Actually it's good that things are this complex....otherwise everybody would be able to do it.
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      • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
        Originally Posted by helisell View Post

        Nail hitting stuff here.

        I've added some of the Oren Klaff principles to my methodology and was kinda pleased to hear that a cold script he created actually bombed.

        In the 'real world' where I, and many others operate successfully, we get instinctive about what works and what doesn't. That's why it's so hard to be definitive. I guess most of us pros on here are a bit like...'ok so what are we selling?...under what circumstances?'

        so let's see...in that case we're gonna need a little bit of this opening technique....and we'll use a bit of this if we get blocked, and well add in a lump of that when we get to here etc etc etc.....In other words..'it's complex and each new product/situation will need a hybrid technique based on 30 years experience and a hundred books.

        Actually it's good that things are this complex....otherwise everybody would be able to do it.
        That's why it's so hard to give advice until you diagnose the individual situation,
        otherwise there are so many variables that trip you up, I've found.

        Best,
        Ewen
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        • Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

          That's why it's so hard to give advice until you diagnose the individual situation,
          otherwise there are so many variables that trip you up, I've found.

          Best,
          Ewen
          Ewen:

          Agreed (of course). In the beginning it's a lot of questions....
          I don't want to describe anything, or talk about services....until I absolutely know whether it will apply to them ...or if it's an appeal that they will go for.

          To them, it looks like everything you are saying just happens to fit them perfectly. Of course, it's because you asked all those questions before you started presenting.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    I know a guy who installs swimming pools, he never cold calls.

    Matter of fact, people call him and ask to buy swimming pools. THEY CALL HIM! WTH?

    He calls it "advertising on TV within a 2 hour drive/radius of his town".

    He's $#@ing genius.
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    • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      I know a guy who installs swimming pools, he never cold calls.
      That confirms he's not an idiot. I have a friend that drills wells. Guess what? He never cold calls, either. lol
      Signature

      "He not busy being born, is busy dying." - Bob Dylan • "I vibe with the light-dark point. Heavy." - Words that Bob Dylan wishes he had written.

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      • Profile picture of the author yukon
        Banned
        Originally Posted by OptedIn View Post

        That confirms he's not an idiot. I have a friend that drills wells. Guess what? He never cold calls, either. lol
        That's straight out of the future!
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  • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
    I have a friend that drills wells. Guess what? He never cold calls, either. lol
    I live in a rural area, and there are only three well-drilling companies. The guys who drilled our well before we bought the house barely answer their phone, and it's like pulling teeth to set up a service appointment with them. Twice they left us without clean water on a holiday weekend (once Memorial Day, once Labor Day).

    But they know our well very very well, and once they get here, they do fix it super-competently. Our well is 432 feet deep, and I believe they drilled it competently.

    I tried contacting the other companies but they were very reluctant to help us. One told us straight out, "I know who drilled your well."

    Is it any wonder our well company would not need to make cold calls? Maybe they're not growing, but they're probably not shrinking either.

    Marcia Yudkin
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    Check out Marcia Yudkin's No-Hype Marketing Academy for courses on copywriting, publicity, infomarketing, marketing plans, naming, and branding - not to mention the popular "Marketing for Introverts" course.
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  • Here's my take on the whole thing. The quote saying Claude Whitacre are actually the Oren Klaff script segments.

    Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

    Most people give away their power at the start of a meeting with attention seeking behavior.
    For example, have you ever asked
    "So, any plans for the weekend?"
    "How's the weather out there?"
    "Are you watching the World Cup?"
    These kind of statements are an attempt to gain rapport, and receive validation. They start the call incorrectly.
    I agree with this on any call. Whether it's a cold call, a call to an existing customer, or even a service call. In fact, when someone starts a call like that, I ignore what they just said and say "What can I do for you?". The exception is from a friend, but I still never ask about the weather, sports, or say "How are you?". It just isn't me.

    Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

    Below is the script I mentioned, but it starts with knowing this -
    At the beginning of the sales call, do away with small talk. No weather, sports, politics, plans for the weekend, etc.
    Instead, say:
    "Wow, we are so busy right now, [I'm trying to hire two assistants right now to keep up, we're completely booked through July.]"
    Then, state clearly "this such-and-such very positive thing just happened..." [eg. Microsoft just made us an approved partner]
    I would never start a cold call that way, because nobody cares. It may be a few steps into a presentation that I say things that indicate that business is good, I'm busy, and everybody buys. The most important one is that everybody buys. Demand is high. That's the position. But you can accomplish that in just a couple of comments sprinkled in the presentation.

    Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

    "And I wasn't expecting it, but this other good thing happened ..." [Our blog hit 80,000 users]
    A little too much, especially when grouped with the rest of it. I used to say "The factory is working overtime to keep up with demand". It indicated that what I sold was becoming more popular, and lots of people were buying. But it didn't sound like bragging, because it wasn't about me.

    Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

    Then say something self-deprecating (and humorous if possible), for example, "I'm just an engineering geek, I love playing chess and video games so it's a little weird to have all this going on, I'm not used to it..."
    Not bad, but again...quite a lot is being said at one time about Me, Me, Me. To me, that's distracting. Too big a bite at one time.


    Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

    Now, move to the business at hand, "Truth is, I'm very interested in your account, it seems like a perfect fit for us, but I have a few concerns about you too, a few things I read online, which I want to talk about on this call."
    If someone said that on a first call, I'd say "Maybe we are not up to your standards. You should think about it more. Goodbye."

    The only possible time I would use such a thing is if someone applied for a franchise, loan, or distributorship...and a few things showed up on the credit report.

    I suspect strongly that most of what Klaff teaches is more a principle than actual sales script. At least I hope so. I do remember that his book had lots of excellent material in it.
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  • Profile picture of the author salsym
    Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

    I got this e-mail from Oren Klaff. Oren is a sales trainers and the author of Pitch Anything.. I think you can use the lesson here when cold calling, presenting, or closing. Here it is...
    -------------------


    You're really going to like this dealmaking "script".
    I think it can 2X your revenue and you can even start it using today.
    Here's where it came from -
    You know the actor Shia Labeouf? He and I were in the lobby of the Mondrian hotel in LA when out of nowhere he started yelling at the desk clerk, "WTF how did you even get this job?!"
    He was really unloading on the woman.
    "Take it easy," I said.
    I instantly felt bad for that poor woman.
    Who knows what she did to ruffle his feathers.
    Probably gave him regular water instead of FIJI water, but the point is:
    This kind of situation has to do with POWER.
    You would only treat someone this way if you felt you had power over them.
    Who has power and who doesn't will decide the fate of every deal.
    And if you give away your power (or don't have it in the first place), your deal is doomed to fail.
    Most people give away their power at the start of a meeting with attention seeking behavior.
    For example, have you ever asked
    "So, any plans for the weekend?"
    "How's the weather out there?"
    "Are you watching the World Cup?"
    These kind of statements are an attempt to gain rapport, and receive validation. They start the call incorrectly.

    Back in the hotel, Labouef perceived that he had the power because he was the buyer. He knew that the hotel wanted to keep his business, which gave him "the right" to complain about whatever he wanted in any manner he deemed fit.
    Further, he knew the employee had no authority, and, therefore, no recourse but to endure his rant.
    Buyers perceive that they have all he power. SO they believe they're entitled to be as difficult or unprofessional with you as they deem fit.
    In other words, they feel justified about their bad behavior, whether it's:
    • Blowing off calls without notice.

    • Ignoring your timely and professional communication.

    • Backing out of a deal at the last minute.
    "What can be done?" you might be thinking. It's just the way sales work, buyers have all the power, right?
    No, they don't.
    A LOT can be done to keep the power you have and gain more along the way.
    In this email, I'll to show you a technique to take control of any sale from the get-go.

