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Stories of Growth Stage Banking and Authoring ‘Pitch Anything’


Interview with ‘Pitch Anything’ Author Oren Klaff from Intersection Capital

“There are limits to the human attention span, which is why a pitch must be brief, concise, and interesting,” – Oren Klaff

In this interview with Oren Klaff, we discuss his journey to starting his investment banking firm, Intersection Capital, and we discuss what it was like to write and publish a book.  Oren is the author of  Pitch Anything.  In the inteveiw we discuss how the book has changed his life and his business, and some other fun and interesting things.

Intersection Capital is an investment banking firm that is focuses on raising growth capital for private companies and advising private companies in M&A transactions.  As Oren say, “They are growth junkies”.  They use the principles from Pitch Anything to help clients raise money for their companies and to help clients sell their companies.

Patrick Henry QuestFusion

Oren’s book, Pitch Anything, was published over five years ago and has become an extremely popular business book for anyone interested in the psychology of buyers of anything.  In the interview, Oren talks a bit about the book, how it has changes his life, and how it is the foundation of the referral business for Intersection Capital.

Intersection Capital

Patrick:     Hi, this is Patrick Henry, the CEO of QuestFusion, with the Real Deal…What Matters. I’m here today with Oren Klaff from Intersection Capital. Oren is a banker and a published author. We are going to talk about a lot of things today related to startups, entrepreneurship, raising money and hopefully some other fun and interesting things.

Oren:         Let’s start with the fun and interesting and leave two or three minutes for startups and raising money, which is the hard, mentally difficult engaging part. Should we start on wakeboarding, motorcycles or racecars?

Patrick:     I think all of those things are super interesting and super fun. Why don’t we talk a little about your background, like how you got into banking, how you wrote a book and all this other kind of crazy stuff.

Oren:         As I was telling you earlier, I’ve been on a couple hundred of these interviews. I try to find something that is new so we’re not just doing the same interview but different content.

On that question about how I got into it, I had a partner for many years who became very wealthy on the deal. He was a senior guy. He put up the money. He deserved to be wealthy.

I always assumed that he was going to be a billionaire. When you’re the junior partner of a billionaire, you should have $80 million to $100 million. We were on that path.

Then 2008 hit. He said, “I have more money than I ever know what to do with. This is too much brain damage for me. I quit. Here’s the firm. Do whatever you want.” Getting into a banking firm in 2008 is not exactly a gift. It’s a punishment.

I took some time off because there was nothing to do. When you’re an investment banker and there’s no debt to be had anywhere and not much equity, it’s like being the center on a football team. The only thing that you can do is snap the ball. If they’re not playing football, there’s nothing else you can do. You weigh 350 pounds and you can go like this.

We just had to cool our heels until the market came back. Then I had a firm. I had to rebuild it. That’s the background.

Patrick:     Did you end up working with the same guys that you were working with before, or did you build it up from scratch?

Oren:         All new team. I built it up from scratch.

Patrick:     This is Intersection Capital?

Oren:         This is Intersection Capital. Here’s a slab of pavement. Enjoy yourself.

Patrick:     Are you guys a full service investment bank? What exactly do you guys do?

Oren:         We’re doing a $75 million medical services sell side where we’re selling a company now. We’ve got a couple of deals where we’re raising $10 million to $15 million. That’s really our business. We are either selling companies or raising capital for growth.

Patrick:     For private companies? You’re not doing IPOs or pipes or all this other kind of full service investment bank stuff? No trading?

Oren:         Oh, the easy stuff. If it comes in the door I say, “It’s easy? You should go talk to Patrick. I’m going to wait for the hard stuff to come down the line.” I’m the patron saint of tough deals. That’s what I do.

                  Private companies raising growth capital. We’re growth junkies. We do have some startups in our system. We can only take so many. Largely, these are growing companies who want to recap and raise some growth capital themselves.

Patrick:     They are Series C growth phase?

