Say Less And Get More From A Sales Pitch

On this episode of the Salesman Podcast, Brant Pinvidic explains how to structure the first 3 minutes of your sales presentation so you can say less and get more from your sales pitch. Brant has over 20 years of experience in creating, and directing TV shows and movies. In this time Brant has developed some of the most advanced pitch and presentation techniques that he now teaches to people from all walks of life.

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Featured on this episode:

Host - Will Barron
Founder of Salesman.org
Guest - Brant Pinvidic
Pitch Presentation Expert

Resources:

Transcript

Will Barron:

Hi, my name is Will, and welcome to today’s episode of The Salesman Podcast. On today’s show, we’re looking at how you can say less and get more from your sales pitches. Today’s guest is Brant Pinvidic and Brant has spent over 20 years in creating, directing TV shows and movies.

 

Will Barron:

In his time, Brant has spent, he has developed some of the most advanced pitch and presentation techniques. And now teaches this to people in all walks of life. His book, Three Minute Rule, Say Less and Get More From Any Sales Pitch Presentation. We’ll link that in the show notes. It’s available on Amazon and everywhere else. And with that, Brant, welcome to the show.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

Here I am. Here I am. That’s a great intro. I should bring you with me on the road.

 

Will Barron:

I don’t know about that. My intros are somewhat sloppy, but we try and do this as live as possible with the audience now. It’s just a [inaudible 00:00:44].

 

Brant Pinvidic:

I like it.

 

Will Barron:

Right.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

Yeah.

 

Will Barron:

Good man. All right. Well, let’s jump into it. Let me give you a bit of a scenario here. As we get into this idea, which is totally in line, you may be familiar with this, you may not be. Totally in line with what we do over at Salesman.org, which is our branding is making selling simple. So I think we’re going to be on the same wavelength for a lot of this stuff, right?

 

You Only Have 7 Seconds To Grab Your Prospects Attention During a Sales Outreach · [01:03] 

 

Will Barron:

But let’s say Sam the salesperson, he has now earned the sales presentation. He’s done his cold calls. He’s done his call emails. He’s in the room, so to speak. So the prospect is even just like a little bit interested in hearing what they’ve got to say, because they wouldn’t share their time with them otherwise.

 

Will Barron:

With that said, Brant, how long does Sam have to really grab the attention of the person in the room that he’s presenting to? Is this like two seconds? Seven seconds? Or have we got a little bit longer to really grab the attention of the prospect?

 

Brant Pinvidic:

Yeah, listen, I would say in a fun soundbite is to say you have 10 seconds to get the attention. But if someone’s giving you an opportunity, getting their attention isn’t important as getting them the information. If you’re advertising it in your marketing and that kind of stuff, the cold calls, you have very little bit to get their attention. But that’s a whole other world.

 

“The science says that people will say and come up with a yes or a no in their mind incredibly quickly, within 10 seconds of meeting you.” – Brant Pinvidic · [02:07] 

 

Brant Pinvidic:

The world that I really deal with is that you have an opportunity to present your business product or service to somebody and you want them to say yes. That is the goal. And the truth is the science of it is that people will say and come up with a yes and no in their mind incredibly quickly. Within 10 seconds, they’ll usually start with a yes or no.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

And then if they’ve said, “No, I don’t think this is right for me.” Then your job is to try to overcome that, which is a very unpleasant place to be. So really the science behind what the three minute rule does for you, is it helps you to elongate that process so that they’re not saying yes or no in their mind, until at least you get in the valuable information.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

And if you do it right, and if you do it perfectly, and you lead people with proper storytelling, you could extend that to three minutes. Where now they’ve got all the valuable information, so now they’re starting to think, I like this. I want to do this. Or maybe it’s not right for them, whichever. What you don’t want to do is have people thinking like, nah, this isn’t going to work. I don’t like this person. I don’t believe what he’s saying, which is the most common. And then trying to win them over, which is the hard thing to do.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

And anybody listening now will know that someone’s come to pitch or present or ask you to do anything, and just think about how you’ve got that yes or no in your mind right away. And they’ll ramble on and it’s like, yeah, no, it’s still a no. And that is the core. And there’s science behind, it’s called approach motivation on why people are driven to engage with things.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

And it’s a level of storytelling and leading your audience piece by piece that in Hollywood, we sort of perfected that. It’s why you’ll sit and watch an hour and a half or two hour movie, because the story is told in segments that lead you to the next segment. And in a sales process, it’s the same thing. And that’s, I think where people struggle the most.

 

Will Barron:

Yeah. I think people struggle in the fact that they will perhaps understand this idea of the hero’s journey or these different archetypes of stories. Everyone’s seen Lord of the Rings. We could break that down into this story archetype and these step by step processes.

 

Your Prospects Don’t want to Know About Your Company · [03:58] 

 

Will Barron:

But then when they come to a presentation, the first thing they do is go, oh, well, our business is this size and we serve these customers. And you can see the people in the audience, essentially the prospects, just metaphorically slapping their hands on the forehead because they don’t need to know any of that. They don’t care about any of that stuff.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

No.

 

Will Barron:

So how do you-

 

Brant Pinvidic:

I’ll give you a great example of that.

 

Will Barron:

Sure.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

Is it was an investment opportunity that came around. My partner thinks it’s a great idea. He sent me their webinar and I already had my chequebook out. I was going to write a check. I mean, it’s a simple business, a car washer thing. I’m in.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

But the people doing the webinar and the presentation got on board and they spent the first nine minutes telling me who they were. Let me do our introductions and he did his for a couple of minutes. And then he passed it to his partner. He did his. Telling me where they live, where they went to school, what they did, their family. And it’s just like, you guys want to make a personal connection with me and make me feel like … And I haven’t written it yet. I haven’t gone in, all because of that.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

Because then for the next, and I sort of watched the next 15 or 18 minutes, but I was off doing other things and I wasn’t really paying attention. And my brain was like, I kind of don’t like these guys. Not even overtly. I just was kind of like, eh. I don’t even know why am I interested in this? And I just phased out. And so I didn’t jump on it.

