Really all you want to focus on is like, okay, what’s the simplest version of this? To keep them from saying no, from wanting them to go talk to their wife or their partner or schedule another meeting or let the committee decide or ask for a proposal, like whatever that next step is. They most likely will say no to most things. They see your job should be like, can I get them to stay interested long enough to get more. Well. Hello Brian. It’s great to have you with us today. I am excited. I know Johnny and I really enjoyed your book three minute rule, and we found that in this month’s theme, leadership, pitching your ideas is such an important skillset. And I know a lot of us, when we think about pitching, we get very nervous. Yeah. And I think the idea that. The word pitching sort of invokes the idea that you’re like a, you’re a sales guy or something. It’s like anytime you try to influence anybody to do anything, anytime you want to convince someone of your way of thinking, like that’s a pitch effectively, and that’s you’re, you’re trying to convey information for the betterment of your process.
And that’s. You do that every day trying to convince your wife or your girlfriend where to go to dinner and trying to do anything with your brother-in-law or family. Like that’s all pitching and presenting. It all sort of wraps up in the same thing. And a lot of us, when we think about pitching, we think about PowerPoints and data and all this information, and what we love about the book and we’re going to dive into it is how simplifying it, getting it concise and getting that information shareable is really the name of the game. Yeah, and it’s like, it’s, it’s even less about the idea of making it short. It’s more about showcasing the idea that you can simplify the information. And in today’s world where everybody’s trying to shout louder and say more and get bigger, it’s like somebody who can simplify their information and let it stand on their own. Like it’s, that’s loud. Like people are drawn to that, that that’s where the, that’s the new sexy, simple as the new sexy.
I say, you know, like clarity. Is compelling. You want people to be drawn to you. You don’t have to say very much. Well, it’s also in her nature to expand everything and bring all this data points. And I know that even in going through this and reading it, I had to remind myself several times that, that I’ve know to cut things down. But it’s just, I think it’s just natural in us to just cram as much in it. And then also, uh, as for somebody who’s. Done some editing, whether it be for audio or for video. Um, there’s so many pieces that you are able to cut out and still get the same effect across.
I mean, have you ever watched the director’s cut of a movie and thought, Oh wow, thank goodness those extra scenes are in there, right? Like there’s a reason because you get partial to your information. You get precious. And then you can’t understand the process of somebody new taking in the information beat by beat and piece by piece.
And I, I struggled with this in my own book. The guy who wrote the book on this, like my intro was supposed to be four pages long, three minutes to read, and my first pass at it. Was nine and a half pages long. And it was because I had just written the book and I felt so excited. And when I wrote the intro was so clever and I wordsmith it so beautifully, and I was like, you know what? Maybe maybe behind trigger is the one thing in my entire history that can be longer than three minutes.
And it’s like, no. And I literally had to go back to the very beginning and start my exercises and do my post it notes. To get that intro down to the proper three minutes. It’s just, it’s not easy when you know your information so well and you kind of fall in love with it. Yeah, you’re too close to the problem. And of course we talk about this all the time. Social media is shortening our attention space. So probably the next version of the book’s going to be 90 seconds. Everybody’s already in the two minute rule now, so they’ve already got it right.
Well, and if it’s not already on blinkers, it’s getting reduced to a 15 minute bite, uh, as, as well as that. I mean, just to, to let our audience know how effective your pitches are and doing research for the show. I had noticed that over the last few months, you have carpet bombed. You do with so many podcasts with the book only to vindicate and show yours. Skills and a great pitch because you were able to get it out there and you’re on the show and this is the pitch. That’s part of the point as well is like that was easier for me because I knew the audience, right? Like how many times did you guys get pitched stuff for people to come on the show? And it’s like six pages of, you know, details and reasons and you’re like, Oh my God. Like what are you talking about? Whereas when I worked in my policies, I was like, well, let’s just get it down to a very simple, here’s a video if you want to be here, here’s the email. It’s like it was so simple and clean that I think people were like, Whoa.
Like. Maybe this guy’s got something to offer if he’s not trying to sell us on him, like maybe there’s something there. So, and that is really where the world is today. And I have this sort of, I know I do this thing on stage where I talk about how Niagara falls. Froze over at the turn of the century and there was 5,000 residents in Niagara at the time, and they were woken out of their sleep at three in the morning because the fall stop running and the noise of the rushing water and the torn of Rapids going over there had created such noise that they became used to it. They just tuned it out. Right. But when it stopped, it was the loudest sound they had heard in years. And what you’ll find out there in the world today is that the marketing and the media and the social media and the promotion and the clickbait is a raging rapid of information that people have just tuned out.
And when you find a way to say things in the simplest way that clearly you’re not overselling or overstating, people are just jarred. They’re just like, Whoa, like you must have something going on because you’re not like. Promising me ridiculous things to try to hook me and try to capture my attention. You’re just giving me the information. The information must be good and it allows.
The person receiving the pitch to think for themselves, which they’re going to do anyways. Like the world is not like it used to. You know, it’s like if I was trying to sell you this mug before, and I would tell you it was like shatter resistant to a 9,000 degrees and 4,000 PSI of pressure. You had to decide if you believed me, right? Cause what are you gonna do? You’re gonna go down to the library and grab the encyclopedia and do some research tests on it. Like, no, I had to believe you. Now. He’s like, I’d go on Google in two seconds and be like a PSI, think of a mug. And you’d be like, yeah, this mug is not capable doing that. And there’s four of them’s that are cheaper. So it just makes so much sense now to let your audience make their decisions. No one’s going to let you sell them.
No one is going to let you sell them anything. No one’s going to let you sell. That’s it. No one’s buying anything if you’re trying to sell it to them. And in an industry like Hollywood where it feels like they’re now making TV shows about everything. Yes. And the pitching is just, anyone can walk in. Now with reality television, before there was a select few in the guard gate with the moat, you were in the castle, you got to do it. And we get pitched constantly to, to go on reality TV and do all these shows, cutting through the noise in Hollywood. Yeah. And staying relevant is a huge challenge. Very, very difficult. And obviously a lot of what you see now is like one great idea, and then seven other spinoffs of those ideas.
I’ve done that myself. Exactly. So how was your Hollywood journey and how much did reality television change things for you? You know what Hollywood taught me was. That the idea that you could like personality your way through and, and Hey, yeah, let’s do lunch. Like see, and you like the image of that. You realize really quickly that that’s worth nothing. Like the network president will have heard, you know, a thousand pitches a year. And there was a, that’s a great story. When I was in CBS about to pitch and out of the room walks Simon cowl and I was like, Oh damn it, I have to follow Simon calender pitched me and this sucks. And as we were talking, he kind of looked over my shoulder and was like smiling and I turned around and there’s Mark Bernetta just walked in and then realize like, Oh my God, I’m like, Mark Burnett is going to be coming in after me. I’m wedged between Simon cowl and Mark Burnett, right? And I’m like, Oh my God. And I’ve got this sort of wave of panic of, what am I going to say? Like.
How am I going to be interesting or dynamic? Like what sort of snappy snap stories are going to impress these people? Like none. I’m look like a fool. And so I remember thinking like, I got to get out of this room, like I gotta get in here and get out of here as fast as I can. And I just walked in and I was just like, okay, here’s the idea. Here’s why you think it works. Here’s why I think it works for CVS and here’s how we’re going to produce it. And that was it. And he was like a nine minute meeting and I was out. They bought the show. And I remember thinking like, Ooh. That went over really well.
Like I liked that energy. I got to do that some more. And so I started developing that system where I would just really focus on the idea, pitched the idea with passion and like let that sit on its own. And then the next thing you know, I’m getting this reputation. My agents called me like, you’re like, people, you’re the best pitcher in town. I’m like, I’m not doing a lot. Like. There’s no magic tricks. No smoke and mirrors. Like I don’t have any lines. I don’t have any closing ideas. I don’t have any special elevator pitch techniques. It’s just like, I’m just really good explaining what an idea is so that you understand what the ideas, you probably aren’t going to buy it cause that’s what TV’s like.