Oren:         They are B and C, yes.

Patrick:     Do you do convertible debt offerings and equity offerings or are they straight equity offerings? What kind of stuff are you involved in?

Oren:         I think when you have a real company, you look at what the financing mechanisms are. It’s some senior and some mezzanine, and some equity and some recap. I guess I would say that we do complex financing.

                  If it’s easy, then the CFO is going to do. Most of the CEOs know how to get a little bit of equity and have raised $15 million to $20 million already.

When they say, “I’m confused. There are so many moving pieces. I’m trying to grow a business. What should we do?” Then when we step in to find the solution.

We say, “Let’s put some mezz on whatever income you have. Let’s get a better class of senior in here. Let’s recap management a little bit with equity so that they aren’t so stressed about what’s going to happen to the company. Let’s put some working growth capital in.” That’s a complex financing that you really need a banker for.

Patrick:     Does the complexity just deal with the financing mechanism? You mentioned that you’re involved with recaps. That is usually a more difficult situation with the existing equity investors.

                  Maybe it’s a difficult story. They had some initial growth, but they’re trying to penetrate a new market segment. Do you deal with difficult things like that on the operational side or more just difficult financing things?

Oren:         This is the way I think about it. As long as the company isn’t building smokestacks, manufacturing tofu or sending lasers to ISIS, I don’t care what they do.

We’re structurally finance. As long as it’s legal, doesn’t taste bad and is within driving distance to California, we will work on it. Then it’s a capital efficient business.

These guys are experts in their business. You’re an expert in a vertical. We’re experts in financial structures and the process for raising money.

I’ll give you an example. I was in a meeting with a $2 billion private equity firm on Monday. Private equity firms have these tricks or mechanics for beating up private companies.

The first thing they say is, “What’s the board packet? Looks like you had a miss.” Every growing company has misses. They pick a number and try to hit it.

They ask, “What caused the miss? Well, your new plan is incredible because you had a miss.” Then they focus on the historical performance instead of the new products. That’s how they beat down price.

What happens is that then the CEO spends the whole meeting with the private equity group defending himself. When this process starts, I step in and say, “Stop. We’re not doing this. We’re not grinding on the board packet because they picked a number and tried to hit it. They got pretty close. We’re not looking at the historicals because, if you want discounted cash flow or a cheap deal, then that’s a different deal. Not this one. What we’re going to focus on is the future plan. Is that straight, or should we just wrap this thing up?”

That’s a sophisticated capital market knowledge of what an investor is trying to do to reduce valuation of price. This is nothing about product, plan, operations or the technology.

Patrick:     This is gamesmanship in a substandard way with these types of sophisticated equity investors.

Oren:         This is gamesmanship. Sophisticated equity investors, in my experience, have very good tools for abusing the valuation of pretty good companies.

                  They have to if you want to really get in. When Bridgepoint, Accel, KKR or someone puts out a term sheet, they need that term sheet to stick. They can’t have reputations of a term sheet going in and out and retrying. They want to get it to as low a price as possible so that the term sheet will stick.

From my experience with Accel they said, “We’re not going to change the term sheet. If we don’t like the price, then we just won’t do the deal.” These investor mechanics and market mechanics are what we help management teams understand.

Even guys like yourself would raise $200 million more. Hundreds of millions of dollars come back out into the market. They’re raising a different kind of money at a different pace with different investors.

The guys who are good say, “You know what? I have raised $1 billion, but that was in the public market with Goldman Sachs. This is different. I need someone who knows what they’re doing.” That’s a good client.

Patrick:     That’s a good fit for you.

Oren:         Right. Someone who says, “I raised $ billion. I’m a genius at this. I know how to deal with these guys,” always trip themselves up.

Patrick:     Oren is a published author of Pitch Anything. I actually have not finished the book, but I did start reading the book. It’s interesting from my perspective. I’m kind of a psychology minded guy in addition to being a technologist.