 

Will Barron:

For sure. I feel like it’s almost a sign of someone, and not in respect to this deal that you’re talking about there because obviously I have no idea about them personally. But when I see salespeople do it before they come through our training, or before they listen to shows like this, episodes like this, it’s almost a sign of being an amateur versus a pro.

 

How to Use Storytelling to Keep Your Prospect’s Attention · [05:46] 

 

Will Barron:

Because you only have to do that five, six, seven times before then you start to see the room. And surely, most people have enough emotional intelligence to go, okay, this isn’t working. I need a better strategy. So with that said, Brant, how do we story tell and keep attention? Is there a structure? Is there a framework? How do we go about doing this?

 

“What I teach in the book is called the WHAC Method. And it stands for what is it? H is how does it work? A is are you sure? And C is can you do it? And those are the four tenets of any proper story or any pitch or presentation.” – Brant Pinvidic · [05:53] 

 

Brant Pinvidic:

So what I teach in the book really detailed, is called the WHAC Method. And it stands for what is it? H is how does it work? A is are you sure? And C is can you do it? And those are the four tenets of any proper story or any pitch or presentation.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

The very first thing is what is it? People want to talk, like you said, they want to talk about the size of the market. They want to talk about their background. They want to talk about their history. They want to talk about the problem that people are facing. And it’s like, that is not where people want to be. Your mind naturally gravitates to what is this? And if you’ve ever had somebody droning on about something and you’ve said to yourself, “Could you just stop, stop, stop? Just tell me what this is? Tell me how this works?” And that’s the structure.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

So it’s what is it? Which is literally, what do you do? We are an electric vehicle company that makes controllers that make your electric vehicle company go faster, whatever it is. It’s what is it? I got to know what we’re doing.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

And then how does it work is literally what is the process? You’re an app that connects social media influencers together to sell products. It’s like, okay, well, how does it do that? Oh, it’s based on this function. You have to have a million followers. What are the structures? How does it actually work?

 

Brant Pinvidic:

After that, after I, as the audience understand those two things, now I’m open to validating it. Now I’m open to seeing that it’s real. And that’s, are you sure? Does this make sense? Is there a market? Have you done this before? Do you have the patents? What is the, are you sure? How do you get your audience to believe that this is possible?

 

Brant Pinvidic:

And then, and only after I believe and buy into those three pieces, then I care about you. Who are you? Can you actually do it? When is it available? When will the technology be ready? Have you ever done this kind of thing? Do you have a full-time job? Will this be your part-time job? Any of the actual physical elements about you and your company.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

And the WHAC Method ironically is almost a percentage of value. Half the job is what is it? If I’m looking at this carwash investment and I don’t really think car washes are a good investment, nothing else matters. If I like car washes, I think this is a good idea, I’m halfway there.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

And then it’s like, okay, how does it work? Well, we are buying 13 different car washes. We’re going to rebrand them, spruce them up, raise the prices. And here’s how we’re going to do it. You’re like, okay, I actually like that process. Now I’m 80% of the way there. Okay.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

And if car washers are increasing and the market’s good and it always flows cash flow, which is what they would do in their are you sure section. If they, at the very end of it go, the only problem is we’ve never run a car wash before. I wouldn’t be like, oh, that’s it. I’m done. I’m out. Oh, sorry. I can’t do it. My brain goes, well, we can hire management. It’s not that difficult. Depending on how much I liked it, I’d be like, oh, don’t worry about it. You’ll figure it out.

 

“The less you say, the simpler you make your presentation, the more desirable it will be, and the more drawn people are to you.” – Brant Pinvidic · [09:18] 

 

Brant Pinvidic:

So that’s literally, maybe 5% of it if all the other pieces sink. And that structure is very hard for people to grasp because they want to tell all of the information at once. They think the more they say, the more information they give, the better they’re doing. And what I teach is it’s the exact opposite. The less you say, the simpler you make your presentation, the more desirable it will be. And the more drawn people are to you. It’s just, that’s the way it is now.

 

The Things You Should Focus Most On At The Beginning of a Presentation · [09:31] 

 

Will Barron:

Why? And this might be a mindset thing or a psychological thing. Why do you think people are drawn to throwing up the goal, aspirations, thoughts, opinions, the strategy, all this stuff? When it doesn’t really matter at the beginning of a presentation, why? Because I want to do it as well. Why do we all want-

 

Brant Pinvidic:

Yes, of course.

 

Will Barron:

To do this?