Everybody says no, but at least they understood the idea. Right. And that I found so much more rewarding. And then when I started teaching that to other industries and other people and CEOs and stuff, I realized like that’s all they’re looking for. They just want people to understand their idea the same way they do that. Well, to go along with that.
The more data, the more facts you’re putting in, the more information you’re filling this up. I think that also takes away from your ability to be passionate about the project because you’re trying to get all these data points across. Yeah, and that’s a big mistake I see people make, is there’s two sort of forms of information. There’s the information, the value, and then there’s the engagement.
And you can only engage with somebody meaningfully after you’ve made a decision based on their information. First you got to conceptualize the idea, okay, what is it and how does it work? Then you’ve got to contextualize. The idea is like, okay, how does that work for me? Is it real? Does this actually work? And then you got to actualize it, meaning like, okay, I actually want to. Find out more. I want to get a little bit deeper. I need to talk to my wife. I’ve got to bring a board meeting, like whatever it is that that next stage is. But like you can’t have these in-depth engaged conversations with someone until they get those three sort of value pieces in so they understand the basics of it. Now they want to get nuanced, and that’s why you can use a three minute rule, make a great pitch, and then still have an hour meeting. That’s fine. But the first three minutes is what counts. Cause they’re already making their decision. And sometimes as you guys, I mean, listen, you’re shaking your head, you know it, somebody come to pitch you something and you’ve already decided in the first 15 seconds if it’s a yes or no.
Absolutely. And that’s like, that’s because we focus so intensely now and so efficiently with our short attention spans. It’s like if I give you my attention, I want valuable information right now, not giving it to me. Bang, I’m out. And I’ll make my decisions. Like I don’t want to deal with this. So. Really the three minute rule is like, can you extend someone’s decision making process before that? Yes or no? Two maybe three minutes. If you do it really well, it’s like you’ve got to do it well.
You’ve got to tell a great story. You got to lead people, and if you do it right, you can. You could get three minutes. I mean, we’re, and to go along with that, I mean, even the advertisements on YouTube that you have that grab attention in five seconds. Yeah. How many times have you clicked? Like you won’t even wait to five seconds. You like click, click, click, click, click. You know. Cause they’re trying to sell you something. Whereas I always joke on onstage, I’ll have the picture of the Titanic. And it’s like James Cameron puts you in a seat for three hours to watch a movie about a boat that you know, sinks. Okay. And that’s because when you’re telling a story, when you’re leading, you’re in your information.
When you’re leading, you’re, you’re informing and leading your audience right. You’re building to this conclusion and advertising has always done the state and prove, I’m going to state something really awesome and then I’ll prove to you how I’m going to give it to you. And that was fine. If we had time machines, we can go back to the sixties and seventies that might still work. But today it’s like you make any kind of claim or promise. The first thing people think of is like, this is bullshit right away. It’s like it’s, it’s in our nature now, and I can’t even talk about clickbait because nobody even falls for clickbait anymore. You said this whole thing in my, in my keynote speech about clickbait, I had to change the whole thing cause no one. Falls for it the way they used to go along with that. I mean, even if you hear a claim, your automatic response is to Google it, and if it’s true, that’s right. It’s right there. You haven’t really, you don’t have much work to do.
And it’s like, so making these . Big proclamations. The way advertising is done just has negative effects now, and it says a lot about you and it, and this is while you’re pitching, while you’re trying to explain your value information, your audience is poking holes in it and judging you and wondering if that’s even true and like it colors everything and it’s just not needed anymore. Now we’re not here to bash short attention spans. No. And there are some good adaptive qualities around these short attention spans that you speak to in the book. Could you talk a little bit about that? Well, I think what happens is, is that I, like I said, like we actually aren’t mindless zombies with these like distracted easily.
It’s actually, we just want to do it efficiently. If I, if I give you attention. I want my information that I want. I want what I want. I want to be entertained. I want to be informed. I want to know what it is I came for. And that actually provides some tremendous opportunities because now it’s not about your personality. It’s not about the tie you wear, it’s not about your neuro linguistic programming. And I actually have better time with clients that are introverted. The extroverts like me, personality, a big personality are pain in the ass because.
I like, why a play that they want to play that game. It’s even more than that. They, they’ll use that as a crutch. They’ll use that as a defense or as a shortcut if they don’t have the information. Right. And it’s like what I used to do, if I couldn’t quite get a pitch right with a TV show and I would, it’d be more like, Oh, it’s in the casting. Oh, we’ll figure out the casting. Or I do a challenge may show, and I really couldn’t come up with a great challenge to really illustrate it. I’d still go pitch it anyways and just be kind of like, yeah, we’ll get challenged producers to figure it out. Right. And. Cause I have a big sort of personality I can, I used to try to power through that and so I’ll meet, I’ll work with CEO. Is it a big personalities? And they’ll try to power through and it’s like no back up. Like the reason why you have to put on a show is because you don’t have the goods.
It’s like, and you think your show actually wins you something. It doesn’t. The goods are really what you want to talk value. Somebody has the goods. I have biotech scientist who literally could put you to sleep. If you let them talk to you for more than 10 minutes. But when they put out their information in it, in this format, it’s like, Whoa, it sounds so great. Cause they’re, they’re not trying to do anything else. Just give you the goods. And that’s what our society wants. And it’s a huge opportunity. And how did the three minute rule come across for you? Like, how did this come about? You know, I just. I was, I got asked to work with an oil and gas company and the, it was an investment bank. I said, exciting. Yeah. And he said, Hey, can you help my clients do what you do? And I was like, no, I can’t help anybody sell reality TV show.
He’s like, no, I want you to help my clients pitch their ideas about putting people to sleep without ruining it. And so I went down to Florida, met with his client. It was the worst thing I’d ever seen. I can’t believe this poor guy was in front of these sort of like 18 to 20 of these institutional investors and family offices. And, and he was trying to explain why his oil and gas company has some, you’d want to invest in or buy a stock. And it was a disaster. And it was like awful and embarrassing and painful. And, and so when I worked with him to be like, Hey, you know, you might want to reorder your information and change this.
And I just looked at it and broke it down like I would a TV show. And he left me this voicemail and he, and he was emotional. He was voice was cracking and he was just like, you changed my life. I used to be so miserable having to go on the road. Now I’m excited to meet people. The stocks up. My wife thinks he puts something in my drink. Like I’ll, I’ll never forget what you’ve done for me. And I was just like, what the hell? Like no network president has ever said anything like that. Not even close. And I always make the joke like I’m sore. I’m really close to being a caveman. So my ego was just like, woo, Brent, like that. We want more people to say nice things. And so I found like if I worked with people and other companies, they would be like so appreciative and I could see, I could see it changing right in front of them.
And if you, you know, if you make an investment banker some money, like you’ve got a lot of friends, like they had more than enough clients from that point on. And I just realized like, Oh man, this is what I want to do. I just want to. There’s something freeing. I can see the frustration in people’s face when they love their idea and they know what they’re doing and they have a great product business or service, but they just can’t make other people understand it and it’s just like, it’s, it’s been really cool for me. They get in their own way. Oh my God, did they get in their own way? And what I love about the post it notes and the idea of reducing it down, distilling it down to something that people can actually share with other people. Right? That’s the key to all of this. It’s like if you’re just going to fill it with jargon. And only a small select group of scientists can even follow along. Yeah. Well those scientists are going to go share it with their neighbors, share it with the investor, and find you that opportunity.
So the game of telephone is also important when you’re pitching our ideas and it forces you, right? Like when, when I do the bullet point. Exercises and I’ll do it in my workshops or whatever, but it’s like it forces you to just use simple bullet points, points in a couple of phrases, and you give somebody those, they don’t know who you are, they don’t know what your business is, and they pitch it back to you, like pretty close. You’re like, what the hell? And even in the book, like I do, where I’d take one of my clients and it’s a plumbing company and it’s like.
