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How To Pitch Like A Five-Year Old And Close That Sale with Randy Peyser
On this show, we do what it says. We help you to take back time. Literally, we can’t do that. However, we can help you to compress time by talking to some very smart people who look at the world in a way that helps you to do things smarter so that you can have more time to do in other areas of your life. Whether it’s spending time with people that you love, whether it’s doing things that is your passion area and most of all, it’s reaching your goals faster. I’m super excited to have Randy Peyser with us. She is a master of the pitch. You’re going to find out why that’s important and how that can relate to taking back time.
She knows all the letters from A to Z and uses them in varying combinations to create words that bring your brilliance out. She writes marketing materials, speaker sheets, press releases, articles and performs copywriting resuscitation services. That means that your copywriting is probably not cutting the mustard. She brings it to light, to old worn-out text and gives it new power. Additionally, Randy is the CEO of Author One Stop Inc. Her company edits and ghostwrites books and she pitches manuscripts to publishers. Her clients have done cartwheels over six-figure book deals. Her authors’ books have been featured in Time and Oprah Magazine, airport bookstores, big box stores, five-star luxury hotels and on Hallmark TV and Daily Mail TV. Many have won national awards and some are even under consideration for Hollywood film. We want some of that. Randy, welcome to the show.
Thank you, Penny. I’d love to start out by addressing the concept of time. I had an epiphany. It was the first big epiphany of my life and it happened when I was seven years old. I was watching the minute hands of a clock. This is way before digital back in the olden days when dinosaurs still roamed the Earth. There I am watching that minute hand go around the clock and I realized this minute would never come again. I watched the next minute and I said, “This minute will never come again.” I realized how precious our time is. That was a very strong epiphany.
How old were you when you had that epiphany?
I was seven.
Many people don’t have that epiphany until unfortunately something dramatic happens in their life for them to realize how important time is and how precious it is to use. How do you think that impacted your life by having that epiphany?
It’s realizing the value of every single day. I’m here to talk about how to pitch like a five-year-old. The reason is that I see people wasting time. Many entrepreneurs or people with projects with great ideas, with services, with products, they’re going to all these networking events and they’re not coming home with a sale. They’re spinning their wheels. They’re working so hard with the best of intentions to help people do something better or have something better, improve their quality of life but they’re really not maximizing their time by using the right language to bring in the sale.
Intention doesn’t make the sale. We’ve got to have much more than just the desire and the intention to make that sale.
My main business is I get people book deals with the top New York agents and publishers. I was speaking, I was teaching for a national organization and I was at their conference. What inspired me to share this talk about how to pitch like a five-year-old is that I was sitting at a dinner table, imagine there are 250 adults at this conference and there was one five-year-old whose mother was also on faculty brings him to this event. This little boy, this little five-year-old came up to my dinner table and he said, “My business is I draw pictures that you could put on your refrigerator with magnets. Give me a $10, $20 or $100,” and he stood there. They’re not moved. You don’t want to disappoint a five-year-old, but the stakes are high here. I asked him, “What can I get for $1?” He went like, “Nothing,” and he walked away to another table, a big smile on his face. Within three days, this five-year-old had $400 in his pocket.
He’s a smart boy.
I started to unpack this. One of the things I say was his offer was crystal clear. His offer, we can all visually see it in our heads. He draws pictures, we see them on the refrigerator with magnets. We see a little kid’s drawing. Was he comparing himself to any other five-year-old’s drawings? No, he was already within his skillset and he was offering it. Was there any ambiguity in his ask? No, “Give me $10, $20 or a $100.” He was very crystal clear again.
He was bold in his ask.
Intentions and desires do not bring in sales. Click To Tweet When I asked him, “What can I get for $1?” Was he willing to compromise his value? No, absolutely not. This is one of the things that I love to say this question, when he didn’t get what he asked for, did he give up on his dream? Did he feel rejected or did he have a pity party? No. What did he do? He had a big smile on the face, walked to the next table, the end result was $400 in the hands of a five-year-old. What can we learn from this? One of the things I realized is that we have to be very visual in our pitch. We also have to be comfortable asking. I’ve started an asking process, and this may sound deceptively simple, but it has impacted me. What I’m doing is that this is a three-part, deceptively simple exercise. The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is I’m going to go for a walk. I want to go for this walk because I know if I don’t do it first thing in the morning, it’s just not going to happen and I know I need to get some exercise.
