Tactics

5 ways to crush “tough questions”​

Published on September 9, 2020

Oren Klaff

Listen now:


Watch now:

Easy question for you: 

IF Business is a “game”, are you a PRO?

If you want to see what I mean by a “PRO”, check this woman out.

She’s a complete demon.

 

In the next 3-minutes … I’ll break down her “power moves” for you.

I’ll list them by the numbers ….

and give you a cheatsheet so you can copy/paste them.

Because … when I heard an interview with her, immediately I knew what I had stumbled upon:

This Is Superwoman. 

Then …. I watched her perform on CNBC SQUAWK BOX and a few other interviews.

She’s a hardcore DEALMAKER.

Let’s break down her 5 major power-moves

 

Her name is Linda Kozlowski, she’s the CEO of the Blue Apron, the meal delivery company.

Listen to her talk … it’s a masterclass in voice-control.

Tone, Cadence, Volume, Word-choice …. she’s using her voice to create:

  • Attention
  • Status
  • Credibility
  • Frame Control

How?

Attention: her voice is firm and her diction is clear like your mom telling you calmly EXACTLY what to do when a stranger comes to the door … “…now back away from there son, so I can shoot that man in the leg.”

(Ha, I know … that’s not right …. 

but you might have a different mom than I did.)

Anyway… Linda’s voice is not only firm and clear, it has a deep warm character that’s rich and flowing …. AND YOU TRUST HER.

Status: She doesn’t use non-word vocal expressions, 

– things like like “ummm”, “you-know” or “ahhhhh …”

That’s the mark of a professional, someone who is focused, direct and choses her words carefully. 

Credibility: Her language is rich with industry terms that a leader uses, like “meal-kit delivery”, “12-month payback period”, “indulgent-menus”, “top-of-funnel marketing” …

Frame Control: And she doesn’t “argue” with the interviewer … instead she reverses the frame and resets the conversation.

For example, she says at one point “No no no, we don’t do that kind of wasteful activity, you’re thinking of the other guys with negative 20% margins, they are throwing away dollars at top-of-funnel marketing …”

 

Here’s the hardball questions she was slammed with in just one interview (questions like “how many customers have you LOST??)

INTERVIEWER ONE: Whoa, what happened to you? I mean, how did your company go from a billion dollar unicorn to a microcap? 

INTERVIEWER TWO: Isn’t your menu too complicate

INTERVIEWER THREE: Your company has struggled over the last two years … how many customers have you lost and how do you turn that around? 

THESE are brutal questions, and exactly the kind of questions that can trip you up, making you seem:

  • Defensive
  • Argumentative
  • Difficult to have an honest conversation with

Linda understands this kind of verbal attack and correctly answers hostile questions with the Reframing Formula:

  • Firmly acknowledge the criticism, say “sure, we struggled with that”
  • Describe the new (and better) approach the company is now taking, “we’ve invested millions to fix that problem”
  • Anchor the “new way of doing things” with solid numbers that work when you do the math.

 

For me, and apparently for Linda too, there’s an important rule when you’re pitching a deal to smart buyers and investors …

NEVER SAY SOMETHING THAT DOESN”T HAVE A NUMBER IN IT.

I watched Linda in multiple interviews, over and over, she’s breaking down the numbers in 50 words or less ….. something like –

“…when you think about our metrics and when you look at our $45 billion US Addressable Market, we’ve got strong conversion of 18% at the consumer level with same-customer meal-kit purchases of 15-times per year at a $58 average order value.”

Then she finishes …

“When you run those numbers, that’s a strong business.”

 

A variety of factors can make you charismatic: 

You already know most of them: Confidence, optimism, expressive body language, and a passionate voice.

These “tools” will connect you with others at a deep emotional level, and make strong interpersonal connections.

Oh … wait … I know what you’re thinking:

How do you do deliver “Confidence” or “Optimism” without looking cheesy?

Here’s what I saw Linda doing:

1. Be Spontaneous: Every once in a while say something you haven’t thought of yet.

2. Be Genuine: Don’t repeat something you only “heard” about; give believable numbers; only tell the truth.

3. Self-Control: Don’t react to what other people are saying. They need to react to what you’re saying.

 

All your material should be PREPARED IN ADVANCE.

But it should NEVER FEEL LIKE IT WAS.

(If you’re interested, I can show you how to do this.)

Linda is able to do this like a talented actor …

She’s reading from a prepared script of corporate answers (I know, I’ve written a hundreds of scripts just like hers for CEO’s all over the world.)

And that’s how I also know … she’s not reading the script word-for-word.

She’s filtering it through her personality, experiences and life philosophy. 

By “filtering” like this, her answers sound fresh and interesting (even though … it’s really just the same script everyone uses.)

YOU CAN DO EVERYTHING I’VE DESCRIBED IN THIS EMAIL.

  • Use your voice to control attention, status and credibility
  • Use the Reframing Formula to get away from hostile questions
  • Deliver numbers that create Certainty about your deal
  • Create Confidence and “Likability” in yourself with honesty
  • Be spontaneous and fun loving
  • Write a script, and follow the script carefully … but filter it through your personality so it feels dynamic and fresh

It’s worth a few minutes to try this …

You’ll get a giant boost in revenue, and you’ll move up a level in becoming a Pro Dealmaker.

HOW TO PREPARE FOR A PITCH IS A PROCESS AND A FORMULA YOU CAN QUICKLY LEARN.

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I’D LIKE TO SHOW YOU HOW TO DO EVERYTHING DESCRIBED IN THIS EMAIL USING EXAMPLE AFTER EXAMPLE, WITH SPECIFIC SCRIPTS THAT APPLY TO YOUR BUSINESS.

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You can find this Training along side many others only from inside Pitch Mastery.

Join my worldwide community of Dealmakers here

 

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