Here’s this 30 bullet points, like I bet you could tell me what his company does and why it’s valuable and you can, or I, or I give people a like 20 bullet points from a TV show and you have no idea what the show is. And then you’re pitching it back and it’s like you could have said that in the network and that would tell them exactly all you need. And it’s very revealing when you see how much information is just contained in those bullet points.
Because the story you want to tell from a to Z does not need every letter in the alphabet. Well, that was the story of extreme makeover that was so compelling was. Here you are in the room. All of these ideas are swirling. Everyone’s yelling at each other, and you had this Eureka moment and you’re like, you know what, I just give me five minutes. That’s right. Skinny five minutes in the world of pitching. I’m sure that’s like, what are you talking about? And he was like, I driving up there right now.
Like, you just got to just let me in the office. And I, and I, I remember pulling the bullet points off the board being like, these are the only ones I need. This is it. This is the whole show. It’s, it’s, we’re gonna follow them for a year. They’re big, bigger. It’s bigger than the biggest loser contestants. It’s the biggest transformation. Like I didn’t need to go into all the nuances and sell it, and that was the first time I really noticed that piece come to life, which is like, Oh, if I simplify this, like I could actually convey the value more effectively.
And there’s an implicit trust. That one the is going to follow along to that. The team behind them can produce this thing. Yeah. Like you don’t need to spell it out. Like these are the scales we’re going to use and this is the personal trainer we’re going to use and here’s how we’re going to fly them. They can figure all that out. By the way, we had to have those conversations, but that was later, like when they were actually into the show and like wanted it they, they bought in the concept, they knew how we were going to do it.
They figure how it was gonna work for ABC and then it’s like, okay, now let’s talk about how we produce this. And like. That engagement stuff comes later, like that’s fine. Good, but you just gotta get it in the first three minutes. A bunch of brains in a room can figure those things out easily once they’re all on board. Yes. Yeah, and that’s, people will then engage with you from a place of desire.
Like they’ll want it to work out. They’ll want your conclusion. It’s the same way when I talk about if you watch a TV show, like a CSI or something, and like, you know how it’s going to end, it ends the same every single week. But you want it to end that way because you’ve gone through the journey, the information has led you, and now their conclusion is your conclusion. That’s what you want. You don’t want the bad guy to win because that’s not the way the story’s told. And you can do that with your business or product or service, whatever is like you can lead people.
To that moment. And I always say like, never start with the hook of your story. Bar rescue is a perfect example where it’s like, I didn’t walk into the room and say, Hey, John Taffer is the Gordon Ramsey of bars and restaurants. It’s like people would have been like, he is, all right, well let’s hear him. Let’s talk about it. Like it would have been, you know, whereas I went through was like, here’s the show. Here’s the way we’re going to produce it.
You know, here’s what John has done. Here’s his history, here’s a little tape on him. And so the network president literally said in the room. Oh, so he’s like our Gordon Ramsay for bars and nightclubs. I love that. You’re like, that’s right. And let me ask you this. When I heard that, my first thought was, if you present it in that manner, they have a picture of, of how they view Gordon Ramsey, right? So if John is anything other than that, and in his own way, it doesn’t work for them, they’re like, no, well, he’s not.
Right? But if you let them put it together, it’s, it becomes. They, they’re looking for that conclusion as well. Like they’re following your information, looking for the ending, and so what you could do is lead them to the ending. You want that conclusion. Then you’re all on the same page you mentioned earlier, the state then prove model. Right? Can you break that down for our audience who’s not familiar with it? Yeah. It doesn’t work any longer. Yeah. So think about it like an elevator pitch, right? Like what do we use to think about of an elevator pitch or how we’ve been taught is I see you in an elevator and it’s like, I lean in and go. I have an investment that can make you 10 times your money by the end of the year. What do you think? And the guy goes and leans in and goes, Ooh, tell me more. Right? And it’s like, is that the way that goes now? Like new, right? Somebody leans in and says something like that.
You’re like, Oh God, leaning out going like this guy’s full of crap. Now he might even have that. But the point is, is like now that he’s stated it and now he’s going to try to prove it to you. In today’s world, in the hyper-sensitive consumer and the hypersensitive audience, they are met with skepticism and disbelief. You can’t get away from that. The years of bombardment of total crap marketing and over the top has ruined it for us.
So there is no more of that. So by stating and proving. You end up telling your audience what’s going to happen? Like, I’ve got a big claim now, I’m going to try to prove it to you. They already think it’s not true. Not a very good place to start. And that’s why I teach informing and leading. Let the information start and then lead them to that statement, that grand statement, because they might get to the point where they go, it’s like, Oh wow, I could probably make like 10 times my money, maybe even by the end of the year. And you’re like, yeah, that’s right. That’s basically what I was trying to get you to, to understand. So. And that’s why advertising it and Madison Avenue and those guys have had so much trouble because they’re slower to come around because in their mind, the 30 seconds, it’s always been like, I got to grab you.
It’s something big. And then I try to tell you. But now it’s like, well, 30 seconds is a bloody eternity on if you’re watching an ad or a YouTube video commercial. So there’s lots of time to get your information out. What’s interesting about that, and even in. For the psychological work that we’re doing in our programs. If there is a cognitive process that’s flood, say that there’s a cognitive distortion and it’s holding them to have a belief about themselves that is just wrong. You can’t point that out directly because they start to rationalize why you’re wrong. Whereas we start asking them questions about the why they think that way. Right? Always get to the conclusion that, Oh, wait. What I’m saying is wrong. Right. And then they can start unweaving and tingling their own. Yes. And that’s why I say like, you guys might not think about what you do as a pitch to clients, but it’s like it kind of is because you have, you kind of had the solution for them.
And if you come out and be like, here’s your solution. And then they go, Oh, or I don’t like that solution. And then you’re trying to prove it to them. It’s like they’re resistant. But if you walk them through, you’ll get there. And it’s like I wrote it, I wrote a Forbes article about how politicians should be taking lessons from entrepreneurs right now because the way that yapping ridiculous and I want a presidential client candidate, and I was just like, Oh wow, this is really hard to get you to understand. Like. Everybody’s heard this stuff before, you’re not winning any points. And if you watch the impeachment hearing, it’s like, man, if either one, if either side hired me, like that would be the winning side. Because what people want right now is for someone to get up there and be just like, just lay out the simple facts.
I don’t need your all this. Like, it’s just, it’s amazing. Right? And it’s like, ah, if just one person got up there and just got to the damn point and just say simply like simply you’d be like, it’d be the loudest thing you’d heard it. It’d be the one thing that everybody remembered. Well, we’re all kind of hoping that the media will do that, but it’s not half that what they do, right? They’re capturing sound bites and they like the conflict, but then they don’t. Those are people that watch conflict, causes ratings, conflict. We’ll get you to write political donations. Nothing else. We are well aware of that. A lot of the pitchers they try to drag us into are like, Hey, let’s get some conflict.
We’re like, yeah, that’s not what we do. We transform people. We don’t want conflict. Yeah. But I think the other key point in all of this that is hard for people to wrap their head around is just the simplification of it, and it’s even when we try to teach social skills, it’s like, Oh, but that sounds so simple. It’s like, but you’re not doing it right. Yes. This pitch sounds simple, but you’re not doing it, but you’re over-complicating it. Simplicity requires like a complexity on its own. I always joke like it’s taken me 20 years to learn how to say things in three minutes, but the simplicity. Conveys a level of confidence. Exactly. And it goes both ways. To get simplified, you need to have the confidence in your information. And if you are simplified in your information, it conveys that confidence. And I say like if I was trying to cater your wedding and I had Gordon Ramsey to be the chef, how many words would I need to convince you of that? Right for I have Gordon Ramsey.
How would I walk in that room? How would our meeting go? Would my chest be like, sunk in and slow like, or what? I big smile on my face. And you know what? I could have a level of confidence cause all I need to say is, Hey, I got Gordon Ramsey, right? And it means I’m not using a lot of words. I’m not trying to sell you on it. Now, if you look at a different way, let’s say it was my brother in law who was an ex-convict who just got out of prison, didn’t really cook very much, but really needed a job, how many words would I need to sell you on that? Right? And how is my competence going to be different? And. I’m going to be trying to sell you and you as the audience are going to pick up on that. You’re going to pick up on my need and my desperation.