I just started doing this and realize I’m doing a practice of asking. The three rules are walk, smile, wave. In my neighborhood, as I’m walking, a car goes by, I smile and I wave. It’s very interesting what this brings up because as five-year-olds, this is a game we probably played. You’re driving and somebody is driving you in the back seat of the car. Let’s see how many waves we can get from the people driving behind us. As an adult, the rules have changed. When I’m walking and I wave, I notice, am I more comfortable waving to somebody like a mom with a car full of kids in an SUV and maybe they’re on their way to school? Do I feel safe waving to a painting contractor in his truck, somebody in a beater car? Where am I making judgments about asking for the wave? Then, I took it further.
It is simple and powerful. I say this in some of my talks is that sometimes I need to hear things so simply put because it breaks through all the noise. There’s so much noise and that creates such a fast, quick awareness is to watch when we ask where our judgments are and do it in an area that’s simple and easy. I love that.
Then taking it a step further, I realized that I was concerned about whether people would wave back or not. That reflects our ability to hear no or feel rejected when somebody doesn’t take us up on our offer. As I did these three days in a row, another thing I challenged myself, let’s say there’s a row of cars. Will I feel silly if I’m waving to one, then to the next, then to the next? It brought up all these different kinds of feelings. I hate to ask a number of people in a row. This is something I observed. It was this inner awareness. By the third day of doing this, I could wave to anybody comfortably and I wasn’t attached to whether they waved back or not. I realized that part of the walk in my neighborhood, I was facing into the sun so I couldn’t even see their response and it didn’t even matter by that point. This deceptively simple little exercise that a five-year-old has no trouble doing, it’s important in developing that ability to ask.
I have two things to say about that. First of all, is it important to ask and be detached from the outcome? The more that you asked, the less attached that you were to the outcome and the less judgment that you put on it. You were a little bit detached that you were comfortable in asking. Whatever the outcome was, it’s still the outcome and you were still going to ask. I think you were also recognizing the value in the wave in the response that you got from some people in terms of the smile. That also can boost people’s feeling, knowing that it adds value.
There are a few subconscious blocks that I’ve discovered that people are not aware of when they’re going for their dreams. One of the things I identify is something that I call the devastating no. The devastating no is something that typically happened to us in childhood. You’ve got to bring your mind all the way back to childhood and think about a time that you wanted something. You wanted to be it, do it or have it. You ask the responsible party in charge of you and they said, “No,” and it squashed you. For me, when I was six years old, my example is my parents asked me, “Would you like to play an instrument?” I said, “Yes,” and they said, “What?” I said, “Drums,” and they said, “Here’s a clarinet.” I was devastated. In my twenties, I got my first little drum and now I say I have seventeen drums. For some reason, my neighbors still like me.
I was delivering this talk on how to pitch like a five-year-old and this woman came up to me afterward. She said her devastating no was she wanted to be a stewardess. This was back in the days when flight attendants were called stewardesses. This was her big dream but then she was told, “No, you can’t be a flight attendant or stewardess because you’re too short.” There was a height restriction, but she said she overcame her devastating no because she asked, “Are there any height restrictions on being a pilot?” When she heard no she said, “I went and took flying lessons.” If you think back in your childhood, if you have heard that devastating no, your ability to be, do or have, can you still correct it now because it matters?
Absolutely. I’m thinking what was my devastating no. It might not be as devastating that it really crushed me, but I wanted to be an FBI agent. I remember this at the beginning of college and my mom was like, “There is no way you’re carrying a gun.” I think the reason that I went into Accounting was that maybe I could do Forensic Accounting and be in the FBI in that context. Maybe I was a little caught up on TV shows and things like that with the whole action, but it is interesting. It’s also interesting what we do with the no. There are two different ways depending on what you do in the pause after the no. What meaning do you give it? Is it, “I’m going to find a way anyway to find my dream,” and that can fuel your passion or it can fuel you to say like that woman, “I could be a pilot,” and come up with other things that meet yours. It’s interesting to see where someone goes with that and what meaning they gave it at that moment. Maybe there’s a way to step back and re-evaluate it as to how you got to where you are now and what’s next.