 

Brant Pinvidic:

There’s two main reasons. And this is one of those things that in my seminars, a lot of times I used to have this as a small piece. And now I actually will almost take a full day to go through this because it’s so painful for people. Is that the two main reasons that you do this is you understand value better than anybody. You have perfect understanding is what I call it. Perfect understanding.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

And the other one is confidence. Okay? The two pieces of it are perfect understanding means you have lived with your idea at every level. Every nuance makes sense. It’s like when you watch your favourite movie. You see every directorial turn, every breath by the actress. Every twist and turn and scene is absolutely perfect. Because it’s your favourite movie, you’ve seen it 15 times. Now you’re seeing all the elements.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

Someone who watches it the first time, watches it as a total movie, summarises why they like it. And it gets bigger and bigger and bigger and more nuanced as they go. So what happens is you genuinely believe the value of the retail reselling of your product later on to opening up the other market. You see that as clear as day, it is perfectly obvious to you.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

And so you have all of this value based in all of these things that nobody can understand yet, because you didn’t understand it instantly. It took you time to get to the place where now you know it so well. Now that you know it so well, it all has value. But you have to go back to the beginning to be like, hey, I need to give you the foundation of understanding of the conceptual elements. Then I have to build you the process of building value in this business. Then you could start to see the other tentacles that join it and the future and all of the other things.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

And so for you, it’s very hard to know what are the foundational pieces of value if you don’t take a step back and put it in this WHAC format. That’s really what you need to do is to get back to the basics. And even though it feels like, oh my God, this is so important, and I’m not saying it right away.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

It’s like, I have to say, I promise you will get to say all the important things. But the first three minutes is not the place for all of those things. Your meeting could last an hour, but only with a person who’s engaged and you got to bring them there.

 

“People ask me to train their salespeople to be more confident. I can’t do that. You can’t teach someone confidence. You can teach someone how to fake confidence. That’s not what I do. True, actual confidence comes from the value you believe you are providing to others.” – Brant Pinvidic · [12:19] 

 

Brant Pinvidic:

And then point two this is this confidence level, is that people ask me to train their sales forces to be more confident. I’m like, I can’t do that. You can’t teach someone confidence. You can teach someone how to fake confidence. That’s not what I do. True, actual confidence comes from the value you believe you are providing to others. That’s it.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

If you were having a wedding and I was going to cater your wedding, and I was trying to get the job as the caterer. And my chef that was going to show up and be at your wedding in person was Gordon Ramsey. How would I present that to you? Would I need tonnes of words? Or maybe I say four words. “I have Gordon Ramsey.” That’s what confidence is. Because I got Gordon Ramsey to cook at your wedding. You use less words. I’m not explaining, well, he’s a Michelin three star chef and he’s been on … I don’t do any of that.

 

Will Barron:

Sure.

 

“The more words you use, the less confident you appear.” – Brant Pinvidic · [13:13]

 

Brant Pinvidic:

So if you picture a graph, which is what I’ll do in my things, the more words you use, the less confident you appear. Because if I needed to have my brother-in-law, who just got out of jail, who’s never really cooked before, but has really pressured me to get him a job. And I wanted him to be the chef. How many words am I going to need to try to convince you and your bride that he should be to your chef? I would just [inaudible 00:13:32], right?

 

Brant Pinvidic:

And that’s where people get the thing, is that you undermine your confidence, because you appear to be that you don’t value the end product. And you don’t believe in the value you’re providing. And if you had an investment that was really going to make somebody 20% by the end of the year, and you really believed it, you wouldn’t go sell them it.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

You tell them the very basics. It’s this, this, and this. And this is what it is. And it’s just like, that’s how people who are really confident, that’s how they speak. That’s how they act. That’s how they present because they don’t need to sell.

 

The Reason Why Most Salespeople Focus on Features and Benefits Instead of Delivering Value During a Sales Presentation · [14:10] 

 

Will Barron:

How much, Brant, do you think this initial, wanting to just throw up information at the beginning of any sales pitch, that you kind of align then with the individual knowing so much about the market, the space, the opportunity, the product, whatever is it they’re selling?

 

Will Barron:

How much of that is actually that they, in your experience with the different trainings and that, that you do, how much of it is that they are truly just so entwined in that space and they know so much. And they forget that people aren’t as clued up as them. Or how much of it is that versus how much of it is that they’ve actually diluted themselves? And they’re just talking absolute nonsense and saying one thing, which digs a bit of a hole, which they’ve got to solve another thing. And you go further down a rabbit hole [inaudible 00:14:54].

 

Brant Pinvidic:

It’s almost never that. Most people are not diluted about it. They really believe in their product, business, or service. That is most people do. But the problem is that they’re so excited about it and they’re so passionate and they want you to see it the way they do.

 

“Your goal of any presentation is to translate information from your knowledge to their understanding.” – Brant Pinvidic · [15:20] 

 

Brant Pinvidic:

And I actually talk to people about, what do you think your goal is when you’re making a sales presentation? Like it’s to get them to write a check and buy it? It’s like, okay, that’s the ultimate finished product. But really your goal of any presentation is to translate information from your knowledge to their understanding. If you can take what you know and get it so they understand it, they will have to be interested because you are interested. That’s why you’re doing it. If they understood it the same way you did, you’d have won that.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

So the goal is that translation step from, I know it and I want you to understand it. And when you mix the passion and the excitement, and particularly with I deal with a lot of biotech and scientific stuff. Doctors and those scientists have a lot of trouble explaining to people, the simplicity of their immunotherapy cancer drug. And what the business of that is because they want to talk about the breakthroughs.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

And so they get so passionate that again, they’re throwing up all this information, but to them it sounds totally normal and natural, like of course. And so most of it is that. Unfortunately what comes across in our world today, because we have been poisoned by the years of click baits and click funnels and over promising marketing and the elevator sales pitch, that our natural instinct is to distrust people.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

I’d say it to these guys all the time. If your new drug cured cancer, do you think everybody would believe it? If you said, “Oh my God, we just finished our trial. I have a new drug. It cures cancer.” Would you be like, oh my God, let me get my chequebook out and give you money. Or you’d be like, yeah, whatever.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

And I’ve had that with companies that have these huge grand claims. And it’s like, you can’t say it like that because no one will believe you. You used to be able to do that. If we could get in a time machine and go back to the 70s and 80s, you could make big claims. Would you like to lose weight and eat anything you want? And you’re like, yes, I would. Okay, let me follow your thing.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

You could lean into somebody at an elevator pitch. You’d be like, excuse me, sir. I have an investment idea that could make you 10 times your money by the end of the year. Would that interest you? Oh, yes, it would. Tell me more. That doesn’t exist. Somebody in the elevator leans in and says, “I have an investment idea that’ll make you 10 times your money by the end of the year, are you interested?”

