Pitching The Pitch, Ditching The Script

“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.” – Peter F. Drucker

Hi Persuader,

What is a pitch?

It’s an attempt at a logical series of steps, to arrive at an outcome.

What is a script?

See: pitch. Same thing.

Two ways scripts/pitches can be useful – number one, a script can be useful to learn something new. Number two, it can be used to persuade the writer of that script, because that’s who it’s really designed to influence.

Otherwise, both are useless.

Now here’s the alternative route that you will find a zillion times easier, more effective, and more efficient…

The ultimate alternative to scripts and pitches: Persuasion.

What is persuasion?

Persuasion is understanding the customer so well that the product or service fits him/her and sells itself. It’s rapport, and it’s giving someone exactly what they want.

What do you want the most? I’m going to give it to you. If you perceive that I’m going to give you what you want, and it is exactly what you want, and it makes you feel really good, and you are really excited about it, are you going to buy it?


It’s like stepping into you, and giving yourself the idea that this is what you want to do, and so since it came from you, you say “yes, of course, I want to do it”.

Sometimes, pitches are useful to give you an overall series of points that you might want to cover, and so for that reason you might just want to make a list of things you want to touch on.

For example, if your prospect is going to sign an agreement, they need to know what’s in the agreement, they need to know what they’re agreeing to, so there are a few points that maybe you need to make sure to bring up.

And (now, here’s where persuasion comes in) you’re always going to bring those points up in light of what?

Your prospect’s CRITERIA. Their highest values. What they want.

We use criteria elicitation so that we can marry their criteria to our product. That’s our sole intention in life. If your criteria equals my product, are you going to own it?


If I want a relationship with you and I equal every single desire you have, are you going to have a relationship with me?


If what you want in life– desires and goals–are identical to mine, are we going to be best friends? Are we going to really understand each other?

You bet.

Our job is to marry the person’s values with our product/service, (or with ourselves, if that’s what you’re selling – and to some extent you are always selling yourself).

That’s exactly what we’re trying do. We do it with intention, rapport, intention, criteria, intention, marriage, bringing it all together.

Everything you say, everything you do, everything you are about when you’re with that person is putting your stuff into their criteria, making them see how their criteria is exactly what you have, you are the only place where they can get that criteria met. That’s it, that’s all there is to this.

If you were using a pitch before reading this, fine. But now that you have even the tiniest most basic understanding of persuasion given this context, it’s time to ditch the pitch.

Tell us about your successes in ditching the pitch! Post a comment to this post. And while you’re at it, make sure you know exactly how to elicit your prospect’s criteria.

If you don’t know about criteria elicitation, or even if you think you know, you need to check out Persuasion Factor and become the very best at eliciting your prospect’s criteria.

Until Next Time,

Kenrick E. Cleveland

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 6 comments
Dave - September 10, 2007

I have found that features and benefits equals a brochure. As the internet has become prolific at getting data in front of people just like a brochure. It is the interaction and the use of criteria that makes the sale.

Think about how many times a salesperson just recites what is on the company brochure. I could have read the brochure and saved us both a lot of time.

On those rare occasions where a salesperson displays the skill in implant their product and service directly into making my life better or my business more profitable, I just plain feel better about the purchase. It even allows me to feel like I want it and want to buy it a whole lot more than the salesperson trying to sell me.

In my humble opinion, the more the internet produces features and benefits the more people will have a desire for their needs and criteria to be met. And that can only be done in person with people that have these skills.


Jeff - September 10, 2007

As usual, Kenrick is a persuasion genius.

I was first introduced to him (via the net) about 5 years ago and was lucky enough to talk with him. What I discovered was a person who truly understood persuasion, NLP and the lot at its purist form. There is an extremely fine line between manipulation for our benefit and persuasion for the customer’s goals & desires and (he) truly understands that differentiation.