                  A lot of the things that I focus on from a providing strategic guidance to startups is not the psychological part of it. It’s more on the blocking and tackling of how you run a business, build teams, execute, measure performance, set a strategy and evolve a business plan.

If you’re interested in the book, its’ an awesome book. It talks about how you deal with the psychology of buyers. You’re the author of Pitch Anything. It’s been five years since the book has been published.

How was it to write a book like this? Was it a big impact on your career? How does it affect you today in terms of your business with Intersection Capital?

Oren:         There hasn’t been much of an impact. For example, if I walk down the street, people run up and say, “Hey, that’s Oren Klaff.” I go to get coffee, and it takes me three times as long because people in Carlsbad Starbucks are saying, “There’s Oren Klaff.”

                  We traveled to Copenhagen speaking at a conference. We get off the plane. Cassandra, my wife, and my baby are there. The hotel manager comes out and says, “I know you.” I say, “You don’t know me. I’ve never been here before. Just check us into the hotel. Please God, it’s 2:00 in the morning.” He says, “I know you. You’re Oren Klaff. Oh my God.” He brings out the book.

So the book has changed my life in that way. It’s number one, two and three on Audible. It ranks higher than Blake, which is my goal on Amazon. The book is amazing. It’s changed my life.

I get phone calls every day from people I never thought I’d have a chance to meet. They’re famous. I can’t drop names because they would get mad. They’re household names. The book has been great. Don’t go off and write a book.

Patrick:     Has it generated incremental business for Intersection Capital?

Oren:         Yes. It’s the basis of it. Otherwise I have to go to tradeshows and cold call.

Patrick:     You get a lot of inbound interest just based on the book.

Oren:         Here’s our marketing program. It goes like this. Come in in the morning. We’re 100 yards off the beach in Carlsbad, as you know. Open the laptop. Hit Gmail. Then we just try to absorb all the inbound traffic and see what’s what. That’s the impact.

                  You just can’t write a book and think that’s going to happen. I spent north of $150,000 maybe as much as $200,000 writing the book. I had researchers, analysts, people helping with the writing and editors. It’s a real product. You don’t just come home after work and say, “I’m going to write for two hours.”

When the book was finally published, the publisher called and asked, “What are you doing?” I said, “I’m going to work.” They said, “No, you have to go on a book tour. William Shatner goes on a book tour. All of my authors are doing window time. Why aren’t you in Poughkeepsie? Why aren’t you in Wichita Falls? Why aren’t you somewhere promoting this book? The other authors do.” I said, “They should have written a good book.”

I sat at home and let it do its thing. It’s organic. The things in the book are important. That’s why we get Fortune 200 companies say, “We read the book. We need to change our 3,500 person sales force into doing what’s in the book. Come in here and show us.”

I say, “That’s awesome. I’m not a sales trainer. Read the book again. Have a nice day. Call me when you have a deal.” We talk about some of those things in there.

Patrick:     Has it far outpaced your original goal of what you intended it to do? Or did you think, “This is going to be awesome,” when you wrote it?

Oren:         I roll with the punches, come what may. I wrote the book. My dad was a college professor at the University of Delaware. He was a statistician. My mom is a clinical psychologist.

                  I grew up with this philosophy of do the work, stand back and let what comes come and accept it. Chop wood. Carry water. Do the work. Stand back. Let it stand on its own.

Whatever happened with it, I didn’t expect it. I didn’t not expect it. It’s good. They want to do Pitch Anything television shows.

Patrick:     Really?

Oren:         Yes. CBS has a radio show. They asked, “Will you do an hour a day on CBS radio? It’s FM, not AM.” I don’t have an hour a day. Lots of stuff comes. I say no to the anxiety and pissed offed-ness of my agent and publisher. The book has been great because of the stuff that’s in it. It’s not because it’s a book.