You’re going to pick up on my body language. You’re gonna pick up on the words I use because I’m using a lot trying to sell you. And so what I try to get people to understand is that whatever you’re trying to convey to somebody else has value. Somewhere on the scale between Gordon Ramsey and my brother in law ex-convict and the more words you use will show your audience where you fit on the scale. And so when you learn to basically say less, you actually show your audience that you have more confidence and that is compelling to people and it’s, and it’s real. It’s not like phony bravado, right? It’s like what I’m about to explain to you is good enough that I just need to explain it to you. If nothing else like. That just cuts through like a knife today and it’s saying, Hey audience, I know you’re smart enough to put this together, right. I don’t need to explain it to you.
You’re smart, you’re smart and it’s getting this and I’m excited to share this to you. And it’s that good. Cause if it wasn’t that good, I’d be trying to sell you on it. Cause that’s what you’ve learned is that people who are trying to sell you crap, we’ll just. Endlessly try to sell you crap. They will try to develop closing techniques and they will, you know, objection techniques, how to get over these things. Yeah, we know all those things. It’s not going to help if you use my name over and over again in a sales pitch, like it’s not helping you. And we used to teach people that. Oh yeah. Like, how’d you imagine doing that today? It’s unbelievable. Well, it makes you cringe just sitting on the other side. Please stop. Please stop. Oh, my baby. Like an idiot and I don’t like it. That’s right. Now you’re the idiot that’s treating me that way. I think there’s something else to be said of, of when you keep it simple, it allows the other people to start to take action.
And the more you complicate things or the more information that’s going on, it’s all of a sudden this, this project that you want me to buy in on sounds like a pain in the ass. Right? And now they’re thinking about the simpler action. Like, what am I going to have for lunch? Right? Hey, like that’s what they’re thinking about. And they’re not like, Oh, let me string together this theory that you just put together. Yeah. Now, obviously the listeners are like, put my ideas complicated from the minutes. I’d never heard that. Yeah. I mean like, ah, you know, like one of my clients says a type one diabetes anti-rejection therapy drug for the telomeres on your, on your gene therapy, stuff like. It’s complicated and they have the same idea where it’s like we have so much information.
It’s like, I know you do, and by the way, no investor’s going to get in without all of that information. They are going to dig through this like crazy. Yeah. It’s called diligence after the pitch. All your, and usually what I try to get people to understand is like, well, okay, what do you, what is actually your objective? Like when you actually break down what your objective is. Like I didn’t go into a room. With the network trying to get them to buy the show. I went into the room to try and get them to ask me questions about the show to show interest cause that’s like really all you can do because if they don’t, they just go like, okay, got it.
Thanks. We’ll you know, if we’re interested, like, so when I, when I look at someone’s objectives, like, are you getting them to like the person that you’re in this meeting right now, are you, you think they have a checkbook with them and they’re going to write a check in the, in the room? Like, you know, that doesn’t happen very often anymore, right? Like that’s not really a thing.
The best case scenario is they go back to their office and say, Hey. Danny, I want you to do due diligence on evil Microtech or whatever. Right? Like that’s about it. Because then when they say, Oh, why would we do that? Guess what? They have to regurgitate everything they’ve heard from them. And I have an exercise where I have people take their favorite movie of all time, and no matter what they do, no matter how much they want to try to explain it, you can’t get past three minutes like it. That’s it. That’s all you have in there. Everything of value is about three minutes. So whatever you give to somebody in your meeting when they go to explain someone why they’re interested. They might have three or so. Really all you want to focus on is like, okay, what’s the simplest version of this? To keep them from saying no, from wanting them to go talk to their wife or their partner or schedule another meeting or let the committee decide or ask for a proposal, like whatever that next step is.
They most likely will say no to most things. They see your job should be like, can I get them to stay interested in long enough to get more in trouble? So if you think your business is really complicated, that’s fine, but the beginning and the opening of it doesn’t have to be, we’ll get to the complications later and then those complications can be really valuable. They can be the thing that made people go, Oh my God. Like, that’s amazing. Like you can get people into that mode because they understand it the same way you do. And until they do that, it’s, there’s no value there. And the thing is, is this is not saying don’t do your homework. This is not saying don’t prepare.
Right. You hear three minutes. It’s like, Oh, okay, I’ll . I’m not kidding. It’s not easy to do. Like. It’s easier than, you’re probably making it at your listeners right now because they’re probably making it super hard, but it’s not just about making it shorter. It’s about, okay, if I could extend somebody’s decision making process, what is the most valuable information I could have in there? If the black hole opens for us finite amount of time, how much stuff can I cram in there before it seals shot right. And if you go through your information and I have a great summary, I have good exercise, great exercise, depending on if you like it, um, that show you how to take what you have and put them into statements of value.
Order them in the proper order, in this whack order that I’ve created so that you can see, okay, this is the order laid and that’s how your audience is going to make this decision. Now, let’s break that down because the statements of value I think is a really important concept introduced early in the book, and I think if you understand this or we’re going to go into whack next, you really can put this together in a way that changes your career, that gives you more opportunity. Whether you want to pitch in Hollywood or, Hey, you got a great idea for your boss. There it is. You know? So what are these statements of value and how do we derive them from our idea? So after you’ve sort of broken it down into those bullet points that sort of give you all the ideas, and there’s a couple of exercises that I use to really dive past your simple bullet points that you think of all the time.
You really want to make those into statements. So it’s like if you’re a personal trainer, your bullet point might be personal trainer, and then your statement of value. Maybe like I’m a personal trainer. Specializing in celebrities or specializing in those for the movies or whatever that is, right? Like you get a state one statement that has a valuable piece of information in it, and then what you find is if you have those statements of value, you have a collection of them, then you can start to be like, like a puzzle. Okay, well, what’s the outside edges of the puzzle? You know, where you put first and what’s the middle. And as I walk people through that system, you can see like now, and I have people do them on index cards or post-its where you can grab them and hold them and change them and cross them out and move them around in order. And you start to see as a sort of a living, breathing entity that you can feel the flow. Like, you know, almost like oceans in the way that you can feel it building as you go through it and you see these statements in front of you.
And that I found really powerful for people. So. We have our idea and then we start writing down bullet points on posted notes. Yeah, and you like the posted notes because it doesn’t give you much space. You can’t write a paragraph. You can’t put your fancy graph. You got to just jot it down. You get this collection of post it notes and now you’re starting to subtract the ones that are repetitive, the ones that are just not very helpful. Yes, and you have your bullets. Now you’re like, okay, how do I assemble this into an actual story that is compelling? Yes. What’s great about it? It’s almost like a storyboard. It is like a storyboard. This goes back to this editing idea. How many shots do you have or that are redundant, that are not adding, and if they’re not adding.
It’s possible that there, there’s, right. And you know when you film stuff, you connect scenes and ideas that you’re like, you thought those scenes needed to go together and you’re like, yeah, we don’t really need that one. Technically we could feel this gap. And that’s what it forces people to do. Because you might end up in the book and it’s sort of like, is it a little bit of a reveal here? But I do tell people, Hey, you’re going to start with 25 bullet points, but then I get them up to like 50 or more because I have exercises. Get them out of your brain. The ones you didn’t think of. Because what I want them to do is look at it and be like, Oh crap, I can’t say all this.
And it’s like, yeah, I know. That’s the point. Like you can’t say all this, let’s start figuring out what you’re supposed to say. And now they realize, okay, like if I’m going to put it into these categories, like where do I put them? What things are the most important? Cause then you’re like, and then know as you know, like I have this cool test where it’s like, Hey, if the fire alarm went off. Couple of minutes into your pitch, have you said the most important things or are you thinking your M night Shyamalan waiting for this big six sense moment at the end where you reveal the value, like that doesn’t work, you know? Yeah.