I was talking with a man, he’s a screenwriter who I refer screenwriting clients to. He’s very good at what he does. He was talking about how he was given this compliment where these people, this husband and wife who we’ve been working with said, “You’re a genius, you’re brilliant.” He said, “I’m just the writer,” but then he was shocked when they didn’t buy his biggest package and go for the whole deal. What I told him was, “You stifled the ability to receive even a little bit and that cutoff the receiving from more money.” If you want to have more income coming in, you need to a great full receiver and that means when somebody gives you a compliment about anything like, “That’s a beautiful dress,” “I got it for such and such at this price.” No, don’t go there.
“Your hair looks great.” “I didn’t wash it for days.”
Be a grateful receiver. These are all subconscious ways to increase your income.
It’s interesting, I never thought of it like that. I went through my own process of being able to receive and first rejecting it and resisting it. A way that I twisted it or where it was presented to me in such a way that receiving is also giving because you’re allowing someone else to give and that is giving. People need to be able to give and if you’re not receiving it, you’re squashing someone else’s ability to give.
Get outside of your comfort zone. Pursue what you want and ask for it. Click To Tweet I want to speak about a couple more things. A lot of people are uncomfortable at networking events. I asked people, “On a scale of one to ten, judge your own comfortability.” When I’m teaching this in a room, I’ll have people get up and use the room as the spectrum to see where you are in your comfort level about getting up and speaking in front of a room or at a networking event going up to people. What if they’re already talking and you’re the isolated person? I have my one top tip that has helped so many people in networking events and it’s also again five-year-old fun. Pretend you’re a golden retriever, “Hi, there. I’m your new best friend. Do you got a stick, a ball? I’ve got to play.” Keep the image in your mind of the playful golden retriever. This helped a man who was about 6’5”, a big man.
I interact with publishers all this time and this publisher and he was from England and he said, “Randy, I don’t know how you do it.” “What?” He said, “You can just go up to people and talk.” Pretend you’re a golden retriever. I gave him back the files and all of a sudden, he was more comfortable. Another thing to do or to say at networking is that when you go up to a stranger is, “Hi, what is it you do?” That’s simple. I often haven’t told people my name, anything that I’m about, I haven’t even asked them for their name because what happens when you start meeting people immediately? You don’t remember their name. You keep looking at their name tag. By asking them, “What is it that you do?” Then you get to position what you’re going to say afterward based on what they just told you and how you could potentially help them if you can.
You can make sure it’s relevant to the audience that you’re speaking to. Those are great tips. It’s important. You mentioned in one of your things, some people might say that’s chutzpah. I see in your thing how to perform random acts of chutzpah. Tell the audience what chutzpah is and why they need to have it.
Chutzpah is a Jewish term and it means having guts or extreme nerve. My random act of chutzpah was years ago, I was in pursuit of my dream. This is back in the ‘90s, way back and my dream was to be a published author with an author career and not just like a one-off book. I had written a book called Crappy to Happy and I couldn’t find a publisher for it. I’m going to New York to the big feeding frenzy for the publishing industry every year, the big Book Expo America event, and I’m hearing, “We love your writing but.” There was always a but. I stood on a street corner in Mill Valley, California at rush hour on a Wednesday right off the 101 freeway, wearing a dress, high heels and at that time a naturally curly perm. I held a giant cardboard sign that read, “Author seeks publisher.” What happened was that night, a publisher called me and it turned out he was a publisher of a national magazine and I wanted to become editor-in-chief of his magazine. Be careful what you ask for because you just might get it. My sign did not read, “Author seeks publisher for her book,” so be specific.
You’ve got to be specific in the universe.
Being the editor-in-chief of a national magazine certainly improved my credibility in the publishing world. Eventually, I did get my dream.
That’s awesome and I do think it’s important that we get outside of our comfort zone. We ask, we go and we pursue what we want and ask for it. I want to ask you one more question and then I want everybody to know where they can go to find information about you. When you’ve got that pitch like a five-year-old, let’s go back to that initial story, how important is it? If we’re talking about taking back time and being more efficient and effective with your time, how important is it to be able to close somebody faster based on having a clear offer?