Patrick:     Let’s talk a little bit about business. We talked about how you identify potential clients for Intersection Capital, primarily inbound. When you’re sorting through things, what’s your parsing process? What do you consider a good deal for you guys to work on? Is it a certain amount of capital that they’re trying to raise?

You said you’ll deal with any vertical. There’s not an industry focus that you have. What are the checkbox or screening items that you’re looking at deals?

Oren:         We won’t do weed, lasers, smokestacks, sex or retail. We won’t do Schmatta business. High margin, fast growth and capital efficient with a reasonable CEO and a good board. If you’re within the sound of my voice anywhere and you provide advisory services with those things.

                  You can do all this great work, as you know. We talked about it. You can bring an offer to the company. They can turn it down. They can be unreasonable. They can blow it up.

The CEO can want it. The board can say, “From all of this market demand you’ve created, we can see that it’s a good company. We’re going to put some more money in.”

If you don’t have someone that will follow through with the plan to finance the company, then you’re doing six months of work for $50,000. That’s for a team of 10 people. That’s nothing.

If a company wants to finance, then they have to follow through on it. The board can’t just say, “You’re a stocking horse for us to put in more money.” I want a good CEO and a good board.

Omissions of integrity very early on always expand to real problems. We’re hyper vigilant. As a company should be with an investor or senior manager, we’re hyper vigilant early on to flaws, puffery, over marketing, overstating and omissions.

If we see integrity, honesty, a good CEO, a decent core business, and they’re moving on to the next generation of whatever technology of product that they have, then I think that’s pretty good to start getting involved.

Patrick:     How about we shift gears a little bit and talk about the consolidation and the venture capital industry, and the emergence of the billion dollar funds. The middle group of $200 million and $300 million dollar VCs have kind of dried up to some great extent. Super angels come in and fill in that gap partially.

There’s crowd funding and all the buzz around that. With that backdrop of the dynamics of private money, how is that impacting your business?

Oren:         I think what’s good about it is that we now know with a fair degree of certainty what is venture capital financeable. Before you could take something out and someone would have a fancy $200 million fund with lots of discretion. They could manage small deals. They would say, “It’s not our normal cup of tea, but we like the CEOs.”

                  Now in my experience, there is absolute certainty of what an A is and what a B is. You don’t have to go to the valley to explore it. If you do enough of this, then you know ahead of time what is financeable and what is not.

If it doesn’t feel like a dead round A or a dead round B, straight on, check all the boxes with no gray areas, then you have to look for private money outside.

I feel like most firms, at least the ones that I meet, have raised the funds from limited partners. You can tell what a firm is going to do by its limited partners. Limited partners have mandate.

CalPERS going to want the same terms, requirements and paperwork. These firms are all shades of each other in my experience. Private money has become really important.

Patrick:     Do you see crossover funds fill in the gap somewhat and what you guys are doing? Is it traditional private equity?

Oren:         In what we’re doing, we just see anomalous financing. You go to a private equity group. It’s not for the group, but one of the partners loves this. His uncle died because of this disease. It tickles his fancy, and he wants to do it.

                  In many of these cases with the company it’s not about finding an institutional investor. It’s finding someone with some fresh capital that’s anxious to invest, has an appreciation for the vertical and doesn’t have a ton of deal flow.

I think we can get things done fairly easily. If one VC or one private equity firm says no, then they’re all going to say no. You don’t go out to ten and the eleventh one says, “Oh, yeah.” I don’t know what your experience is, but that is beginning to be my experience.

Patrick:     There definitely has to be alignment. There are ways to do that if you have experience. A lot of people don’t have experience, so they have to do more of a shotgun approach. That’s where an advisor for me more in the earlier stage and an advisor like you more in the late stage is beneficial. It makes you more efficient.

Oren:         Here’s what an advisor does. Especially for the early stage companies I see, it’s like the Soyuz moon capsule or space station trying to dock with the U.S. space station. They try four or five times. Eventually the fingers don’t match and the metal just gets mashed. Then it’s hopeless.