 

Brant Pinvidic:

You’d be like, get away from me. That’s the last person you are going to give money to. What if he actually had an investment like that? You know what I mean? So by saying it that way, by presenting it that way, by overdoing it, he’s ruined his chances. And I see that a lot.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

And sometimes for me it’s to my benefit because a lot of times I’ll participate in the process of growing a company and it’s like, wait, you’re turning people off. You’re making people doubt your technology because of the way you say it. How about we restructure it? Then people will actually look at the data and believe you. So that’s the most common thing I see, is they want to bombard people with information and they don’t realise it subconsciously and sometimes overtly, lowers their value.

 

Will Barron:

Yeah. So my background’s selling medical devices and at the time I was selling them all the camera systems, endoscopic camera systems I was selling in the operating rooms, were switching from 720P to 10ATP. What you’re describing here is bringing this up, this really vivid memory in my mind.

 

Here’s How to Become More Influential During a Sales Presentation · [18:39]

 

Will Barron:

I went out with a more senior sales rep and he said one line. I was like, right, I’m stealing that and I’m using that every single time. And he was speaking to a surgeon who had glasses on, the surgeon was like mid 60s getting on a bit, but still crushing it and really important. One of the best colorectal surgeons in Europe. And he goes, “Yeah, it’s the difference between having either dirty glasses or a crappy prescription. And having brand new glasses and having them clean.”

 

Will Barron:

And the surgeon was like, “Oh, I’ll try that.” He came in. It was exactly what he said, but literally that was the difference. And then it was the conversation on the back end of, oh well, do you think this will help you make less mistakes? Do you think this is less likely, less litigation go on the back of this?

 

Will Barron:

And it was just that, just that one phrase got the ball rolling with this surgeon that had no interest in new technology. It’s not like me, because I used to love talking about it all, and the connections and wiring it all up and going and selling and training everyone on it. I would talk for days about all the nonsense behind it.

 

Will Barron:

This studio we’ve got here for this podcast, I love talking about all this kind of stuff. But you try and go into that kind of conversation with a technology adverse surgeon who doesn’t want it. Just wants to do colorectal surgery, not have any issues, wants to go home. And again, that metaphor absolutely changed it for me when I first picked it up.

 

Will Barron:

And as you were talking, Brant, that story kept kind of coming back to the forefront of my mind. So is that kind of what we’re looking at here? Of how to narrow all the scope of our complex products down into, is it fair to say a soundbite? Is that a fair way of saying it?

 

Brant Pinvidic:

It’s not a soundbite because soundbites make people uncomfortable. Because they know. Again, it’s like, if you look like you’re trying, if you look like you spent all this time to orchestrate your pitch, people are repulsed by that. We’re very sensitive. We have an oversensitive, hypersensitive audience basically.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

And so what you want to do is when you’re looking for the quote/unquote soundbite, I actually would go back and be like, what is the simplest way you can explain what it is? What’s the simplest way so that people get it right away? So that their next question is like, okay, and how does it do this? What happens next?

 

Brant Pinvidic:

There’s something called and then storytelling. And a friend of mine, the late great Stephen J. Cannell, wrote The A Team and all these. He coined that sort of style where it was like, this happens and then this happens, and then this happens. And there’s no nuance to his stories. They’re very straightforward.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

And if you’ve watched Law and Order, or CSI, or any of these procedural shows, it’s like, it’s the same show every single week. Why? Because that storytelling is so compelling. A little piece of this leads you to this, leads you to that, leads you to this. And it’s like, movies are all the same way because that structure works.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

And so what’s the very basic way you can explain what it is you do? Why it’s valuable? Why someone might want it? And why you’re the person to do it? And if you can lay that out clearly they go click, I got that. Now I got questions. Now I have things to talk about. Now I want to know more. Now the next phases of what you’re doing have relevance.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

Now that your surgeon understands, it’s like, oh, I’m going to get a clearer picture. That’ll help me see the glasses. They get that. Now they can talk about the ability to perform surgeries faster. Now they can talk about the ability to make sure they don’t make as many mistakes. Now they can talk about the ability of sharing pictures with medical students.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

All those things that may have been true, he would not even hear that until he understood exactly what was the technology, or the system, or what it was going to be there. And so when you simplify it, it changes everything. It’s an exponential return. Every word that you delete gets you 10 points on the scale. I wish I had a better analogy, but that’s literally what it’s exponential return.

 

The Information Pyramid: The First Step to Saying Less and Simplifying Your Sales Presentation · [22:35] 

 

Will Barron:

Because it’s one thing to say all this. But there’s copywriter making millions a year who go about doing some of this, and simplifying things, and making things more tangible so they sink in our brains. For someone like me, Brant, a knuckle dragging salesperson. Maybe they don’t have a big marketing team behind them to help with some of this. They’re going to have to do it on their own.

 

Will Barron:

They’ve got a complex product. They’re selling it. And it takes multiple meetings to get the deal done. The deal sizes are large. How does a knuckle dragging sale person like me start to implement this? Do we get our pitch, put it in a Microsoft Word document and just start deleting lines until we get to something? Is there a structure and a process?

 

Brant Pinvidic:

No.

 

Will Barron:

To simplifying things?