But then their assistants have come in. Yeah. They’re placing their lunch order and this happened. This literally happened to me at MTV. I had Brian Graydon in the room was the president network. I was pitching a show and the fire alarm went off. And you know what? It’s like an office. Everybody sits there and be like, well, has a fire alarm going off? Like, but then it was like, Hey, uh, no. I think we have to actually evacuate.
And somebody came and said, Hey, they’re, they’re making us evacuate crap. So we go out and there’s a thousand people in the parking lot and they finally clear the parking lot. Okay, you guys go back in the building. Guess what? Brian Green didn’t come back that meeting. And I didn’t say enough in those first minutes. To get the pitch across. Like there was so much I wanted to say and like I ruined that chance because I didn’t give them enough to make them go, Oh Hey, I’m going to come back to this meeting. And I certainly didn’t give him enough to say like, Oh, I don’t need to go back cause I already haven’t.
I already have it in my brain. And that’s where I started developed like, Hey, this is a good exercise because if you can’t do that, you’re toast because the assistant will come in and screw your pitch. Somebody will ask a wild question. The cell phone will ring. You got to get those first things in place. So what is this whack acronym? Yeah. So how do we put this all together? Uh, it’s a good one. It’s, it stands for, it’s an acronym. WAC is w, H, a, C, that’s the spelling. And it’s what is it? How does it work? Are you sure? And can you do it? And when you have your statements about you put them in that order, cause that’s the order that you’re gonna explain the information.
Uh, and here’s the easiest way to understand it. When someone’s trying to pitch or present or tell you a story or do anything, any kind of interaction. And they’re trying to explain something to you. How many times in your brain have you been going, Oh my God, could you just tell me what this is like? Okay, just what, how does it work? Like could you just tell me how this isn’t like what it is and how it works? Like your brain naturally wants those two things solved. Absolutely. First, what is it. How does it work? And so in the whack method, it’s like, okay, all your statements, which are the ones that tell people what it is on the simplest plain, what are the ones that tell you how it works? Like literally, how does it work? How do you do this? Okay.
Once we got those two things, now your audience has conceptualized it, and that’s important. Now they’re going to be like, okay, does it really work that way? Like, are you sure you can actually do that? Um. Does this make sense? Like, wait, aren’t there laws against that? Or like, well, wait, I thought, I thought there’s only four of those in existence. Like then someone’s like, okay, I understand it, but now I want to verify there. And that’s where you use your facts, figures, logic, reason that basically say, yeah, you know, there was a law passed last week, or we actually have 42 in stock, or whatever it is that says.
These are the validation of how it works and what it is. Right? And then the last piece is like, can you do it? Meaning like, okay, well what does it cost? Uh, okay, when can I get it delivered? Okay, well what’s the next step for us to work together? Or, okay, I want you to meet the boss, or this doesn’t work for me. Or you know what I mean? I’m not the right person you should be pitching to whatever that last piece is. That’s where they’re going with actualization. Like, okay, I understand it. I believe it. Now I’ve got to decide if I’m going to actualize this, what’s my next step of action? And that’s, that’s really the flow of anybody’s rationalization story. And so all you want to do is lay it out in that format and people will start to understand it and respond the way you hope they do.
And in today’s day and age, very, very rarely are we in a situation where we’re just pitching one decision maker and boom, open. I mean, we’re after. How do you tailor your pitch for a committee where you know there’s going to be legal, there’s going to be marketing, there’s going to be a bunch of by committee is I say decision by committee and I’m telling you in any language I hear the same groans like I will have because that’s the way the world is, right? So you got to understand how we make decisions like we, we do what’s called a rationalization story.
So every decision we make, and we’re the only species that does this, we rationalize. So what you’re gonna have for lunch today, you know why you chose this office? Why people kill their wives? Why did we go to war? It doesn’t matter what it is. Why are you going to cheat on your best friends with his wife? Like all of the bad decisions, we rationalize them so that we live with them, we understand them, and we made that decision and it’s a great exercise. Um, too, if you think about a big decision, let’s say the car you drive, which is funny, cause I did this in New York and I forgot, people don’t drive cars. And so I’m asking about the car they drive. But if you think about the car you drive, and I asked you simply, why did you choose that car? And you say it to yourself and then you go a couple layers deeper. Okay, so, but why is that important? Why did you choose it that way? Why is that the most important thing? Why do you value that? You build a dozen sentences and you do that for five or six questions.
If you listen to what you just said to yourself, like there’s no adjectives or adverbs in there. It’s the simplest version of your explanation for the one of the biggest like financial decisions of your life. You’ve just explained it to yourself in super simple terms with the most valuable thing right up front, and then the explanation of those things as you go. That’s called the rationalization story. And if you can make someone else. Feel the same about your story. You can mimic your pitch to the way they will rationalize it. They have a really good chance of explaining it to somebody else. And so if you’re dealing with decision by committee or death by committee, what you want to do is give them the ammunition to answer the question. Hey, why did you like that? Why did you invest in that? Why did you want to buy this? Why should we get involved? Why are we talking about this today? Because they have to answer it.
And if you can give them the, what is it, how it works, are you sharing? Can you do it? They will. Take their, their committee through the same rationalization process. And here’s what’s great. If you do it right, they don’t have to put themselves on the line because that’s the death by committee is no one is going to stand and be like, Oh my God, I saw up and it was so amazing. It’s going to fundamentally change our company. Here’s what it was, because somebody in that committee will be like, fundamentally change our company. What are you talking about? I hate that idea. So what they’ve learned to do is, um, so guys. I got this pitch the other day and I mean, I don’t know. W might be okay. I don’t know. I wasn’t really sure, but I’d want to find out what you guys thought.
Like, um, I mean, it wasn’t great. I mean, but maybe it was, I don’t know. Let’s talk about, here’s what it was, who was kind of like that? And then they hear somebody be like, Oh, I don’t get it. Oh, I didn’t get it either. That was my thing. Yeah. I don’t think it’s a great idea. Like right. I mean, how many times do you know that happens to whatever it was clinic? No one wants to stick their neck out. And by the way, I watched it happen to one of my TV shows. I act like the president network brought me into the room of the Greenlight meeting, which producers never get in because he couldn’t explain the show.
And he found it was going away. And I happened to be waiting for him downstairs and I watched people, marketing people press whatever these people were, deputies to deputies of assistance or whatever, and they just poked holes in everything. And they’re mean. And they’re unhelpful and they’re just, they just seem like nasty people. That’s what I felt like. Cause it was my idea and you guys were saying mean things about it. Right. And I realized like if I wasn’t in that room, that’s thing was dead. And so if you give people the information in a way that they can re relay it without having to put themselves in the line. That’s the best chance you’re going to get, because they can be like, Oh yeah, I saw this thing. Here’s what it is, and here’s how it works. Uh, they do have this connected. They actually got regulatory approval and we can have it here in six months. They don’t have to say, I think it’s great, or I was so impressed, or like, this is gonna make us $10 million, or here’s the, you know, we should definitely hire this company.
They don’t say any of that. They just have to give the information because you’ve given them those weapons and that’s how you survive that committee. Now, of course, when we’re starting out and we love our idea and we’re so excited to share it with people, there are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to pitching. A lot of us have these visualizations of fireworks, and this is going to be amazing and I’m going to have this crazy PowerPoint. What are those misconceptions that you dispel with your clients all the time? Um, I think the first one, well, there’s two big ones.
One is passion. There is just this blanket understanding that you have to be passionate about your pitch, and if you don’t have passion, you’re never going to get there. Which is somewhat true, but really dangerous because passion isn’t a blanket, right? You don’t throw it over everything because when you’re trying to be passionate about something, you end up right on the line of making it about you and not the idea. And if you make it about you, that means people are going to start judging you more than the idea.
