20 Minutes to More Money
A mini ‘Pitch Anything’ Book Review
The phone rings. When you pick it up there’s a pause and then someone asks for “Mr. or Mrs. Penook” (or whatever badly pronounced version of your last name they come up with).
Immediately you feel yourself bristle. I equate it to when hackles go up on a dog. Somebody is in your territory and they want something from you.
That bristling; that immediate resistance you feel the second you realize the phone call is from a telemarketer and not a friend or family member, is the same feeling the private lender, the joint venture partner, and even the home seller feels when you’re sitting down to meet with them. Even though they’ve agreed to meet with you, they have anxiety as they are wondering what you want, how much time you’re going to take and whether they should trust you or fear you.
It’s a lot to overcome right from the start. And getting over the initial resistance that is present is a bigger subject than we’re going to cover today, but what I am going to share will help. It is my own personal application of a 20 minute pitch that Oren Klaff presents in his brand new kick butt sales book: Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading and Winning the Deal.
First of all, calm your own anxiety when you feel the prospects tension. Remind yourself that you have already done something right because they agreed to meet with you and then start putting the 20 minute pitch to work immediately. Oren suggests youavoid small talk. It does nothing for the anxiety and can even give the person you’re meeting with power and control over the meeting. Instead begin your meeting with something like this:
“Let’s get started. If I spend about 20 minutes giving you the essential details of what we do then we’ll have a bit of time to talk it over before I have to leave for another meeting.”
Something like this puts your prospect at ease because you’ve just let them know that you’re not going to take all day, you know exactly what you need to say and you are busy/in demand (If it looks like you have nothing else going on they aren’t going to want to do business with you – kind of like nobody wants to eat in the empty restaurant they’d rather wait in line at the busy one).
So how’s your 20 minute pitch look? Here’s the outline:
- Introduce yourself & the big idea (the reason for the meeting) – 5 minutes
- Explain WHY (depending on what your meeting is about you are getting into WHY you, WHY this offer or this deal, and WHY now) – 10 minutes
- Make your offer – 2 minutes
- Stack the ‘frames’ for a hot cognition – 3 minutes
You really need to read Oren’s book to get a good grasp on frames and how to control the frame in a conversation but simply explained frames are basically our own perspectives and how we try to control a conversation. Some will have an analytical frame, others a power frame and some others will be busy and have a frame around time. Regardless, you need to identify the frames that are coming at you, and learn how to respond in order to have YOUR frame be in charge of the meeting.
If I am applying the 20 minute pitch principles to a joint venture partnership presentation here’s how it’s going to look:
Phase 1: Introduction
In less than 60 seconds I’ll explain our big wins. In our case I would emphasize our recent award from Canadian Real Estate Magazine as Best Investor and Best Investing Website, our consistent results in providing our JV partners about a 15% per year return on their investment, and our Better Business Bureau top rating. For fun, I might also mention the fact that a local news reporter that interviewed Dave recently, called him the Donald Trump of Vancouver Island. That’s it. I could say a lot more about our depth of experience, education and even the related jobs we’ve held. But, I won’t.
In your case, highlight your greatest real estate related accomplishment and your greatest strength. Resist the urge to go on and on about yourself.
Next, move onto the deal or concept you’re presenting (if you don’t have a specific deal). Address the unspoken questions about whether real estate is a good investment, why you are the person to do this with, and why it’s important NOW. At this point I would also remind them that the reason for the meeting is to explore whether they are a good fit for what you offer. Remind them that they need to prove themselves to you.
Then, and this is the powerful piece we’re going to improve in our own presentation, outline the market forces which create a perfect opportunity for the deal right now:
- Economic Forces: explain what’s changed in the market financially to make this the right time to do the deal you’re proposing (for example, the economic forces that are behind the future potential of your area).
- Social Forces: explain the emerging consumer behaviour or general sentiments that are supporting your idea or making it the ideal time to do your deal (in combination with the economic forces explain why general sentiments not favouring real estate right now is actually a positive thing as an investor – buying low when others aren’t)
- Technology Forces: explain anything else in the market that is creating an opportunity.
Finally, still keeping to the time limit, if you have a particular deal you’re presenting explain the back story of it. JV partners LOVE to hear how you discovered this gem and why others missed it or how you used your ninja negotiation tactics to get the deal.
Phase 2: WHY
Oren calls this the secret sauce and the budget. For me, it’s answering the big WHY questions.
Explain your idea. My introduction to a JV partner would be something like this:
What we offer is for people who are unhappy with roller coaster returns in the stock market and mutual fund managers that make money no matter what they make. We offer great returns and unlike many investment alternatives out there we only make money when you do. This particular deal is a typical deal we do in terms of location and type of home – but it’s special because we negotiated an extra $10,000 off the already under market purchase price in exchange for a firm deal in 48 hours. Not many people in the market could do that which is why they called us to do the deal.
During this phase of your presentation create novelty to maintain attention. Short demos (pictures!), new ideas or smart metaphors can all create novelty which will improve the results of this phase.
At this point there may or may not be much interest from your prospect and that is where you can implement push / pull tactics.
You’ll say something like:
You know, we probably aren’t right to work with each other, <PAUSE>, but then again, if we are we could combine to _________ (focus on their most important benefit which is money or wealth or time or legacy).
This pushes them away and pulls them in, creating tension and attention. You need that right now if you’re about to invite them to do your deal.
Phase 3: Offer
At this point your describe clearly what they are going to receive if they sign up to partner with you on the deal. Explain what they will get, when and how. Quickly lay out the roles and responsibilities (which I shared a bit about a little bit when I shared how to overcome the biggest challenge in doing JV parntership deals).
This part is short and to the point. Avoid deep dives into details. That will cool the meeting off faster than a dip in the Pacific Ocean in January.
Phase 4: Stack ’em and Rack ’em
“Most of the time, the data we have collected about choices and alternatives and options aren’t used to make a decision anyway. They are used to justify decisions after the fact” p. 132
In this phase you build intrigue, flip the frame so the prospect is chasing you for the deal not the other way around, lay out the time deadlines, and finally hold your position as the authority figure as you leave the door open for them to run through it after your deal.
You cannot, under any circumstances, come across as wanting something from them. You will lose your authority position and you’ll turn them off.
This is my version of Oren’s 20 minute pitch. If you’re making offers, meeting private lenders and considering JV partnerships I highly recommend you pick up a copy of this book.
Remember the telemarketer? When you feel yourself getting needy or being boring, remember how you feel when the phone rings with a telemarketer. If that doesn’t help you focus back on the 20 minute pitch and keep things light, interesting and to the point then I am not sure what will!