Oren Klaff on How to Flip the Script to Sell Anything

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If you’re in sales, you know (or should know) of Oren Klaff. His first book, Pitch Anything is required reading in Silicon Valley, on Wall Street, and in the public relations/advertising world. There are more than 1 million copies of that book in print worldwide.

Oren’s second book, Flip the Script: Getting People to Think Your Idea Is Their Idea, is sure to be just as successful. In today’s interview, Oren and I discuss both books and how to use the lessons in those books to, well, pitch and sell anything.

In addition to being a world-renowned expert on sales, raising capital and negotiation, he’s also investment partner in a $200 million private equity investment fund and a motorcycle enthusiast. 

Pitch Anything, Oren tells me, was really about “surviving in super high-stakes environments.”

In his new book, he talks about Inception — yes, just like the movie of the same name — in which you are, as the subtitle says, getting people to think your idea is their idea.

“There’s refinement in Flip the Script over Pitch Anything,” he said. “How can you go in there and make them feel like they’re getting value, they are working with someone who knows what they’re doing, they’re working with a peer, and they have total autonomy over the decision whether to buy or participate or vote or invest, whatever it is that you’re pitching, selling. How can you give somebody total autonomy?”

Oren’s approach is more subtle, less clumsy — while still giving the buyer a sense of autonomy.

“When the buyer can feel you trying to tie him down, he can see your attempts at persuasion, the attempts are clumsy,” he explained. 

Oren also said he often gets asked about his “best close.”

“Oh, my best close, that’s … well you know my … I don’t have a close,” he said.

“Because I close in the beginning, because it sounds like this, ‘Hey look, good to meet you guys here. We’ve been trying to get on each other’s calendar. You’re super busy. We’re super busy. I’m glad we found some time to get together. We’re going to show you, give you everything you want today, should give you a presentation, and what I think you need, based on our experience. 

“And look, I don’t know if we’re lucky or if we’re smart or what the story is, but at this point in our company, we’re pretty busy as I know you are. So we’re just fortunate to be able to be choosing the customers that we want to work with. So of course, you need to evaluate us. You should be evaluating is. You should be asking us the tough questions, which we’ll try and answer. But as much as you’re evaluating us, we’re evaluating you.”

Watch my full conversation with Oren at the video above, or listen to the full podcast episode here

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