And that’s a really dangerous place to be because. What you end up doing a lot of times is going into promotional. Passionate is one thing. Promotion is a different thing, and when people sense you being promotional, it’s like you’re dead. And so it’s a tight rope. You walk, and what I explained to people is the greater your desire to achieve your outcome, the more likely you will turn passion into promotion because you really need them to buy in and you’ve bought in. And so the greater your desire for them to buy in. The more likely you will say anything you need to to make that happen. And today people will pick up on that. So what I try to explain to people is be passionate about your facts, not your opinions.
When you’re passionate about your opinions, people will judge you. When you’re passionate about your facts, they understand why you’re passionate. They may not share it, but they understand it. And I’ve had so many people come into my office to pitch me a TV show. And it’s a terrible idea. Now that happens every day, right? I’ve pitched bad ideas, but they’re so passionate about it, about how it’s going to be amazing and how it’s gonna be a hit, and like advertisers are going to be in it. They’re so passionate about the bad idea. Then it’s like, okay, it’s a bad idea. And then I tell my system, I don’t ever want them in my office again because they don’t understand the process. And I was never like that. I was never liked that in the network meeting saying, Oh my God, this isn’t me. This is such an amazing idea. It wasn’t like it was like, Hey, I’ve got an idea.
Here’s what it is. And it’s like the parts that are factual that you can’t start the sentence with, I think, or in my opinion, if you can start a sentence with that, you need to tone it right down. Cause it’s like, in my opinion, I think this is going to be really good, is okay, but Oh my God, this is gonna be so amazing. Does not help your cause. Right. And I’ve noticed an obviously watching shark tank, which is. The ultimate pitch. Yeah. In the book talks about this, the pitches are about three minutes. That’s what our attention span is editing. And oftentimes people get too bogged down in these big numbers and trying to prove to the sharks that there’s this market because they drew these fancy numbers and there’s 5 billion people on this planet, so therefore this is a hit and that doesn’t work. No, that never works information yet. I don’t need it. The 5 billion number yet. If I have all of the information, then I might be interested like, Oh, the market shares that big.
Like, okay, at some relevance, right? And what you’ll find is shark tanks, a perfect example is that people will feel like you’ve watched it. Good idea. And then right at the end they go, well, sharks, who wants to dive in with me? And you’re like, you can see Mark Cuban go like, Oh God. Like. They roll their eyes cause it’s like, Oh right, this is a pitch. Yeah, I forgot. You’ve rehearsed this 500 times in the mirror and you’re pitching everybody, you know, like it pulls people out of the story. Right. And you just don’t need to do that. You don’t need an ending. You don’t need a fancy closing. You don’t need to perform it.
It’s just not necessary right now. Like if you lead your audience, they will get there. They’ll want more from you. That’s what they do. Now, how do you approach follow up? Well, just to go along to that, and when I, I, I’ve seen so episodes of shark tank, but there’s, there’s obviously certain pitches that still stick out in my mind. And one of them was this on its and its value. It was a really silly, stupid idea. It was a guy who drew, who draws people custom cut pictures. That was it.
That was, that was his, his company. And Mark bought it like that. Because when I, when I look at whack, right, what is it? Why draw people custom cat pictures? Uh, how does it work? Well, you, you send me a picture or you tell me what you want and I, and I draw it. And then it was, well, how are you sure? It’s like, well, do they even look good? Like, are they interesting pictures? Yeah. How many have you sold already? Or I show you a quick, you’re like, Oh, that is kind of cool. And, uh, how was he going to make it work? Well, it turns out that he was great with SEO, so he was able to get a lot of traffic to this thing and people buy, and Margaret was like, that was it. That was, it was over. And that, that silly thing. And you, you see some incredible stuff on that show. But it’s not always the most incredible products that are going to get.
No. I’ve seen shark tank episodes where the guy screwed up the pitch so badly that I went to go try to find a product like that’s a good product. You messed it up so badly that it’s nobody bought it and it’s nowhere. And it’s like, I remember thinking that like that poor guy, and I remember him shaking and he was nervous and I was just like, Oh man, that was a really great product. The fact that I remembered that, and I’ve even looked this up and I must have seen that seven years ago. I can’t even remember. And there’s the website as seen on shark tank. Then I was like, wow, that’s right. Cause again, like there’s a lot of questions about cat pictures and the marketability and all that kind of stuff.
But to get to those questions and to have those answers be really valuable and impactful, you kind of need the . Preamble set. Like now you and I could have a real cat picture business conversation cause I know exactly what it is, how it works. I’m, I’m sure of it cause I’ve seen a cat picture now I’ve seen it and I know how he does. Okay, now we can really get into the nuances of it. And if our business is going to invest or if we are, we are competing cat picture company. Do we want to buy? Like I get it. Like now we get it. And that’s why that resonated. And again, he didn’t need to do a lot more like what you’re talking about in the book. And I think this is an important yeah. A sidebar for our audience is. You know, nervousness is okay if, if you actually dial in whack and you can share the relevant information, we will look beyond the nerves and nerves. So I think a lot of us get bogged down in like, Oh my God, I’m so terrified to share this.
Oh yeah. Oh, that went terribly. But listen, if you nail this, if you nail the first three minutes in the whack, you could be shaking and you tell a story in the book. And I just on stage, I depict one way or the other, I’d be like, I’d rather you stumble and nervous and sweat through your, your clothes than be a guy. Hey, aren’t you slick? Yeah, because there’s actually, it’s, and it’s gonna get, it’s gonna get more in the future. Cause I can see the swinging is that if you’re really bad at pitching and you’re like stumbling.
I might believe that you haven’t pitched this very much or that I might have an opportunity here that you might not have one else know somebody else might not have seen this because you’re kind of a dud and like you’re annoying. And so this might be an opportunity. And I always used to make the joke about Canadians coming to Los Angeles. I was like, Hey, like when I first came here, the idea that I had, you know, script and I had ideas, people genuinely thought, well, well, he’s a Canadian. No one’s ever probably heard these things before. They could actually be good. Whereas like if you were a native. Person from Los Angeles, it’d be like, well, if your script was any good, somebody would’ve read it by now. Right? And so it’s like if you’re terrible at pitching and awkward as hell, there’s a chance people will start to think like, Oh wow, he’s probably hasn’t got very good meetings. This could be a real opportunity, right? Because. And then if you are, I bet you’ll do the work.
I bet your whack method, I bet your pitch is, is dialed in perfectly. Cause I have seen that with my own eyes. I have seen people who are absolutely unbearable personalities, just awful. But when they get the information right, it’s like, Oh wow. They are not expecting people to like them or to be drawn to them or want to listen to them past those three minutes. And it’s like, it’s so much more powerful because it’s just the information. So it was, it’s amazing. Now. Obviously when we’re talking about death by committee, there’s a followup involved to any pitch, and we talked about the likelihood of them just going, Oh, great idea. Boom, let’s move. Here’s resources. Whatever it is. How do you approach follow up? Especially for those of us who are a little newer in our career who don’t really have a name or a network yet, you know it’s hard because that is a fine line.
Like it’s not just the simplicity of that. That’s like sometimes people need to be pushed a little bit. The problem is his followup has always been connected with closing and closing has been taught, and it’s a terrible thing because it will tell your audience that there’s a string attached. If I need to do this right now, there’s a problem and I make the joke where it’s like, I don’t do anything without checking Amazon reviews like. Even if it’s something that’s not on Amazon or it’s not a product, whatever. Like what’s the weather today? I don’t know. I’ve got a check, an Amazon review, like my world is like surround and everybody’s in that mode, right? So I’ll go back to my Gordon Ramsey example, like if I had Gordon Ramsey to cater your wedding, but I put a sheet of paper in front of you and said, but you got to sign it right now.
All of a sudden our conversation changes and now you’re like, Oh wait a second. Like, well how long has Gordon going to be there? Like is it, it’s the Gordon Ramsey, right? And like, well do you have him committed to you? Like is it like the sign, like what happens if you can, it was all of a sudden everything changes. Right? So follow up if you, if you separate it from closing, cause there is no closing. Like people will close themselves or they won’t, they already know. You pushing is not going to help. And the and the customers that you could push to close, there’s not enough of them out there to warrant the kind of time and energy that you’re going to be putting into it. And on the flip side, they oftentimes are terrible customers. If you’ve had to push them that hard, it’s a decision that skepticism doesn’t stop after they’ve paid you.