 

Brant Pinvidic:

Yes. And in the book, I walk people through the exact process because that’s really what the book is. It is a step by step guide. If you’re going to start from scratch with the pitch, here’s how you do it. And it’s actually the opposite of what you’re thinking.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

I go back to the total from square one. And I talk about what’s called the information pyramid, which is the fewer words, a little bit of information, and you build more words, more information. And so I have people try to do my this meets that exercise, a great one. It’s a great exercise. This meets that, which is, can you describe your business in 10 words, 15 words total? It’s this meets that.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

It’s kind of like you might say a movie is, Dirty Dancing is Footloose, but at a resort. You have a this meets that. I use an example if I’m pitching a TV show. Very complex, huge, massive TV show. And I might pitch it as it’s The Amazing Race for the smartest people in the world.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

So now you’ve got 12 words. And even though anybody in the audience doesn’t produce television or doesn’t know that, I bet if you just took a second, you’d kind of be surprised how much information you now have in 15 words. You know it’s Amazing Race. If you’ve seen that show, you know that there’s people racing around solving problems, trying to get from one point to the other.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

For the smartest people in the world, it means, yeah, it’ll be people in the amazing race, they’re like goofy reality show contestants. So I guess if you had really smart people, you’d probably have bigger challenges and more complex things to go over. It’s like, that’s pretty well what the show is.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

We’re going to take MIT graduates and people who work at Boeing and put them in the hardest, biggest challenges in the history of television to see if they can use all their smarts to cross. It’s like, oh, I actually kind of knew a lot of that from 15 words.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

And so you start with that little bit, and then I’ll give my client a little bit more words to work with. And then you start to realise which ones are important. In the book, I talk about the Twitter thing. What if you had to tweet out your business? What if your pitch was a tweet, one tweet, 145 characters? Not the big new one they have, but the original, what would you say? You’d be surprised. Like, okay, now I can only use so much.

 

The Bullet Point System For a Perfect Sales Presentation · [25:31]

 

Brant Pinvidic:

And then once you get a little bit of that fundamental understanding I go through what’s called the bullet point system. Where you take basically a Sharpie and some Post-Its and you write out bullet points of everything of value. Write them on bullet points and you get them on a big wall. And now you can start to see, now I’ll start to take those bullet points. One or two words.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

I’m a podcast. I teach sales, that kind of thing. And you start to realise like, okay, which one tells you what it is? Which one is talking about what I am? And you can actually start to see it take shape. And then the exercise that really helps is you realise that what you want to say, that doesn’t fit. And you’re like, oh, damn, I really want to say this. And that’s how you know that you’re adding things that shouldn’t be there.

 

Will Barron:

Well obviously we recommend the book at the end of the show. We’ll add it in the show notes.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

Yeah.

 

Will Barron:

So clearly, that’s the next step if you’re enjoying this episode so far. But-

 

Brant Pinvidic:

Exactly.

 

How to Transition From the Attention-Grab Into The Actual Presentation · [26:27] 

 

Will Barron:

How do we end this three minute period? As in we give like the 140 character pitch. We add the bullet points. We fleshed it out a little bit. We can see the eyes of our prospects in the room brighten up, and we can see that the prop’s getting ready to ask us some questions. That their brains, the gears are starting to turn. So we’re onto something here.

 

Will Barron:

How do we then transition it into, whether it’s a Q and A, whether it’s a more formal presentation, whatever it is after that. Once we grab people’s attention and their imagination and now says, “Well, how do we transition from this is me. This is the WHAC kind of method …” into then whatever comes afterwards?

 

Brant Pinvidic:

Yeah. And I’ve had many clients that their three minutes is a minute and 42 seconds because it’s simple enough. Or the rest of the business is complicated enough that you’re not going to condense it. So let’s just get the main pieces and then we’ll get into it later.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

And so the three minutes is kind of like the maximum to get all these points in. And so I’ll do investor presentations with clients that are 20 minutes long, but the first two minutes, three minutes has all the core elements. And the transition from that into the next phase is called the information and the engagement phase. And that’s the way we do. That’s the way we make decisions as human beings. We conceptualise, we contextualise, and then we actualize. And we go through those three steps.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

Doesn’t matter if the decision is, what shirt do I want to wear for dinner tonight? Or should I invade the Ukraine? Those are the same exact decision process. I conceptualise, I contextualise, and then I actualize.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

So when you’re looking at your three minutes, you’re basically going through the concept and the context, and then the next phase is the engagement. How do I do it? How do I actualize this? And that’s where the longer conversations, and the more details, and getting into the minutia of the numbers, and the history of things.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

And so that three minutes is, here’s the concept. Here’s what this thing is and how it works. So now you understand that. Here’s the context as it relates to you. Here’s the reason why it’s true. Here’s the reason why it’s interesting. Here’s how I can validate it. Here’s how I can tell you it’s actually going to happen.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

Once you get the context set, now it becomes actualization. How do we deliver it? What’s the implementation strategy? I have questions about your numbers, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. That transition is metaphorically, now I’ll take some questions. Now let’s talk about what do you think? It’s the pause.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

I train people to, like, you don’t need to say anything after that, because your audience is going to be like, what about this? Or I was thinking this, or how about that? Or if it isn’t question time, then it’s metaphorically you saying, “Okay, I know you have questions. Here are the top five questions I know you’re going to have. Let me get into those.”