I think what an advisor like you does is maps the things that the company has to the things that investors like and have funded before. Then these things flow together and mesh. I see companies coming in like this.

Patrick:     The companies might have the right stuff, but the way they are articulating it, they might be serving a meal that is indigestible or incomprehensible to a potential dieter. You’ve got to feed them in a way that they’re used to being fed.

Oren:         Who is the investor? You can go to a venture capitalist and metaphorically say, “I have a fire engine.” They say, “Great, can I see it?” You say yes, and you hand them a box of Legos. They look into it and say, “I see the fire engine if you put this together.” That’s their job. They look through the crazy stuff that you’re talking about and see a company.

                  Let’s say that you go to a later stage venture group, like you were talking about, or a private equity group.

Patrick:     Forget about it.

Oren:         You say, “I have a fire engine.” They say, “Great, let me see it.” You show them a box of Legos. They say, “I have no idea what that is. I don’t see anything.” You say, “See if you put these together, there’s the ladder.” They still have no idea.

                  If you say you have a fire engine, then you have to be able to describe it in that way. Early-stage venture guys are willing to look for something. If you go beyond the angel stage, then you have to describe things.

I’ll put it this way. A lot of guys come to me and say, “I’m getting so many questions about my presentation. I don’t know why. People listen to my presentations for 25 minutes and say, ‘Thank you. That was great.’ How do we get paid for it?”

Why do people listen to my presentations, but you can’t get five minutes into it before everyone is asking all of these questions and interrupting you? I’m giving the information exactly the way the investor thinks about a deal, has questions about a deal and is interested in hearing about a deal.

He’s just being entertained. It’s going great. I’m in the hands of a professional who knows how to pitch a deal. He knows all the deal components. You can say if we follow that further, what does that mean?

For me, it means that you’re talking very briefly about the product. Entrepreneurs and startups, in my experience, want to talk. You have 20 minutes to really capture the mind of an investor. They want to talk for 30 minutes about their product.

For investors, once you say, “It’s a ball bearing that’s covered with Kevlar. It spins 15 times faster than any competing product and costs half as much.” They say, “Great, got it. I have no more questions. What’s the deal?”

Companies want to talk about products for 90% of the time. Investors want to talk about the structure of the company and the deal for 90% of the time. That’s where the collision happens. I’ve seen this about 1,000 times. Maybe I’ve seen the only 1,000 times that that is true. I’m starting to believe that’s the case.

Patrick:     I think you have a representative sampling of the same kind of stuff that I’ve seen.

Oren:         Don’t be afraid to contradict me. You could say,” Oren, your head is full of dead insects.”

Patrick:     Oren, I think you know me well enough.

Oren:         That’s fair enough.

Patrick:     How about the JOBS Act? Is that affecting your business or is that more like early stage stuff?

Oren:         That doesn’t affect our business.

Patrick:     It doesn’t affect it all? What about your competitive advantage? Does it deal with the psychology of Pitch Anything? Does it deal with the mechanics of how to deal with investors from a technical standpoint? Is it some combination?

How do you make sure that you are saying, “Intersection Capital is different from other investment bankers because of X?”

Oren:         Very easily. If we get a call that says, “We’re interviewing seven firms. Would you like to come in and make a presentation?” then the answer to that is no. That’s not how you get an investment banker or an advisor.

                  You talk to a bunch of people. You go meet with them on their turf. You find someone that you like, trust and believe in. You try and form a fair deal. You don’t buy it like you buy a washing machine or a copier.

We don’t think that’s a healthy process. It’s only meant to crush price. I’m not interested in price crushing processes. Whoever ends up with that deal is going to be sad.

Let’s say you want to do a bake off and you have Goldman Sachs, us and American Growth Capital. We’re looking at a small firm. The porridge is cold, medium and hot. We’re looking at three different firms from three very different backgrounds. I’ll do that. If it’s a fair fight, and I can win it, then I’ll get in it.

