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How to Win in the Attention Economy

What Hollywood taught Brant Pindivic about the key to selling

Brant Pindivic, then a young television producer, showed up at the office of CBS CEO Les Moonves to pitch his latest show idea. 

Brant_PindivicWhen he got there, he realized he was slotted between Simon Cowell and Mark Burnett, two powerhouses of the industry. “I entered his office and was like, here's the show. Here's how we think it's gonna work. Here's why it's good for CBS. Here's what the production budget is. Let me know if you have any questions. I was in and out of that room in 9 minutes and my agent was like, ‘Oh, my God! That was amazing! It was so clear! You saw how engaged he was! You sold the show!’”

It’s no secret that we live in an attention economy, and Pindivic, now a prolific TV producer, says it straight: “Simplicity is power.” Author of the book The 3 Minute Rule, he credits his selling system to years of editing, where you have to resolve television scenes quickly.

“There's a lot of science behind the way people process information. First,Brant_Pindivic_MMDIMG3 we conceptualize what we’re talking about. That means simply, what is it? Second – only then we contextualize it – how does it work for me? And then finally, we actualize. That means, do I wanna get involved? The mistake so many people make is to blow past those goal posts! They wanna fill everybody with all the information they have all at once. And so it short circuits buyers’ brains. Give the basics first.”

According to Pindivic, keeping it short and to the point not only increases engagement, it conveys confidence. “Powerful people with real value to give – that’s how they talk. A ninety second outline – clean and clear. A meeting can go on for an hour after that but only once you establish the core. If you really believe in the value of what you are offering, the less likely you are to start talking longer and longer about it. You come in and say here's what it is. Here's how it's gonna work. Here's why it's gonna work for you. Here's how you get involved. That’s it!”

Watch Brant Pindivic at METAL

The problem, he explains, is that people who pitch their ideas are immersed in - and are in love with - the details. “They may be relevant to you as an owner or founder but only once you’ve hooked them are investors or buyers going to care about the size of the marketplace or your Brant_Pindivic_MMDIMG2background, your deck and all those things.”

Pindivic advises founders and leaders on pitching. “I had one client who had a business for people to stable their horses when they travel with them. I told them, ‘All you get is 10 words and we came in with ‘Airbnb for horses.’ Boom. There it is. Bed and Bale. They got what it is. People travel with horses but they have no idea where to stable them. There are stables all across this country at private residences but nobody had a way to connect to them. Airbnb for horses. Bed and Bale. Sale made. The rest is just details.

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