Thrive Not Survive Podcast Episode #42 The Psychology of the Pitch
How to Perfect Your Pitch by Understanding the Human Brain
I had a good chat with one of our agents this past week and we talked about the dreaded close. You know, that conversation at the end of your presentation where you have to ‘ask for the business.’
I am going to start this podcast out by saying that if you have to ask for the business, you’re doing it wrong. I mean, if you have to use old school sales talk and objection handlers you haven’t done your job.
Your job is to
Know and understand the market and your USP
Effectively communicate this to your potential client so that you close the value gap
If you can nail these two items, you shouldn’t ever have to ask for a listing again. If you aren’t leading with value and understanding the power of a pitch, then I have to introduce you to someone I heard speak two years ago at a conference.
His name is Oren Klaff. Oren is a very talented and gifted investment banker and author of Pitch Anything. I think he is one of the thought leaders out there that has nailed the psychology of the pitch and to understand the psychology of the pitch you first have to understand the human brain.
Some of the items Oren talks about in his book and countless videos and podcast’s now is the status of the presenter and how people perceive & process information.
He talks about how the information in your pitch is being processed:
How that It comes in through the crocodile brain >>>> if the information is good it makes its way to the mid-brain >>>> winds up in the neocortex where the decision to work with you is made.
He describes the crocodile brain as being the oldest part of the human brain, it is the part where rudimentary information is processed.
Think back to high school when we learned about Neanderthals. The didn’t know how to talk, but had the ability (we think) to communicate. If they could communicate, that means that they could process information. However, the information the processed was very basic, something like:
“I see deer. Deer has meat. I hungry. Must kill deer to eat.”
There was no real higher level functionality than that. I am hungry and I need to eat, so therefore I am going to eat what I kill. Basic stuff.
The information that we are processing today is still coming in through that old part of the brain, it is still basic, where the evolution comes in is by way of the other parts of the brain and the decisions humans make with the information they have access to by also considering the source of that information.
If the information that you are pitching to your potential client isn't 'status worthy' by the time it hits the mid-brain, your potential customer or client has lost interest and will ultimately choose someone else to represent them in their sale.
I’ll tell you what...If you’re watching this on Facebook or on YouTube you’ll be able to see the video, if you’re listening to us on your mobile without video then listen in as Oren Klaff explains these three parts of the brain and why they important.
Remember what he said at the beginning, you think as the presenter that the information you are giving is going from your Neo Cortex in to the other person’s New Cortex when in fact it is going straight in to their crocodile brain.
Unless that information is coming in fast, narrative, high contrast in a visual format, that information is not moving on to the midbrain where status is then going to be evaluated.
If the information is received and the crocodile brain determines it can solve the problem or answer the question, it will not pass that information through to the neocortex.
So...we learn that our pitches, need to be fast. They need to be visual to some extent. They need to have a narrative and need to be high contrast. The information given has to be novel….for example, the neocortex will say to the crocodile brain: “If I have already solved this problem, do not give it to me again”
Now...this comes forward to this morning where I attended a Richard Robbins event here in Calgary, for our listeners in the US and beyond, if you don’t know who Richard is, not to worry we are working out the details on bringing him on the show in the next couple of weeks. But I digress.
Anyway, what he spoke a lot about was delivering value and he talked about the Value gap.
A gap exists when your potential client feels like they know a lot about the process or about the market, but you know, that you know more. The neocortex is saying to bring something different to the table, bring that value around the market or your marketing that is something that they have never heard before. It has to be a novel idea that you are pitching.
If you are looking at revamping your sales pitch, your buyer presentation your listing presentation, you must first understand the human brain...NOT the human mind as these are two different things.
You should learn to do things a little differently than you have been doing, part of all of my conversations that I have with potential sellers have, up until now, have involved some kind of a narrative or story about their situation.
The story is unique to me, but resonates with them as it is likely going to be similar. When you tell a story that resonates with your potential client, what are you doing?
You’re building rapport. You are building status. Your pitch should have a narrative around the market, around stats, around how you helped someone out in a similar situation.
It shouldn’t be an hour long, it needs to be quick, concise and to the point.
You should have one to two ideas in your pitch that you know, noone else will have, you could even float that idea in your initial meeting to see if the potential client has ever heard it before.
Lastly, it should be visual and not a full on presentation around statistics unless your goal is to bore them to death. Go through the numbers but do it in a way that they are going to understand the process.
If you can put all of this together, the person you are pitching to will see you as someone that has status. They will perceive you as an expert in your field. And because of this they will easily and rapidly make a decision as to whether they want to work with you or not.