 

Brant Pinvidic:

And that’s a lot of times when we all build an investor presentation. It’s like, okay, I’ve given you all the details. Here are the obvious questions. What’s our burn rate? What’s our track? How are we going to deal with the patent? Those things you know that people are going to want to know, but only if they have the core. And if the core is valuable to them, they’ll actually put weight on those things. They’ll be interested to pay attention.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

That’s why you watch a movie. And Andy Dufresne ends up in Shawshank Prison and you’re like, okay, he didn’t commit the murder, and it’s in a really bad prison. Now I got to see what happens. If we start that movie with Andy Dufresne escapes from the worst prison in America, let me tell you why. You’d be like, yeah, whatever.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

But we build it to you. We give you all the details. Now you want to see the story play out. If I tell you up front that he escaped from a really bad prison, you’re like, okay, great. Why? When? Oh, is that really that bad of a prison? Or oh, did it … Everything falls apart. Hope I didn’t spoil that movie for anybody but he escapes.

 

Will Barron:

I was just about to say it’s a spoiler alert from like 20 years ago.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

Spoiler alert.

 

Will Barron:

Whenever it was we, I covered, we did it in history class in high school. That’s how long ago I watched it. But with that-

 

Brant Pinvidic:

Yeah, exactly.

 

How to Implement the Three Minute Rule in an Email · [30:56]

 

Will Barron:

With that, Brant, so I love this. And just to reiterate, because I thought you go down the route of you do the three minute presentation, you get them, they’re all wide eyed, everyone’s loving it. And then I instinctively would just shut up and then kind of invite the questions.

 

Will Barron:

But I also love this, the second layer that you added on top of that. Of here’s five things that you’re probably thinking right now. And to do that in the sale context, you get to handle objections before they come up. So you can stay more in control of the objection handling process.

 

Will Barron:

You also, if you do correctly and you’ve got the right background, the right understanding of the market, the right understanding of the people that you’re in front of, you get to position yourself as someone who really understands the person or people that you’re pitching to. Which is instantly can add credibility, a layer of rapport and anything else to it as well. So I really enjoyed that.

 

Will Barron:

I’ve got one final thing to ask you, Brant. And that is, can this structure be used in other, I guess media, other than just a presentation? As in, can this be used in an email? Or like a mini slide deck? Or things like that?

 

Brant Pinvidic:

Yeah. People ask that all the time. And by the way, it is 100% for email, for brochures, for handouts. It’s just more important. It’s more crucial to simplify it because now you’re asking people that aren’t in a conference room that have to stare at you. They have to be there for five minutes or 10 minutes or 15 minutes. They’re going to have to listen to you because they’ve entered the room.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

On a phone call, you’ve got them on the phone. So they’re going to be sitting there. On an email, they don’t have to read it. On a brochure, they don’t have to read it. On a handout, they don’t have to read it. So it’s like, okay, now what? It’s got to be even more succinct because you can’t expect them to keep reading and go to all those points. On your 19th sentence is where your absolute core is.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

It has to be literally we do this, it’s this and this. Love to talk to you further kind of thing. And when I’m going back, like I always say to my clients like, okay, we have to get to the point where you go in your mind. It’s this proverbial thing. It’s like, if you don’t get it after this, we should just end this. I got to go.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

The idea is, it’s like, I’ve given you the basics. If you’re not like I want to talk more, I don’t get it. I got to move on. That’s the feeling you should have when you get in your presentation. Where it’s like, okay, clearly you’re going to want to hear more. And if you don’t, I’m out of here. And so in an email or any sort of thing, you need to put it on there where it’s like, okay, you got the basics. If you’re not into a software solution for your point of sale thing, then we don’t have anything to talk about.

 

Will Barron:

Yep.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

And so you have to get yourself in a mind where it’s like, I’ve laid out the simplest version of this. There’s not a lot of interpretation to be done. If this doesn’t fit something that you think of, then I’m moving on. And that’s like you’re in a conference room and you give this pitch. It’s kind of like, you’re feeling like, so if anybody’s not interested after hearing that we should just end this meeting right now.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

That’s got to be the mentality. Where it’s like, I just laid out the key points. Everything from here is not going to sway you. You might write a bigger check, but if your brain is like, no, I don’t think so, we’re done.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

And that’s hard for people because they’re used to fighting from the second it starts. Fighting for attention. How many times have you pitched somebody and they ask a question and you’re like, oh, I’m getting to that in a minute. Just hold on. Yeah. I’ll explain that. It’s like, guess what? You’re out of order. You have given them information in an order that leads them into a different conclusion and asked this question.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

And when I’m done and when you read the book, you will never have, I guarantee you’ll never have that happen again. No one ever will stop you and be like, wait, what about this? Because that just doesn’t exist anymore. Those pieces are laid out. At the end they’ll be like, okay, I have a new question because it’s based on something you’ve said.

 

Will Barron:

Good. I love this. It reminds me of something similar that we do. I won’t go into it, I’ve talked about on the podcast in the past. But we use a similar structure. But perhaps even more overtly in the way that we set up sales calls. To the point of, hey, if this isn’t for you, I’ll tell you this isn’t for you. And we can both get rock and rolling, and perhaps we can follow up later on.

 

Why Sales Should Not Be a Fight to the Death Kind of Thing · [35:20]

 

Will Barron:

There’s almost a feedback loop, which you alluded to there. And as soon as, when we’re training sales reps, as soon as they understand that. That they’re going into a conversation, it’s not a fight to the death. If it isn’t right for the prospect, if they’re not qualified, if you can’t feel like you can help them. Or they just don’t get what you do, even though it’s very succinct.

