Flip the Script by Oren Klaff
2020, book #26: “The 3 Ws that need to be conveyed to the buyer during any presentation: 1. Why should I care? 2. What’s in it for me? 3. Why you?” — Oren Klaff
Finished on April 23, 2020
Oren’s book Pitch Anything is one of my all-time favorites. I was quite excited to read the follow-up and continue to learn from Oren. This book was insightful and impactful. There were many key takeaways that stuck with me. In a negotiation, you want to be in control — even if the other person feels as if they are.
The talent stack is essential. People must be able to easily see the structure and easily align themselves with your talent stack.
Status alignment is essential for any deal and comes when you are in front of a decision-maker and you’ve either raised or lowered your status to perfectly match the decision maker’s view of himself. Oren makes sure to carefully staff each business deal with a talent stack that any other deal maker can recognize and easily plug into.
Starting at the top and in order of importance, Oren’s stack usually looks like this:
1. Oren, the deal maker
2. Financial Office
3. Marketing Officer
4. Senior Analyst
5. Legal Person
6. Client Relations
7. Junior Accountant
This leaves Oren to talk to the other deal maker as everyone is talking to the correct person.
Not only do you need to give yourself credibility, but you need to display why your credibility should be important to the other party as well.
Three things needed for a successful status tip-off (to balance status levels) with an industry leader:
1. Use specific industry lingo
2. Describe a recent action you have taken
3. Mention a real situation everyone in the industry cares about
Bonus: Converse with 3 other people at the target individual’s level and pay attention to what they talk about.
The flash role is quick, to the point, and descriptive. As Oren emphasizes, the story here should be something that is not prideful, it’s just a routine activity. The manner by which this is communicated is essential. No matter who the listener is, the presentation should be the same.
Establishing credibility by using a flash role:
Describe the problem being faced, include your assessment of it, proposed solution, and the economics — how long it will take and what the results will be or were the last time you did it. — freely use technical terms as you regularly would in your business if you were one on one with them. Double the rate of your regular speech to express it is second nature. The manner of which you deliver the flash role is of utmost importance. You absolutely can NOT be seeking validation or the opinion of the buyer.
You need to emphasize that you are the expert — not them. It shouldn’t come across as something you’re proud of but rather something mundane and uninteresting to you. To end it you could shrug and say anyways based off what I’m seeing here that’s what I would do, then move on to the next part of the presentation.
Oren, again, makes it very clear that we must keep the buyer front of mind at all times. We are presenting to them and selling to them and ultimately, looking to garner their interest.
The 3 Ws that need to be conveyed to the buyer during any presentation:
1. Why should I care
2. What’s in it for me
3. Why you
You must demand as little mental energy from them as possible while you reveal these things.
3 key things. 3 key areas that we need to focus on when we are providing an opportunity for which we need investment. We have to make the offer enticing, express that it is the right time, and make it known that we are the right person to get it done.
1. Share that the overall industry is transforming — something broad and relatable.
2. Make it obvious that the buyer is going to get at least twice the reward in some area with your product or service, this is the only way to satisfy their reward receptor. Must follow the 2x formula.
3. Offer proof that you will work hard, stick with it, and follow-through. Express that you have skin in the game.
This is what works. We communicate that new ideas are just like the others except better. If you look at a variety of industries, you will see how this is often present. Uber marketed themselves as a taxi company that could be reserved on a mobile app.
The best method to get people to listen and pay attention to our ideas is to make them new and exciting. But, doing so can trigger anxiety and avoidance and they won’t be likely to take action when it counts later on. If we make our ideas seem normal and nonthreatening from the beginning, it’s possible no one will listen to it.
The key thing to do is novelty chunking. Display that the product or service is just like the others in the market except for one aspect. Find a way all differences are related and “chunk” them together.
Google Docs was marketed as the same as Word AND everyone can collaborate at once. That was their novelty chunk.
I love this. As the seller we must guide the buyer and have them ask the questions that you would like for them to ask.
The goal is not weeks of follow up, the goal is inception NOW.
Give a buyer permission to start questioning you and your team but first teach them exactly what to question about it.
Pessimism + autonomy + expertise = inception
Especially people high up, people like their egos stroked and they are often well attuned to their reputation and what others perceive them as. We have to play to their interests to ensure that they are reminded that they have the power.
Arouse a high-ranking individual’s curiosity by threatening their social ranking and then offering a valuable secret. When you imply someone’s position in the dominance hierarchy and social org is changing, they snap to attention.
1. People are constantly attuned to what others are saying about them.
2. Every star knows intuitively that they are only as good as their last win, people want to know what others are doing to get an edge.
Make it clear that you are in control, execute execute execute, and maintain the credibility that’s been established. Not only that, we need to maintain the understanding that we are the expert. I have nothing to add to this section besides the fact that we really need to commit it to memory and put each and every step into action.
Setting up boundaries of discussion through the individual fence:
1. Introduce the buyer’s formula, share that you’re familiar with what they’re looking to do. “I’ve done this a thousand times.”
2. Outline obvious ways to fail.
3. Highlight counterintuitive ways to fail. Expertly point these out and teach your buyer at least one point of valuable insight.
4. List obvious actions. Start with a few no-brainers that are probably already in the back of your buyer’s mind.
5. Less obvious tips and insights or “hacks” the things you’d only know if you’ve done this a hundred times.
6. Hand over autonomy. Say something like, “well that’s just what I’d do having done it at least 100 times already.” With a shrug that detaches you from the outcome.
7. Redirect and keep the buyer in bounds. The better you get at delivering the rookie formula, the less you’ll have to field rogue questions. When they do come up, let your buyer fully object. Hear them out. Say something like, “there are 25 things that people always worry about but only 5 matter, focus on these 5 and everything will be perfect.”
If your buyer won’t respect your expert status and your buyer’s formula, he will never be a good customer, partner, or investor: start backing away.
Agreement and acknowledgement — the resolutions that should always be sought.
Nodding heads and leaning is always a sign that status alignment has been achieved.
To sum it up, here’s what we are to do. There are a handful of actions that we need to ensure are taken each and every time that we seek to flip the script.
Flip the script:
Status alignment so you establish that you fit into the group.
Establish yourself as an expert through a flash role; this distances you from the group.
Communicate your big idea and answer the questions in the buyer’s mind: Why do I care? What’s in it for me? Why you? Use pre-wired ideas so they understand quickly.
Find a novelty sweet spot, a plain vanilla deal with just one key difference or improvement. This helps establish a free exchange of ideas and plans to move forward.
Contain pessimism within pre-defined boundaries through use of an invisible fence. Teach them how to buy whatever they’re selling.
You must be credible, believable, and in position as the best expert to solve their problems.
This book was almost as good as the first one that I worked through from Oren, that one on my annual reading list.I enjoy learning from people who have extensive success and Oren is certainly one of those people. This book was another that makes the list to review often and extensively for
I gave this book a 4.5/5