This article is exactly right on the money, so to speak. As a real estate agent I employed a very well known trainer’s company that focused upon scripting to coached me – follow the script, to the letter, all the way to the bank. I discovered that this became a very silly, antiquated way to conduct business because it assumes that the customers do not think or matter – just shut up and sign the dotted line… isn’t this a similar rapport system that is used by doctors??

Back on point –

Scripting for me is only useful for me in keeping me on track – like flying to Europe – drive to LAX, fly to Atlanta, then to NY, then to London then to Paris. All planned, scheduled and off load, reload & refuel. If there is a storm in Atlanta does the pilot fly into peril? Hardly, he/she simply changes direction and go about achieving the goal.

The base flaw with scripting is it does not allow for any outside influence to be considered i.e. the customer, spouse, friend etc (I believe that we all have some sort of a pitch when it comes to the aforementioned). Some sales people (me included in my early days – my first 15 years!) will still try to land the plane regardless of the storm because we must stay upon our only path/script.

The first thing I learned from Kenrick’s tape series I purchased made me literally $10,000, no kidding. What I did was to abandon my old style, which meant I had to get over the ego, and my silly sales methods that I clung to for dear life (for perspective – I had years of success selling 100 homes a year and making lots of money). Then, I forced myself out of my comfort zone & focused upon the client’s needs and goals, which included a very, very high desire not to make another bad Realtor choice – which were voiced quite strongly.

I went through a different type of presentation and when it became time to sign the contract, the process flowed naturally. I used a technique of explaining the various clauses (terms and conditions) while holding it AWAY from her, in my space, and asked if she was comfortable to proceed forward. She said yes and there was no resistance whatsoever. Again, completely natural.

The only resistance I did encounter was with my coach who told me to stay on the scripting! So, I decided to ditch the pitch (KC) and subsequently the coach.

Probably the best thing that has happened is my business is that it has gone from a daily, undesirable grind to daily fun and excitement. The money I have earned has increased and my working hours are substantially more effective. I continue to work on my persuasion skills daily, little by little.

If you really think about it, scripting is not natural and, in my opinion, creates dead space.

By the way, I practice Jiu Jitsu and have found that I learn far faster because I incorporate many of theses persuasion ideas into a physical form.

Jack Ford - September 10, 2007

Hi Kenrick,

Agreed, 100%.

I do see value in scripting answers for handling their objections and then diligently training myself to deliver those responses as naturally as possible. For example, let’s take your course, Maximum Persuasion, and run it through the process:

Some *possible* (although not wise) objections:
1) It’s too expensive.
2) I don’t have time to go through it because it’s too long.
3) It’ll make me sound manipulative.

Possible answers AFTER eliciting their Criteria:(More money, less stress, peace of mind, more free time for my family)

1) “It’s too expensive.”

Alex Cole - September 10, 2007

Well said!
We endeavor to train people in our company to ditch the script. When they do, they make money.
When they don’t:
They waste time chasing after every successful person’s script.
They refuse to hear “rapport-building” or “criteria”.
They don’t get it.
They wonder why they can’t make any sales.
They chase the “next”, “new”, “better” script…and the next, and next, and next.
They quit. Sometimes they repeat the formula with another product/company many times.

Paul Maclauchlan - September 12, 2007

Absolutely, Kenrick… right on!

Meeting the customer at their needs is a long-established and often-overlooked rule of relationship building. Once they have told you what they want you know exactly what to give them. And once you give them what they want you have established a mutually beneficial relationship. Goal!

I find personality analysis is a key skill to own. If you can mirror a prospect’s personality profile you can eliminate a lot of barriers and build a solid trust-based relationship. By asking a few key questions you can analyze their tendancies and predict their profile.

Please share more!

No Limit Success

Jack Ford - September 13, 2007

Hmm…I wonder what happened to the rest of my post? I thought it was OK to use MAXP as an example for scripting answers to some common objections and rehearsing those answers until they flow and feel natural. If that’s not appropriate I’d like to know so I don’t violate any terms of participation.

Another way is to write as many of those objections down and include them in your presentation after you’ve elicited their criteria. That is bring them up before they do. Your thoughts?




Leave a Reply: