Owen Klaff suggests that the main reason our sales pitches fail is because of the conflict in our brains between the amygdala, responsible for instant fight or flight decisions, and between our neocortex, which is responsible for our thinking.
We make sales pitches assuming that our audience will be processing with their neocortex when very often they are using the amygdala. We are trying to appeal to the logic of their brain but we can’t get past the emotional survival filters of the amygdala. This makes our pitches extremely difficult.
To get past this challenge, Klaff provides three key factors:
Key Factor 1: Frame Control
Klaff suggests we need to encase every pitch within a certain framing. A frame is a perspective or approach you intend to take during the pitch. Everyone uses frames whether they realize it or not. Every social encounter brings different frames together. Frames do not coexist, however. One or another frame gains control and governs the social interaction. It has what Klaff calls frame control.
Klaff believes that frame clashes are primal. They ensure that the amygdala governs the social interaction over the neocortex. Therefore, in a business context, you need to develop a frame to counter the various frames you will encounter.
Key Factor 2: Status
How others view you is critical to your ability to establish a dominant frame and win frame collision. If you do not command the attention through your frame, you will not be able to persuade and have your pitch heard. Klaff suggests that in order to help our status within sales pitches we should move discussions towards something we are dominant in so that our knowledge and information is unassailable by others in the room.
Key Factor 3: Eradicating Neediness
Klaff believes that showing neediness is just about the worst thing you can do in your sales pitch. It’s bad for your frame control and erodes your status. This is because neediness is perceived as a threat. A threat that the amygdala wants to avoid, and thus your sales pitch is ignored.
One way that klaff suggests can eradicate neediness involves going through every social interaction with a strong frame that you are prepared to use. Ideally, this frame communicates, above all, that you are needed somewhere else.
A second frame that Klaff suggests you use is that you focus only on things you do well and want nothing from anyone. If you go with a frame that you don’t need the deal then you will appear less desperate when things don’t go your way. Remember that eliminating neediness above all, is the step forward to gain success.