Let’s go back to the pitch itself. I’ve written a couple of examples of health coaches and financial advisers. You go to any networking group, you’re going to meet a life coach, a health coach or a financial advisor as well as realtors, people who are in very common kinds of industries and they basically all say the same thing. A health coach will say, “Typically, I’ll bring you to a greater level of health or the level of health you wish to achieve.” The financial advisor’s going to tell you about their kids, how you’re going to save them money for college or retirement. Truthfully, what visuals are people creating in somebody’s mind and how specific is the ask? For example, with a health coach, I wrote out a couple of different ways that a health coach or a life coach can improve their pitch. One is, “I’m a health coach, I specialize in helping people lose weight.” Then I took it a little bit further and said, “Lose weight, that’s what we’ve all heard,” but what if it was even more specific?
Somebody said, “I’m a health coach. I specialize in helping people lose belly fat.” It’s a very clear market. How many women in their 50s, 60s and whatever age are dealing with belly fat? It’s a huge audience, specific and targeted visual. We can take that example though and take it one step further. I am a housemate, one of my housemates, a male housemate and he refers to his stomach acids as babaloo. What if you’re like, “I’m a health coach who helps people lose their big fat babaloo, their belly fat.” In a person’s mind, you’re not just a health coach helping somebody with belly fat because maybe there are other health coaches who do that, but now you’re the babaloo gal and people remember it because it’s such a fun phrase and nobody uses it.
It creates that intrigue and makes you want to know more. It’s unique and it can be very attractive the more specific somebody is.
You’re using verbs like, “I specialize in.” People love specialists more than generalists. You specialize in something, whatever it is, even if you have a smorgasbord of offerings. Come out on different audiences and see what you’re getting and your biggest response.
One specialized doesn’t mean you don’t do other things. It means that’s an area where you focus. Usually people hire you for one thing and then when they like you, they expand into the other areas that you can offer, so that makes sense.
Another thing you can do is you can push an emotional button in somebody. “I’m a health coach. I specialize in helping people deal with stress.” There’s no button there. That’s the typical thing you might hear. “I deal with stress and anxiety. I help people to overcome stress and anxiety.” What if you called it, “I’m a health coach and I specialize in people and helping people deal with high stress,” and you emphasize high stress? You put a pause right before any powerful word that you want to emphasize. Put a very slight, minimal, almost can’t hear it pause, “I help people deal with high stress.” We’ve emphasized high stress. They’re getting a visual when you’re speaking it, they’re getting the auditory, a very strong cue, a pause beforehand. All these things are going to help you to ultimately close that sale.
Thank you so much. I appreciate there were lots of great nuggets here for people to tighten their pitch, their offer, their ask. Now they need to know where they can get a hold of you.
The easiest place to get a hold of me is at www.AuthorOneStop.com.
Randy, thank you so much for being here. This was fun like a retriever. It was fun. It was informative and I know that everybody took away a nugget of how they can improve their pitch so they can pitch like a five-year-old. Thank you so much.
You’re welcome. Thank you, Penny.
Thank you to the audience for being here. As always, I appreciate you. Delivering high value is important to me so that you can take back time. We’ll see you in the next episode.
About Randy Peyser
RANDY PEYSER is the Founder and CEO of Author One Stop, Inc.
Author One Stop, Inc. holds the distinction of having been vetted and approved of by the “Clear Business Directory” as a firm noted for its impeccability in business.
Randy is the creator of the Write-a-Book Program and is one of only a few people in the country who specializes in representing authors in finding literary agents and publishers at Book Expo America (BEA) in May every year. The BEA is the largest Book Expo in the United States. Randy is a dynamic speaker who is frequently featured on stage for business organizations, writer’s organizations, and spiritual organizations nationwide. She is a revered lecturer on a variety of topics related to publishing for CEO Space International
Randy is the former editor-in-chief of a national magazine and an SF/Bay area magazine, as well as the long-time features writer for Awareness Magazine in Southern California. Her interviews include New York Times best-selling authors: Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Marci Shimoff, Suze Orman, Marianne Williamson, Caroline Myss, Neale Donald Walsch, Esther Hicks, Judith Orloff, John Bradshaw, Bernie Siegel, John Gray, Joan Borysenko, Dannion Brinkley, Jean Houston, and more.
Randy has edited books from business to spirituality, self-help, children’s, to fiction and nonfiction – including Guerrilla Wealth by Loral Langemeier, which is part of the internationally best-selling series of Guerrilla Marketing books by Jay Conrad Levinson.