This article talks about one of the best sales and marketing books written in the 21st century. It includes quotes and references from Flip The Script by Oren Klaff.
There are hundreds of books on marketing. Some truly stand out, because they are ground breaking, and serve as models for decades to come.
Eugene Schwartz’s Break Through Advertising was first published in 1966 and is still relevant 55 years later.
Flip the Script from Oren Klaff may not be in the same category (yet), however it’s brilliant in its own right.
Marketers, copy writers, entrepreneurs, … this is a must read in 2021.
Our pre-historic brain has build-in instincts
that we still respond to today
Oren Klaff masterfully links our pre-historic instincts to explain how we react, and how to trigger the desired reaction (SALES).
Although I am giving you my notes, I strongly urge you to get your own copy and read it at least twice.
There is an Amazon link on the page, I’ll get half a coffee from them if you purchase from this link, don’t let that stop you though.
My notes from Flip the Script - Oren Klaff
Over decades of being marketed, pitched, sold and lied to, we have grown resistant to sales persuasion.
The moment we feel pressured to buy, we pull away. Our defenses go up.
However,…. everyone trusts their own ideas.
Instead of pushing your idea onto a buyer, you should guide them to discover it on their own. Then they’ll want to buy and feel good about it (and you reduce refunds).
Unwanted pressure blows up deals. We need to sell without selling. Buyers buy how they want to buy, not how you want to sell. Today most things are bought, not sold.
We fact check everything; we always look for a better deal. Products are being bought, not sold.
High pressure sales scripts no longer work. Here is why.
High pressure sales scripts were accepted in times when information wasn’t freely available and we ‘relied’ on the info provided by sales people to make an informed decision.
Today everyone can find, research and buy anything online, so high pressure sales scripts are not just unwelcome, they are hated.
Often, they do more harm than good, causing people to do the opposite of what you’re asking, just to prove you are not controlling them.
None of us want to be told what to do.
In 2021, we need the Inception Method, which is based on the latest research in neuroscience and behavioral economics.
Plant an idea deep into the subconscious mind so that they take ownership of it as it was theirs in the first place.
With the Inception Script, you never tell the buyer what you want them to do – you never pressure them for a yes or ask for the sale. You let them tell you they want to buy.
Key Concepts Explained
THREE Pre-Wired Ideas (3W’s)
Three idea receptors are wired into our human brain, things we pay attention. These three pre-wired ideas ALWAYS need to be satisfied with ANY potential buyer before they move forward!
A threat that can take you by surprise because it moves too slowly for you to see it coming (compared to the threat of a sabre-tooth leaping out of the bush).
The first person to detect a slow-moving but catastrophic threat survives, others suffer and die.
This Answers: WHY SHOULD I CARE?
A Big Pay Off
We are always looking for a huge reward for just a small amount of effort. Since there is always a cost to adopting any kind of new behavior, the reward needs to be nice and big before it’s really worth to switch to something new.
The rule: Humans move quickly toward large paydays that are easy to measure and value.
This Answers: What’s In It For Me?
A Fair Deal
No one likes to be taken advantage of. To make any deal work, both parties should feel they get a fair shake.
Rule: Can I trust you to give me a fair deal?
This Answers: Why You?
To guide someone towards an important decision they need to feel they are in the right place at the right time with the right person. You cannot get the attention of a decision maker to listen to your idea if they think you’re at a different level.
Status Tip Off
Certain things that won’t mean a thing to outsiders, but insiders will understand immediately (alignment).
Status Tip Offs are pieces of information that immediately show your status as an-in group member, such as:
- Industry Specific Lingo
- Real situation everyone in the industry cares about
A sixty second display of pure technical mastery designed to alleviate doubts about your authority on a subject.
During the Flash Roll you cannot be seeking validation or opinion of the buyer, you are the expert.
THE CERTAINTY GAP
In ancient times, transactions were based on equal barter with instant gratification and complete certainty on any deal.
The Equal Barter Issue
Our brains are wired to expect the total certainty our species experienced for a million years in equal barter.
For example, I need a hammer and I have a fish. You need a food and you have a hammer, a deal is struck with the exchange of your hammer for my fish. We both walk away with what we want and need, immediately.