 

Will Barron:

And so they’ve obviously just got other things on the amount of priorities. And maybe they’ll come back to you in the future. Sales people then go, oh, I don’t need to be panicking about this. I don’t need to be stressed about this. And as long as the pipeline at the top is full enough, all the rest of it just starts to work and happen for them.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

Yeah. And I think that the sales industry has gone down this road of I’m trying to convince you. I’m trying to sell you. I’m trying to convince you. And the truth is nobody’s going to let you convince them. No one’s going to let you sell them. If they feel you’re selling them, they’re going to resist. It’s just, that’s the world we live in. So accept it.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

And what I train a little bit more is like, you’re not trying to convince somebody. It’s like, if I could get them to understand this, my closing rate goes up. You watch enough Instagram or TikTok, and you see all these idiot sales professionals that are doing these little videos trying to tell you how to close this and handle objections.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

And it’s like, oh my God. You’re just asking people to walk into a minefield of rejection because people are sensitive to it. We used to tell salespeople to use your client’s name. Jeff, Bob, do you think? How about this, Bob? It’s like, could you imagine if someone did that to you today?

 

Will Barron:

It’s gross, right?

 

Brant Pinvidic:

Could you imagine how your response would be? You’d be just like, oh, this guy. And that is still a lot of the sales process, is people doing things that are as ineffectual as that. And asking those leading questions like if we came to deal terms today, is there any reason why you wouldn’t move forward?

 

Brant Pinvidic:

Is like, I know what you want to get out of that. And it’s a great idea, but everybody’s now ready for that phrase. Everybody’s looking for that what do we have to do to get you in this car today? As soon as you say that, your credibility just starts to drain. And then it’s like, oh, will you say anything to make this sale? Because that means anything you’ve said, I now have to question.

 

“I’ve had really good luck with training sales organisations to come into the process of, if I can make you understand this, you’ll be interested. If you understand it and you’re not interested, it’s not right for you.” – Brant Pinvidic · [37:48] 

 

Brant Pinvidic:

And that is the danger of this. And I’ve had really good luck with training sales organisations to come into the process of, if I can make you understand this, you’ll be interested. If you understand it and you’re not interested, it’s not right for you. But under no circumstances will I leave here without you understanding fully the value that this represents. I don’t need to convince you. Because your audience is smarter than you about what’s valuable to them. End of story.

 

Will Barron:

It’s gross.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

And so you trying to-

 

Will Barron:

The way I frame this up-

 

Brant Pinvidic:

Talk to them just doesn’t work.

 

Will Barron:

Brant, is the podcast started off. This is like six years ago now, or this is episode 740, something like that. Because I was doing okay, medical device sales, earning decent money, but I wasn’t the top of the leaderboard. So I’ll reiterate the story because people, the OG listeners will know this, but we’ve had a bit of a growth spurt recently.

 

Will Barron:

So I came home one day in Leeds, in me little terraced house. And I sat there. I was like, right, how do I get better at sales? And it was a bunch of dudes and women from the 90s with shoulder pads in their jackets. Going, “Hey, here’s five ways to close a sale.” Here’s three ways to essentially manipulate someone into staying on the phone for you for like 10 minutes longer.

 

Will Barron:

And I sat there and I was like, right, if I tried. And the best and I did it verbatim and I was great at it. If I did any of this bullshit with the surgeons that I was selling to, they’d be like right, dickhead, out of there.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

Out you go.

 

Will Barron:

You’d never get back in. You’re gone. You never get in the operating room again. The surgeons would have a lot of power. They wouldn’t always necessarily have the budget, you’d be dealing with the CFO in that situation. And I’m sure they’d be the same way. But you just instantly lose access.

 

Will Barron:

You can’t say all this weird crap to someone, and this goes into what you’re teaching here, Brant. You can’t give them a list of features and benefits either when they’ve got their hands in a patient and they’re trying to achieve something. And you’re there to demo a product that makes this easier, simpler, more effective, less risk of litigation, whatever it is, on the back of it. You need to be able to, as I said, this is like the difference between having dirty glasses and clean glasses, whatever it is.

 

Will Barron:

And this whole podcast started off on the back of it. There was no good, multi-billion dollar a year industry, the sales training industry, there was no good content. And so it came on the back of me interviewing experts in the field like yourself, Brant, to try and pull this information back into sales training.

 

Salespeople Need to Forget About Old School Sales Techniques and Embrace What Works in the Modern Age · [40:12]

 

Will Barron:

So I totally hear what you’re saying when you talk about these old school sales techniques. It didn’t work on surgeons then, now it just doesn’t work on Joe Blogs when he picks up the phone. He’s just going to, go, okay.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

And those are the obvious ones. This is the problem, is that most people know the obvious ones as a salesman. But what they really underestimate is the ones that you still think people don’t pick up on. It’s like, no, you have no idea how hypersensitive the audience is.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

And I’ll give you example. I did a lot of work with Harley Davidson on their sales process. And as I’m in the dealership, it’s like they’ve trained their sales people to be like, here’s the features and the idea of the Harley. And it’s like, wait. They had so much trouble with, is that the customers were coming into the showroom with more knowledge about the models, and the years, and when this option was available, and how often it is, and the features. They actually knew more about the features and the benefit of a Harley Davidson than the sales people did.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

So the sales people are trying to compete for knowledge. And it’s like, that is not why someone is walking into the showroom. They want to sit in it, they want to see it, and they want to know how they can get it. And it’s like when the entire sales force started to train in a different mentality, a different mindset, which is like, somebody walks in, kind of wants this anyways. Your job is to facilitate how they can put it in their driveway. And that’s it.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

You don’t need to convince them that it’s better than this other motorcycle. If you think that’s your job, you have missed the boat. Obviously the sales have done very well over the last little bit. I’ll take credit for it, pandemic aside. But the truth is it was a matter of that entire level of confidence coming to a different thing. Where it’s like, I don’t need to tell you all the details.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

If you ask how many horsepower it has versus the night version, okay, I’ll tell you. But I don’t need to come in with that guns blazing being like, here’s what it is. It doesn’t make any sense. And they found just like, not only, I mean lots of things, but besides the speed of transactions.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

How fast they were able to move to people through because it’s like, okay, you come in there, you want to look at, can I get it? How much is it? What’s the financing? When is it in? Can I get it customised? Like those are the real things people are after. Not like this would look so great in your driveway. Wouldn’t your friends be impressed if you drove? You know what I mean? You don’t want to drive a Honda, a Gold Wing, come on. None of that. None of that.

