Did I catch your attention?
I thought so.
In his great book ”Originals”*, Adam Grant shares story of how Babble (online parenting magazine and blog network) pitched to Disney. Rufus Griscom started his presentation by listing five reasons why Disney should not buy them. Surprisingly (or not) Disney bought Babble with 40M.
Why this counterintuitive sales tactic is actually really smart?
- You don´t do hard sell
Too many times when I listen to pitches, the people sound like used car salesman and are bombarding you with too many reasons to buy. That makes you sound insecure. There is a thin line between passionate and desperate. Confident salesman does not need to push.
Often times entrepreneurs who get the most investment are actually the ones who are the least enthusiastic.
– Adam Grant
- You anticipate their biggest concerns.
Investors are always thinking about potential challenges with their investment. When you address the concerns in the beginning you don´t need to sell your best parts so hard.
If he’s confident enough that the company is high quality that he’s willing to talk about its weaknesses, it must have some strength.
- You catch the attention immediately.
How many time you have been in sales pitch that follows the usual format? By flipping the script, you immediately catch the attention and you are talking to an audience that is awake.
It’s grabbing attention, it’s different, you don’t expect it.
This method does not necessarily always work, but it makes sense to shake up the status quo of your pitches from time to time.
Assuming that the idea has some merit, when people have to work hard to generate their own objections, they will be more aware of its virtues.
*One of the better business books of later years. It does not really have unified narrative or answer what makes people original, but it has useful anecdotes on almost every page that defy the traditional views. With majority of business books I just recommend reading executive summary, but this book is definitely worthwhile to read as a whole.