In fact, it’s even more heightened and they’re like, I’m ready for a refund. You didn’t deliver. So I always go with the idea of like, reminder. And asks, and that’s about it. Like, Hey, just reminding you next week I’m going to be moving this, whatever did you want to, like once you ask, you know, you know, right? Like it’s like I, and I won’t share who it is, but I have a very good friend who has a popular media thing that I wanted to get on. I wanted to get on his show. And we talk quite a bit on text and I asked twice and he responded to a lot of other things in my text, but not, can I get on your show? And so it’s like, yeah, I could call my publicist, I could call his manager, I could get our agents involved, but it’s like I already know the answer.
I’m not big enough for his show. And he doesn’t want to tell me that. He doesn’t want to say it. He’s not man enough to just have the conversation with the fine. I get it. But. In my heart, like I kind of want to ask and push for the know like, but I know, I know. I knew the first time he didn’t respond to that text that he was leery to it. The second time. I know he’s avoiding it, you know that we have that, that one, and that needs to close that loop, but it’s the loops closed, you know, it’s closed, it’s closed, it’s fine.
And if you keep pushing, you push people away. Yeah. And there’s no coming back from that and like, it just doesn’t, yeah. Make any sense? Right. And I’m working with, um, big Las Vegas entertainment group, and they have a tech, a timeshare, uh, company, and they’re really struggling because the, the audience for timeshares. Isn’t changing from a traveler perspective, but it’s the people that that will succumb to that emotional buy in the moment, right? A timeshare needs you to get you on the property, get you all drunk and high and happy, and then have you signed on the dotted line right now kind of without reading things, right? Like that’s kind of the way the sales process has gone.
Like they have to close you on the phone, you can’t go research it, and it’s like, Hey. Nobody buys like that anymore. And the people that you can get to buy like that are, are, are aging out and there’s a few of them have, they’re like, you can’t run a business like that. And so for us to go through the process and be like, Hey, you guys are going to have to come up with value, like surprise, surprise, timeshares do have value to a very large part of the population.
You just got to find those people and you’ve got to qualify them. And like, you’ve got to give them the value so they feel like I’m seeing it all. You won’t need to close them the same way. Like they’ll be like, great, I do travel this much. I do have kids. I would like to know what my vacation plans will be for the next nine years. I don’t want to have to worry about budgets. I don’t want like, okay, this works for you and it’s a brilliant idea, but that’s lost and so closing and follow up. If you start mixing those things together, people are like urge, urge, alarm bells. And trusting your intuition on it. I feel like we all know it. You know the loop, you know, you know if they’re going to close or not, you know, so just, and you know, and you’re better off, you’re better off to pitch a hundred times getting the nose as fast as you can because then you’re going to get to the assets as opposed to chasing the maybes and maybe you convert one, but it’s like the amount of energy that you put into those maybes.
It’s just not worth it. And once you get, by the way, once your pitch gets faster and more efficient and, and simpler in that sense, like you’ll be able to get it out more, you’ll be able to happy about it. You’ll feel more confident, you’ll get to more people, they’ll respond better. Like you won’t even be chasing the maybes. You won’t need it now. Is this something you’d do with family and friends all the time, or family and friends doing it on you? Yes. My son does it all the time. My wife’s better at it. And you’ll also find that like you get better at hearing people’s value. Like I can hear your statements of value so fast now that even when I’m talking to my friends and relatives, I can hear what they’re trying to say and I want to stop and be like, just stop talking.
I’ve got it like all the time. Right. But my son knows how to do it now because he’s figured it out. Where it’s like, you know what dad wants? He just wants the information. So he just comes in, dad, here’s what I need. Here’s why I want to do it. Here’s what the pro like, here’s why it’s going to work out. Okay. Like if he wants to borrow my car, I the really cool old muscle car and he’s just like, here’s what I want to take it. Here’s why it’s important to me to take this car as opposed to driving my car or different car. Here’s the reason why.
You know it’s going to be okay because I’ve done this, this, and this in the past. I’ve never let you down. And it’s like, you’re not going to be using it like he knows and it’s just like. I could say no, just for the sake of saying no, but like, I don’t really have a good excuse to say, no, I can tell you what I want you driving my car. But it’s like that’s not going to work. He’s driven it before, so he knows that brilliantly. And I, I’ve watched my wife do it with my, my parents, her in-laws, like trying to convince them of something. She just like, okay, I’m not going to get emotional. I’m not going to get off track. I’m just going to like, here’s what we want to do for vacation this year. Here’s what we want you to be there. Like. And it’s just like, yeah, it’s like, it’s so much better. There’s all these little skills that we tend to use all the time and we don’t really know that they can be developed.
Storytelling is one of those things. We’re all selling. We’re all, uh, we’re always pitching as well. And. And last month, our topic that we sat on and and went into was storytelling. Right? And I know that you had some insights on where to insert a good story around this for your patch. Um, and cause a lot of people think of storytelling in that in a sort of like literal sense as in, I went here and then I did this. Right? And that’s fine. That is obviously a story. But storytelling is really the process of. Sort of like a breadcrumb trail of information that people can follow somewhere. They, they follow your build of your characters, they follow the, the value of your product, whatever they’re following piece by piece. That’s how storytelling is done. And so the place where it really makes a lot of sense is I use what’s called the reason for being the opening.
Like a lot of people ask, how do you open a pitch? And it’s like, yeah, the small talk about blah, blah, blah. The best way to open a pitch is the story of how you came to be involved with it. When did you think this was going to be a good idea? Not claiming, Oh my God, I’ve got something amazing for you, but just like when did this happen to you? Like how if you’re sitting here going to pitch or present something to someone, you’ve gone through a process that made you believe in it enough to have you sitting in this chair.
So there’s gotta be a reason, and there’s usually a story there that sets up that reason for being, and it’s. What I explained from a Hollywood side, like there’s a reason why Bambi, his mom died at the beginning of the movie. It’s not relevant to the story of Bambi. It doesn’t have anything to do with that piece. It didn’t have to happen then, but it does have to happen then to tell Danby story in a sense, because it sets up your reason for being, here’s why.
Bam, he’s alone. Here’s why you should care, and. That’s kind of the setup, like what’s your Bambi story? Like how did you get here? Okay, now I know this is how I want you to feel, and here we go. Like you know what’s coming? And you’re like, okay. And you set the tone for that. Right. And that’s a great story. And then I usually try to have people do what’s called the call back. Like if you’ve ever watched a standup comedian, you know that they, there’s a joke in the beginning that somehow they’re bringing back where they use that punchline again. It’s good for laugh and they’re really good at that. Whereas. It’s a little more subtle in movies and stuff, but there’s always that call back, which is like if the reason for being in the opening is why you thought it was good or when you believed it was going to be something good, what’s the story of when you knew it was good? What’s the story of when you realized, Oh wow, this really does work? I have to tell someone.
Yeah, I have to share it right the first time it really like resonated or you hit a sales goal or something that says. Oh my God, I’m really on to something. So those two stories kind of book end in there and they really do well cause you tell the story of how we got here and how it is, and then I tell you what it is and how it works and I show you some of the details and then I’ll be like, and now you can see it. Right? Like now I knew I had it and that, that for me is that aha moment. It’s like, like you almost want to say to people like, you see, you see what I’m saying? Like you understand, right? Like that’s where that story helps.
Where you realize that it happened, that there was something there and that. Pieces. When you learn to use that breadcrumb trail style, you can make almost anything compelling. You can make anybody listen if you do it right, if you just lead them in pieces. That’s the way we want information. Well, I think that initial story too, instead of you coming in, it’s like this all knowing expert, and I write, I’m smarter than you.