    Below is the script I mentioned, but it starts with knowing this -
    At the beginning of the sales call, do away with small talk. No weather, sports, politics, plans for the weekend, etc.
    Instead, say:
    "Wow, we are so busy right now, [I'm trying to hire two assistants right now to keep up, we're completely booked through July.]"
    Then, state clearly "this such-and-such very positive thing just happened..." [eg. Microsoft just made us an approved partner]
    "And I wasn't expecting it, but this other good thing happened ..." [Our blog hit 80,000 users]
    Then say something self-deprecating (and humorous if possible), for example, "I'm just an engineering geek, I love playing chess and video games so it's a little weird to have all this going on, I'm not used to it..."
    Now, move to the business at hand, "Truth is, I'm very interested in your account, it seems like a perfect fit for us, but I have a few concerns about you too, a few things I read online, which I want to talk about on this call."

    This script is decievingly simple. But now, the call is set up correctly and you can start your presentation.
    Why does this work?
    The buyer understands clearly:
    • You are busy.

    • Your company is succeeding and growing.

    • You want the account and are willing to work for it.

    • You are humble but hungry.

    • BUT, you aren't needy and you're not going to chase a weak account.

    • You're not chasing the account, and right now they can't even buy from you because you have some concerns that need to get cleared up.

    This kind of set-up is not bragging or acting like a big shot, it won't make you sound like Rosanne or Dennis Rodman.
    Instead, you'll be perceived as a professional, experienced and straight shooting executive.
    Most importantly, you'll be in control and have all the power you need to get their attention and manage the call.
    I learned this method from an executive who is on the staff at Harvard University and has a net worth of $50 million.
    If he does it this way, so can you.
    Having this strategy under your belt gives you an advantage from the first word.
    The method I outlined above is golden. And it's honest.
    Use this script consistently and your revenue can pop 2X.

    -----------------------------------------------

    There it is. Klaff spends his time selling large deals to large companies. But I think we can learn something from different mind sets...different approaches.Opinions? Suggestions?
    I can relate to this when I became a wall to a client who was expecting a free service from me. Once I took my stand firmly, he gave in, and after that surprisingly he was a bit too respectful to me that too after giving service call charges....
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  • Profile picture of the author misterme
    You would only treat someone this way if you felt you had power over them.
    Because the truth is they don't have the power, they only imagine they do, which is exactly why they look to use intimidation. They either want to get their way, or vent their anger arising from their frustration. In the latter, this signals a lack of self-discipline, as one can experience not being pleased without building up explosive anger, or complain without being abusive. In the former, this proves they haven't the power because if they did, then they would have already gotten what they wanted easily, and without having to resort to abuse.
    Signature
    "Best book on answering objections I have seen... it's for photographers but it has brilliant techniques you can use in any business." - Claude Whitacre. When They Say That, You Say This (Amazon Kindle)
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  • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
    There is a case against wrestling control up front,
    especially when dealing with a strong personality that
    also wants the same power too.

    In the world of hostage taking where the hostage taker/terrorist
    seeks the ultimate power trip over others, you get people killed
    trying to wrestle control.

    That's how it use to be with the FBI hostage negotiators.

    The Bureau changed tactics to what is known as tactical empathy.

    There was only one life lost while he headed this new way of doing things
    compared to many lives prior.

    To learn more about it from the former head of international
    hostage taking division at the FBI, Chris Voss, read his book
    Never Split The Difference.

    It works in the business world too,
    as I've found out after using what he says.

    Best,
    Ewen
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  • Profile picture of the author misterme
    ^^^ True that. I was taught that concept by a nationally known sales trainer brought in to consult a small group of us. The idea is to make the bossy type buyer feel they have the control over all the options when actually you're steering them. Kind of how a magician may force a card on an audience member.
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    "Best book on answering objections I have seen... it's for photographers but it has brilliant techniques you can use in any business." - Claude Whitacre. When They Say That, You Say This (Amazon Kindle)
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    Back in the hotel, Labouef perceived that he had the power because he was the buyer.