 

Will Barron:

I’ve got-

 

Brant Pinvidic:

If you think a salesman can convince you that your car is better than the … And that’s the same thing in the car industry. Do you think someone’s, a salesman is going to convince you that the Audi is better than the BMW? Or vice versa? That’s not the way the world works now. Right? It’s like-

 

Will’s Experience With a Salesperson Using Cringy Sales Strategies From the 90s · [42:54] 

 

Will Barron:

I went into BMW. I’ve told this tale in the podcast before, but this just iterates the point. We’ll wrap up with this. I’m conscious of time. I went to BMW with me Mrs. She had a BMW previously. I owned a expensive, fast BMW at the time. Went in, we just wanted to test drive it. We were going to test like a VW and an Audi, whatever it was as well.

 

Will Barron:

And then it was probably going to happen. The deal was probably going to happen. Went and test drove it. The salesperson was using all these close ended questions and weird selling questions from like the 90s. You know if the test drive goes well, you’re going to make a purchase today. All over and over and over. And I can see it all a mile away.

 

Will Barron:

Me Mrs. Is a doctor. So she was kicking me under the table at one point, because I was laughing at how gross it was. And she was like, “Now, give him a chance,” kind of thing. We knew the price because we’d been online, done the configurator, and we knew the monthly amount that it was going to cost. The guy wouldn’t tell us the price.

 

Will Barron:

We told him the budget and clearly the budget must have been close to the price, or a bit lower. So he kept going up there. “Right, let me speak to me boss. I’m going to come back it.” And he’d come back in and be like, “I spoke with me boss, can you do a deal today? If you can do a deal today, then we’ll get it down to your budget.”

 

Will Barron:

So I was like, well, yeah, but what’s the price? And he would not tell us the price. This went on for maybe like 45 minutes until me Mrs. then just walked off. It was embarrassing.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

Yeah. Isn’t that crazy?

 

Will Barron:

It was insane. All he had to do was just tell us the price. And then if it’s 100 quid either way, who cares? He probably would’ve just went for it. But he was so driven. And obviously he was being coached by someone else in the room that he kept popping in and out of.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

Yes. Oh my God.

 

Will Barron:

The sales manager extraordinaire who was in there. The sales manager was only there for one day for whatever reason as well. So it had to be done today. It was absolutely gross. And we ended up getting a totally different car. Went to the next dealership, bought the next car in an instant like that. Just because this dude was just so backwards.

 

Will Barron:

And it was because we knew the price, we knew what we wanted. We knew even the horsepower and all that kind of stuff because it was a smart car kind of thing. I’d sussed all that out. We just needed the price from him. Couldn’t get the price and so he lost the deal.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

Yeah. And all he needed to do was take a step back.

 

Will Barron:

Yep.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

And understand what is he actually there to do? He’s actually there to convey some information to you. One is, how scarce are these cars? How many do we have on the lot? Is this a time to get a good deal? Will this car be available? The things that could actually influence your buying decision.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

And I always say them is like, what is the truth? If you have lots of cars on the lot and you’re hoping to get a sale, then you can explain to them that it’s like this is the process. And so you can explain like, hey, it is a good time to get a good deal. Okay. That’s going to make me want to buy more because it’s a good time to get a deal. We have a lot of cars on the lot.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

If you’re trying to play into like, can I emotionally get you into this thing? People buy off emotion. It’s like, that’s not really true anymore. People actually are scared to buy in emotion now. More than ever before. If you get them emotional about things, they actually recoil a little bit and be like, oh God, am I making a decision? Am I making a mistake here? And that’s the same thing as a car dealer. You don’t want to be part of that at all.

 

Will Barron:

I didn’t even want a deal, Brant. I just wanted-

 

Brant Pinvidic:

I know.

 

Will Barron:

They could have sold us a car by going, “Hey, we’ll drop a car off at your house. You can go do a test drive. We’ll pick you up in an hour and we’ll email you the paperwork.” They would’ve done a deal. That’s how crazy it was.

 

Parting Thoughts · [46:29] 

 

Will Barron:

Right. Well, without rant over, mate, I appreciate you. I appreciate your insights. Tell us more about the book, where we can find it? And then more about the training and everything else that you are up to as well.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

Yeah. So the book’s The Three Minute Rule. You can go to Three Minute Rule.com or my website, Brant Pinvidic.com. There’s all that kind of information in there. Book will help you do all that stuff.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

And then yeah, I like to do lots of stuff in lots of companies and happy to talk to people about what they’re doing. I love, we’ve got this little movement of this, say less to get more. And as it grows, it’s really exciting. Because it’s one of those things where people are just like, oh my God. People get it now. People understand what I’m saying. And everything comes from that, from an understanding. It’s very exciting. I’m really happy that it’s gone so well.

 

Will Barron:

Amazing stuff. Well, we’ll link to the book, everything you’re up to, your website, everything else in the show notes of this episode, over at Salesman.org.

 

Will Barron:

With that, Brant, I enjoy your energy, mate. Your charisma, that comes across amazingly. I enjoy the kind of structure you’ve given us for these three minute beginning of pitches and the transitions and all of that as well. I appreciate that. And with that, I want to thank you again for joining us on The Salesman Podcast.

 

Brant Pinvidic:

Awesome. Thanks, man.

 

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