It really puts you in the shoes of the person who is about to receive the pitch. I didn’t even know this was a thing either, but I check out this discovery that I’m so excited. Yeah. And that’s like, Oh, okay, and you can do it. Like again, the stories and about the quality of the story, the details. It’s really about the, the format. And if I told you the story of how I came here this morning, right? Like I get out in my car, but it’s been raining and so there was drops all over the windows, right? So I had, I had to look for my windshield wipers, but I live in Los Angeles, so it’s like, where am I washing? So I turn the windshield wipers and then, you know, there’s a Canyon. From my house, so I can’t make a call and I want to call my assistant and get details on the address. So I’ve got to wait. But then I, then I get a call as soon as they get out of the Canyon. So now I’m coming up to that part of the four Oh five and the one 70 or the five where it’s like, I’m not sure if I’m supposed to be going down to four or five with a one 70 and I’m trying to get this person off the phone, but you know, they’re talking a lot, so I’m getting nervous, so I have to make a 50 50 decision.
Now listen, I could keep going. Nothing happened on the way down here. There was really nothing interesting, but. It’s like, it’s, it’s one thing after another. My thoughts are clear. I’m not like, Oh, this happened. Oh, but, Oh yeah, but I forgot this. Oh, and then she does this with there. Oh, and then my sister, but she does over here. Oh yeah. But my sister, but she doesn’t live in, in the house. Like I don’t, I’m not clouding it.
I’m just like, this happened, and then this happened and that led to this, and then this happened, and then this happened. And that’s the, that’s the classic storytelling. Formula. It’s not sexy. It’s not interesting. One of my, one of my mentors was one of the greatest Hollywood writers of all time, Stephen J Cannell and like, he couldn’t write sexy or like overly subtle or interesting to save his life like he did the a team and, and like, it’s just straight forward as a cat’s like, and yeah, there’s a Quintin Tarantino out there that does this wild storytelling technique.
But there’s really only one other two of those guys, you know, like, and for every loss, that becomes a huge hit. That’s all over the place. Like there’s thousands of episodes of CSI or NCI ass or these shows that never fail to deliver. And like you want to be tried to be the Quintin Tarantino of pitching your idea. Okay, that’s not a really great idea, I don’t think. And then story, this happened and then this happened and then it went here is like, that’s what we’re trained to do. We build information that way. It’s easy to follow along. It’s, it’s a freight line shot.
Much like the pitch. The story has to be the same, or we’re already thinking about lunch. It’s breadcrumbs, and if you start with breadcrumbs and feed it piece by piece, at some point the person would be like, Holy shit, I just ate lunch. You know what I mean? Like that’s the, I’m not going to use that later. Oh my God. Actually before you go, we love to get audio leaving. This is fantastic. I love this. We love to give our audience a challenge. And you have a great challenge in the book called the telephone test. Yes. Can you share it with our audience for this week’s challenge? Only if they promise to do it. Because I have people that promise to do it and then I know they don’t because it’s a little bit of a pain in the ass. So what’s your social handle? And they will hit you up and let you know. That’s right. I’m at Brant pinvidic on any of the handles you. I will help guide you through this because it’s really valuable.
What you do in the telephone test, the same as that telephone game that used to play. I whispered you. You whisper to him, he whispers to him, they to her, and you see what comes back, right? You take your picture presentation, you call somebody that doesn’t really know you that well, wouldn’t know, and you give them the pitch unadulterated, just square on its own, and you say, I need you to call somebody, pitch it to them, have them call somebody else, and then have them call one more person. And here’s the number to call me back. Right? And. You may actually have to, like we use, I do with clients like buy Starbucks gift card, I’ll give you a $10 gift card if you can do this. Everybody who calls, you know, whatever you gotta do, but you got to make them do the three or four layers. You can’t have them call somebody in and then call you back because it’s not going to be a false positive.
You need at least three layers. What you’re going to find is what comes back to you on that phone call. Cause it’s gonna be someone that you don’t even know and they’re gonna be like, ah, okay, I’m supposed to call this number and pitch this idea thing that I heard. And you’re like, okay, great. I’m telling you what comes back is going to make you very uncomfortable because you’d be like, what are you talking about? That is not right. So then you go do it again. And what you’re going to find is, first of all, the stranger that calls you, whatever information they’re saying back, that’s what’s resonating. So some things I’ll be like, Oh wow, they really liked that part, or that’s, that obviously resonates where they remember that, but this was something I really wanted them to remember. Why didn’t they, let me see if I can move it up in the process. Maybe that’s more valuable than I thought, or maybe it’s not something I need.
And you go back to your whack and you see that. If, I promise you, if you do that telephone test three times, three different times with different people, which again, it could take you all day to do. The value of what comes back and what you’ll feel like when that phone rings and it’s someone you don’t know and they pitch back your idea, the way it went out, you will feel like you won the super bowl. I have been in Collins meetings. With scientists that are jumping up and down, like splashing water on each other, like high fiving, freaking out because we’ve been sitting in a conference room waiting for the phone call to come back and we spent $400 on gift cards to try to get people to do it. And it’s just such a powerful exercise. And like, again, it’s easy to not do it, but man, the value of it is, is it’s world-class value for that. Just a few hours happens with your idea. Yeah. Yeah. By the way, battle testing is for you. That’s what happened. It’s just they’re not calling you back.
Right. When they do call you back, they don’t pitch the idea back. They just go, yeah, it’s not for us. Or like, Oh, they said no. Right. Like that’s what’s happening out there. Very good point. I’m going to use that too, by the way. And with your thoughts on practicing the pitch, is there, uh, a guideline you have a threshold for yourself? Obviously the telephone test is fantastic, uh, that, you know, okay, this is ready for me to go in that room. I mean. It’s once you get that, like if you get the telephone to inspect, you’re ready and you can try it out. And I, and I always tell me like, Hey, it’s three minutes. You should be trying out a lot of people. And the, you know, the one thing you’ll probably find is people interrupt you and they say like, well what about this? Or how did this go? And it’s like, Oh wait, I’m getting to that in a minute.
Okay. That’s when you know, one of two things, cause I’ve now learned there are some other options and just you don’t have it in the right order. You could be pitching an idiot. It does happen. I’ve had it happen in TV many, many times where it’s like, okay, you’re just a moron and you just want to jibber Jabber. You’re not really interested. I have had that happen enough to me, and I think I’m pretty good at this. So I’m like, okay, so I’ll give you a pass. If that happens and you’re genuinely pitching an idiot, that could happen, but most times it’s because your breadcrumbs are not quite in the order, and they get to the end of the breadcrumb line and they go, wait, and I’m still hungry.
And you’re like, wait, wait, wait. I got more breadcrumbs over you. And so it helps you do that. When you feel like you can get through it constantly, you’re ready to unleash it because there, the downside is really small. If you have something elaborate that you’ve built, his whole performance downside is big. When you get it wrong, if you’re just talking information, your information’s not going to change that much.
No matter how many times you rehearse it. Not much bad could happen if the person understands it there. Doesn’t matter how many times you explain it or how well he explained it. If they understand it, they understand it now it’s yes or no, like, and that’s, that’s really where you want to be. Thank you so much for joining us, man.
It’s been a lot of fun. I love this. You guys are fantastic. Where can our audience find more about you and how to work with you? Yeah, I’m easy to find at Brant pinvidic on any of the social stuff, or you can always go to the three minute rule.com and connect to me there. I love talking to people. I’ll respond to anything you send me. As long as it’s less than three minutes. I always say, um, but I, I love interacting with people and it’s just like. It’s that time in my life where I’m like, Ooh, I’m not making widgets anymore. Like TV was for me. It’s like I get to interact with different people doing different things. People are really passionate about their staff. There’s a genuine frustration they have, and it’s like unlocking that for people is, is a little addictive. So I’m totally into it, and that’s what I loved about the book, the stories of all these different industries and your buddy and I lock it and the simple tools in the book that allow you to take that idea and get it out there.
I’m having a blast. So thank you so much. Absolutely. Guy..