    Haha Claude. This line reminds me of the Dark Knight Rises, when Bane says:

    "So because you gave me money, you think you have power over me? Do you FEEL in charge?"

    Then he kills the guy after torturing him. Which is not advisable on a cold call. If you want the sale.

    I dig the idea of softening. Buyers in the West believe spending money gives you power. So versus trying to gain power, be like water, and go with their flow, and if they relent a bit, sales opps arise. If not, I'd let them go. 7 billion fish in the sea and unlimited opportunities out there.

    Ryan
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    Ryan Biddulph inspires you to be a successful blogger with his courses, 100 plus eBooks, audio books and blog at Blogging From Paradise
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  • Profile picture of the author SeanDezoysa
    Oren's #1 lesson is the frame dominates everything else. It's the window of analysis, so whoever controls that, controls the persuasive vessel itself.
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    • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
      Originally Posted by SeanDezoysa View Post

      Oren's #1 lesson is the frame dominates everything else. It's the window of analysis, so whoever controls that, controls the persuasive vessel itself.
      God help us all. The mumbo-jumbo will never end.

      Who buys this crap???
      Signature

      "He not busy being born, is busy dying." - Bob Dylan • "I vibe with the light-dark point. Heavy." - Words that Bob Dylan wishes he had written.

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      • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
        Originally Posted by OptedIn View Post

        Gos help us all. The mumbo-jumbo will never end.

        Who buys this crap???
        But it is a triple pained window of opportunity, with self adjusting light filters, and the frames are built into the wall, and the wall built on the floor, which covers the foundation, built from holes in the ground, so the essence is, holes are the real keys to selling. Not the frames.

        GordonJ
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        • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
          Originally Posted by GordonJ View Post

          But it is a triple pained window of opportunity, with self adjusting light filters, and the frames are built into the wall, and the wall built on the floor, which covers the foundation, built from holes in the ground, so the essence is, holes are the real keys to selling. Not the frames.

          GordonJ
          Oh, I see. Thanks for taking the time to explaining this concept in greater depth. It all makes perfect sense to me now and I will never view life or business in the same way, ever again.

          It's true - you're never too old to learn new things.
          Signature

          "He not busy being born, is busy dying." - Bob Dylan • "I vibe with the light-dark point. Heavy." - Words that Bob Dylan wishes he had written.

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    • Profile picture of the author jsc420
      Originally Posted by SeanDezoysa View Post

      Oren's #1 lesson is the frame dominates everything else. It's the window of analysis, so whoever controls that, controls the persuasive vessel itself.
      This kind of talk is why people don't trust marketers
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      • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
        Originally Posted by jsc420 View Post

        This kind of talk is why people don't trust marketers
        This kind of talk is why people hide from marketers
        Signature

        "He not busy being born, is busy dying." - Bob Dylan • "I vibe with the light-dark point. Heavy." - Words that Bob Dylan wishes he had written.

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    • Profile picture of the author eccj
      Originally Posted by SeanDezoysa View Post

      Oren's #1 lesson is the frame dominates everything else. It's the window of analysis, so whoever controls that, controls the persuasive vessel itself.
      Something like that.....

      I like Oran and his book. If I found myself pitching in front of a group of people I would steal everything he has and use it.

      I've used some of the stuff I've learned from him when a prospect is stalling over some irrelevant point that I can't change. That being said the book is not a sales book.

      I've heard Oran say this multiple times in interviews and in the book yet people still seem to think it is a sales book.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
    I had the pleasure of reading Oren's book "Pitch Anything" about three years ago. His teaching, stop pitching from the low-status position, made a lot of sense to me.

    If you like audios, check out the interviews Oren did around the time his book came out. Very helpful, and you get a good sense of the guy by hearing his voice.

    Alex
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