In today’s world however, when selling an idea, or a service, the buyer can no longer hold it in their hand or have it immediately upon the deal is struck.
We experience a certainty gap, however, your mind desires 100% certainty but your gut tells you there is a 50% chance it doesn’t work out (you could screw me over and walk away with my money without delivering).
This certainty gap can cause anxiety and distress, making you back away from the deal if it seems too risky.
To bridge the certainty gap, we need:
- to provide more information,
- mention others we worked with,
- awards we received,
- and user testimonials.
What also helps are risk reversals (try it for 7 days, 30-day money back guarantee,…)
THE SCIENCE OF NOVELTY
We have a natural drive to curiosity. The preference for novelty is wired deep into our brains and can be triggered instantly.
We might stumble upon a new edible root, or berry, or find a better tool to cut something. Of course, besides the potential reward of something new, there is also a potential risk.
In ancient times, just about anything could kill you. Things that bite, stomp, poison,… to survive we needed to trust own judgement and resisting the influence of risky outside ideas.
New could kill, known and tested was safe. Anything new and foreign is untested and therefore not to be trusted.
The human brain is thus wired by evolution to distrust any information from the outside world and to greatly favor that which originates inside us.
Because novel situations can be dangerous, we feel anxiety when we encounter novelty and this makes us more cautious. At the same time, we are curious.
The more novel the situation is, the more anxiety we feel and the more cautiously we act, despite increased curiosity.
In practice, too much novelty produces avoidance and not the hoped-for attraction effect.
Promoting something that is ‘totally different’ from the norm will never work at scale, something that differs just enough to create a ‘new normal’ on the other hand, does.
Something that is not too novel to drive us away, but different enough to create enough curiosity, without too much anxiety.
And a twist… It doesn’t matter how big the risk is; it matters how many risks there are.
That is solved with Novelty Chunking.
This is the practice of grouping everything new and potentially scary, into one single category and then telling the buyer that your deal is just like any other, except for the one key aspect that’s new.
THE PESSIMISM PROBLEM
In general, optimism is good but not in sales. If you are too optimistic about your deal, and overly encourage the buyer to feel good about your product, it has the opposite effect and you lose credibility.
It’s pessimism, not optimism, that is the formula for success in sales.
Buyers always go through a period of skepticism and unease before they ultimately decide they feel good enough to move forward.
The key is to guide the prospect through this, without hiding the negatives. If you do, the sale cannot proceed. Talk about what may not work and why. The possibility of failure enhances the buyer’s motivation to act.
When you embrace pessimism along with the buyer, he won’t feel pressured but will see the positives as his own and will say. “Okay, I appreciate laying out what to expect and what not. What is the best way to work together and when can we get started?”
THE BUYER’S FORMULA
Let the buyer fully object, then redirect. Acknowledge the downside, don’t hide negatives.
The Success Formula
- 1Position yourself as the independent expert
- 2Outline Obvious Ways To Fail
- 3Highlight Counterintuitive Ways to Fail
- 4List Obvious Actions
- 5Give Less Obvious Hacks
- 6Hand Over Decision Autonomy at the End
- 7Redirect to Keep the Buyer “In Bounds”
At this stage when done correctly, the buyer will enter a stage of pessimism and will start seriously considering the positives and negatives of your deal. He will be asking questions that will stay within the boundaries of the Buyer’s Formula and reinforce HIS idea and take away skepticism.
Get your audience to pay full attention and take you seriously with the Status Alignment.
Use the Status Tip-Off to speak their language and align yourself and the Flash Roll to establish absolute certainty you are the expert and authority.
Status Tip-Off aligns you and the Flash Roll distances showing technical expertise.
Once this is established, answer the 3W’s (Why Do I Care? What’s In It For Me? Why You?).
You don’t want to buyer to understand your idea, you want them to pitch it back to you, they invite themselves into your deal.
Make the buyer interested enough to explore a new idea and move forward, but not to novel to drive them away.
Last step is talk about the negatives within pre-defined boundaries, acknowledge concerns and objections, and guide them through.
Inception is to give autonomy to the buyer to make him/her feel it is their idea/decision.
I strongly recommend reading the whole book, get the bigger picture of the author’s ideas.
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