We get deals from UPS and J.P. Morgan. The tiny end of what they’ll look at. We win those deals sometimes. I’ll get into a fair fight and comparison.

The other way that I think about it is like this. Someone comes in, and I say this. You’re interviewing banks. That’s a smart thing to do. I’ll tell you what we do. There are two ways investment bankers or advisors look at a deal.

One is to package up what you’ve done in the past. Write it all up. Put it in a deck. Send it out to a bunch of people. Get people to come in and bid. To me, that is a race to the bottom for price.

If you want to do that, then you can get a bank and some 30 year olds. They’re going to do a beautiful presentation. They’ll send it out to Accel, Kleiner Perkins, True Ventures, Cross Point Cross Link, Link Cross and all those guys. You’ll get some interest. If you want to do that, then go do that.

That’s one, two or three points in terms of success fee. If you want to tell people about what you’ve done in the past and get your valuation and deal based on that, then you should go do that.

We are mature storytellers. We talk about what’s going to happen in the future. Make the future that you’re telling people will happen feel very likely that it will happen.

That means supporting the assumptions in a narrative, statistically, economically, socially and technological way. That’s a complex story to tell to investors and make it believable.

If you want someone alongside you to tell people that the future you’re saying will happen is very likely to happen, then that’s us. We do that in a partner. If you want to talk about what’s going to happen and finance and value your business on that basis, then you’ll want us.

If you want to tell people what you’ve done in the past and send out a deck, go get someone else. We don’t do that. That’s the way that I try and think about it.

Patrick:     If I were translating this from my experience, you’ve got a deal broker and then someone that is more of a partner that’s coming alongside you. That partner is much more heavily involved in describing what the strategy looks like and the mechanics associated with it.

                  You’re putting a translator on that so that potential investors can understand it.

Oren:         I think that’s so important. You have to run a broad process. In order to run a broad process, you need to have a story that is understandable by normal business speech.

Patrick:     It has to be in layman’s terms.

Oren:         If you’re in med tech and have a device for a cerebral aneurism, then you can only go to people who have done those devices with an industry deck.

                  Your story is today. I’ll give you an example. In America, there are 800,000 strokes annually. In a stroke, it’s a little different from the rest of healthcare. In healthcare, days and hours count. In a stroke or cerebral aneurism seconds count.

If you’re near UCLA, Scripps in La Jolla or at the Cleveland Trauma Center, there’s good news for you. There’s a 25% chance that you’re going to get some of the modern technology and walk out.

If you’re anywhere else, you can basically kiss the life you had goodbye. Our technology is used at Scripps, UCLA and it is now extending to the other places in the United States where those 800,000 strokes happen. It’s saving lives daily.

That’s a broad based pitch that Mark Cupid and that private anchoring group that maybe doesn’t have a med tech practice can understand.

Patrick:     You break an economic model and say, “This delivers some level of price performance that was previously not available. There’s this big market and this huge need. There’s a problem I’m really solving that someone is going to pay for.”

Oren:         You personalize it. You personalize the demand. People can relate to it. Now you can run a broad process when you have that story. If you just say, “We have a cerebral aneurism coil that will fit through a 0.064 pipe and can expand another three millimeters. It has statistically the efficacy of steel at the cost of aluminum,” then you can only talk to a very narrow group of people.

                  You run a broad process. A lot more people are at the table. You’re a lot less need…

Patrick:     The story still has layers. They still will bring in someone to do the technical due diligence. You actually get to that point as opposed to trying to get a horizontal investor to understand something that is a deep vertical. They never will.

Oren:         I think that’s something that we’ve been good at. We get firms who say, “We don’t look at that kind of deal,” to say, “That’s interesting. Bring that in. We haven’t done one of those, but this looks good. We’ve never done genetics. We’re a software company. We should open a healthcare practice. Bring it in.”

                  If it’s a human story that has a broad business appeal, then you can get a lot of people to look at it. That’s the difference between a broker and a banker. I think that was a long answer to a short question.

Patrick:     Now we’re going to get to the opening stuff, like racecars and surf boards. Tell us a little something about yourself. What do you do for fun? Maybe something that the audience wouldn’t know about you even though you’re the famous Oren Klaff from Pitch Anything.

Oren:         I love motorcycles. I’ve probably owned 1,000 motorcycles.

Patrick:     Street bikes and dirt bikes?

Oren:         Yes. I’m down to about 20 bikes that I actually ride from time to time. I have a bunch of Ducatis and some American bikes that are hand constructed. I love motorcycles, but I have a baby. Even though I have a big warehouse full of cars, motorcycles and trucks, everything basically has a dead battery and is leaking oil.

I work. I go work out. Then I go see my baby, too. Then I’m tired. I head to dinner with my wife, and then I go to sleep. It’s Groundhog Day. I wake up the next day.

What do guys like when they get a little bit of working capital? They like snowboarding and traveling. I’m not into poverty tourism. I don’t go into the impoverished parts of the world.

I go to Switzerland. I like snowboarding. I like motorcycle riding. We’re here in Solana Beach meeting people like Patrick. That’s fun stuff.

Patrick:     Awesome. Is there anything that we didn’t cover that you’d like to talk about?

Oren:         If I were to hit on the book for a minute and say what is Pitch Anything, what’s so important for me, and why the book is important for people, then I would say this.

                  When you go into these meetings, most of them start like this. Thanks for sending the information. We looked at it. Why don’t you start from the beginning?

No matter what your status and credibility, the people sitting in the room that you go to pitch or give them the phone are thinking about something else. They can barely remember the material that you sent them. You’re really starting from zero.

Your job is to raise your status to impress them on your credibility, busyness, that you’re in demand and you have a great deal so they pay attention. People only pay attention to people with status. I discuss it heavily in the book.

Your number one job is not to say, “Thank you so much for having me come here. I really appreciate it. We’re so excited to meet you.” Those are status lowering things.

Come on time, even though I was late here. Try to come on time. Whatever time you’re there, say, “We agreed to start at 10:00. It’s 10:05. I know you’re still waiting for people to come. I’m busy. I have to leave at 11:00. Why don’t we kick the meeting off, and whoever comes, comes so we can complete it?”

This is high status professional behavior of a real business person. Raise your status. Get your pitch done in 20 minutes. At the end of the meeting, put pressure on the buyer or the investor and don’t ask them what they think.

That’s what Pitch Anything is about. It’s about how to run that process so that you’re in control, and the investor doesn’t just grind you into pulp, blow you away like dust in the wind. Then you wonder what happened.

If something bad happens, then you make that bad thing happen. You don’t get bad things that happen to you. That’s what I think Pitch Anything is about.

Patrick:     Like I said, I haven’t read it all. I’ve read it enough to use that as a mirror versus my experience. I love your stories, by the way. Your stories are amazing. I think that’s one of the things that gets to your heart and really makes you think about things.

                  There’s a lot of subtlety associated with the things that you talk about. I think that’s where coaching, mentorship and having someone as a sounding board is needed. It’s not like a math textbook where you say, “Oh, now I know how to do differential equations.”

There’s a human element to this stuff. I’m not saying someone that’s a deep science technical founder can’t do the things that you’re talking about, but it takes coaching, training and mentorship.

It’s a great book. I think it’s awesome. You’re a great guy. I know you’re super busy.

Oren:         Yes. Thank you.

Patrick:     Thanks a lot, Oren. I appreciate it.

Oren:         It’s great.

Patrick:     This is Patrick Henry, the CEO of QuestFusion, with the Real Deal…What Matters.

I really like many of the insights that Oren has about investors, and companies, and the value of expert knowledge in the process of raising money for your company.

This is Patrick Henry, the CEO of QuestFusion, with The Real Deal…What Matters.