#350 How To Sell Like Steve Jobs

Summary notes created by Deciphr AI

Summary Notes


In this episode, the host delves into the influential book "The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs" by Carmine Gallo, which posits that Jobs was the greatest business storyteller of our time, emphasizing the importance of effective selling in business. The host outlines three key lessons from Jobs' approach: understanding the essence of what you're selling, mastering the art of presentation, and developing a messianic sense of purpose. Jobs' method starts with identifying customer experiences, using simple language, and providing clear solutions. The host draws parallels between Jobs' techniques and those of other successful figures like Warren Buffett and Ivar Kreuger, highlighting the power of simplicity and directness in communication. The episode further explores Jobs' meticulous preparation for presentations, his use of evocative language, and the strategic deployment of social proof to persuade audiences. Concluding with Jobs' passion for his work, the host underscores the transformative potential of products when creators are genuinely invested in improving their customers' lives.

Summary Notes

Theme: The Importance of Effective Presentation in Business

  • Steve Jobs is heralded as the greatest business storyteller.
  • The ability to sell ideas is crucial in various business aspects.
  • Jobs considered his keynote presentations a competitive weapon.
  • A key message is that having a great idea is insufficient without the ability to convince others.
  • The book "Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs" by Carmine Gallo is recommended for learning how to sell effectively.

"The book makes the case that Steve Jobs was the greatest business storyteller of our time."

  • This quote establishes the premise that Steve Jobs's presentation skills were unparalleled and worthy of study.

"A person can have the greatest idea in the world, but if that person can't convince enough other people, it doesn't matter."

  • This quote emphasizes the importance of persuasion in business; a great idea alone is not enough without the ability to communicate it effectively.

Theme: Understanding What You're Really Selling

  • The essence of what you're selling goes beyond the product itself.
  • Steve Jobs sold the idea of tools that unleash human potential.
  • The customer experience is the starting point for product development and presentation.
  • The key question to answer in sales is "Why should I care?"
  • Jobs's 1998 iMac presentation exemplifies starting with customer needs and problems before introducing the solution.

"You got to start with the customer experience and work back towards the technology, not the other way around."

  • Jobs's quote reflects his philosophy of designing and presenting products based on the customer experience first, rather than technology.

"Why should I care?"

  • This quote captures the most crucial question that a seller must answer for the customer, which is the essence of effective sales communication.

Theme: Steve Jobs's Presentation Techniques

  • Jobs used simple, memorable, and direct language in his presentations.
  • He employed a verbal roadmap to guide the audience through the presentation.
  • Jobs highlighted problems with existing products and positioned his products as solutions.
  • The use of unusual but simple words made his presentations more memorable.

"Pretty much universally, they are all using last year's processor."

  • Jobs pointed out the shortcomings of competitors' products to set the stage for introducing his own product as superior.

"The new iMac is fast. It screams."

  • This quote shows Jobs's use of vivid, simple language to describe the iMac's speed, making the benefit clear and memorable.

Theme: The Power of Simplicity and Clarity

  • Warren Buffett's shareholder letters are likened to Jobs's presentations for their simplicity and directness.
  • Avoiding jargon and using plain language is key to effective communication.
  • The concept of explaining complex ideas in simple terms is not limited to technology but applies across industries, including real estate and finance.

"Normal rich people have no idea what Moic is, let alone Irr or loss to lease, et cetera."

  • This quote from Moses Kagan highlights the importance of avoiding industry jargon when communicating with potential investors.

"Government loans for match monopolies."

  • Ivar Kruger's clear and simple explanation of his business model is used as an example of effective communication that led to widespread investment.

Theme: Selling the Improvement, Not the Product

  • The focus should be on the improvement or benefit the product brings to the customer.
  • Historical examples of effective selling focus on the improved future the product offers.
  • Steve Jobs's iPod tagline "1000 songs in your pocket" exemplifies selling the improvement.

"Sell the improvement that your product makes."

  • This quote summarizes the core sales strategy of focusing on the benefits and improvements a product brings to the consumer's life.

"1000 songs in your pocket."

  • The iPod tagline is cited as a prime example of a simple, customer-centric message that highlights the product's improvement to the user's life.

Selling an Improvement, Not Just a Product

  • Steve Jobs focused on selling an improvement to customers' lives, not just a product.
  • Products that struggle in the market are often solutions in search of a problem.
  • The key to successful advertising is promising a benefit to the customer.

"Steve didn't sell a product, he sold an improvement."

  • This quote emphasizes the importance of offering real value and improvements to customers rather than just selling a product.

Importance of Succinct Messaging

  • Describing your main idea succinctly makes it more likely to be repeated by your audience.
  • Repetition is persuasive and helps in reinforcing the message.
  • The iPod and MacBook Air had simple, repeated taglines that were effective.

"If you can describe your idea in one line, it will be repeated by your audience."

  • A clear, concise message is more memorable and likely to be shared, which is a powerful marketing strategy.

The Power of Repetition

  • Human nature tends to forget, hence repetition is key.
  • Repeating the core message across various mediums ensures that it sticks with the audience.

"Repeat, repeat, repeat. Human nature has a flaw. We forget that. We forget."

  • Repetition combats the human tendency to forget, making it a crucial aspect of communication and marketing.

Structuring Presentations

  • Steve Jobs planned his presentations in analog, using pen and paper or a whiteboard.
  • He would simplify his presentations to three main points with supporting stories and facts.
  • The "rule of three" is powerful because it aligns with the limited capacity of short-term memory.

"And the first thing he did was that he planned his presentations in analog."

  • Planning presentations without digital tools initially can help in organizing thoughts and structuring the message effectively.

Storytelling in Communication

  • Stories are memorable and make a strong impact.
  • Don Valentine from Sequoia Capital emphasized the importance of storytelling in securing investments.

"The art of storytelling is critically important. Most of the entrepreneurs who come to us can't tell a story."

  • Storytelling is an essential skill for entrepreneurs, as it helps to engage investors and make the business proposition memorable.

Avoiding Overloaded Presentations

  • Steve Jobs avoided cluttering his presentations with too much information.
  • Starting with the problem the product solves is more effective than jumping straight into the product details.
  • Using visuals instead of text can prevent the presenter from simply reading slides, making the presentation more engaging.

"The two biggest problems that these investors see is that most presenters try to squeeze way too much information in there."

  • Presentations should be concise and focused on the problem being solved, rather than overwhelming the audience with excessive information.

Adding Context to Numbers

  • Providing context to numbers makes them more understandable and impactful.
  • Steve Jobs would reframe seemingly negative statistics, like Apple's market share, in a positive light by drawing comparisons to respected brands.
  • Explaining large numbers in relatable terms helps the audience comprehend the scale.

"Our market share is greater than BMW or Mercedes in the car industry."

  • By comparing Apple's market share to luxury car brands, Jobs reframed a small percentage as a sign of exclusivity and desirability, effectively adding positive context to the statistic.

Making Numbers Memorable

  • Breaking down numbers into more digestible figures helps in making them memorable.
  • Steve Jobs would turn large sales figures into daily averages to provide a clearer picture of success.

"4 million divided by 200 days means that we sold 20,000 iPhones a day."

  • By converting a large sales number into a daily average, Jobs made the figure more relatable and impressive to the audience.

Illustration of the Difference Between a Million and a Billion

  • The speaker provides a visual comparison of a million and a billion dollars using the height of stacked $100 bills.
  • A million dollars in $100 bills would be 16 inches high.
  • A billion dollars in $100 bills would stack higher than the Empire State Building.
  • This analogy is used to illustrate the vast difference between the two sums of money.
  • The concept is also applied to time, comparing a million seconds to eleven and a half days, and a billion seconds to 31 years.

"A million dollars is 16 inches high. A billion dollars is taller than the Empire State Building."

  • This quote emphasizes the dramatic difference in scale between a million and a billion dollars, using a relatable and visual comparison.

"So a million seconds ago was eleven and a half days ago. A billion seconds ago was 31 years ago."

  • This quote further illustrates the vast difference between a million and a billion, this time using the measurement of time to provide perspective.

Steve Jobs' Memorable Communication Tactics

  • Steve Jobs used uncommon, simple words in his presentations to make them memorable.
  • Examples include "crummy," "ugly," "screams," and "bitching."
  • Jobs also expressed his love for the products, making his presentations personal and relatable.
  • The speaker emphasizes the importance of being both informative and entertaining in business communication.

"He uses these uncommon words, especially uncommon words that you don't normally see in business presentations."

  • The quote highlights Steve Jobs' strategy of using distinctive language to make his presentations stand out.

"Most business communicators lose sight of the fact that their audiences want to be informed and entertained."

  • This quote underscores the common mistake made by business communicators who fail to engage their audience in a memorable way.

Charlie Munger's Use of Humor in Business Communication

  • Charlie Munger is noted for using humor effectively during Berkshire Hathaway's annual meetings.
  • Munger's humorous remarks are often followed by audience laughter, demonstrating his ability to entertain while delivering a message.
  • The speaker cites several examples of Munger's humorous quips to illustrate this point.

"Competency is a relative concept. What I needed to get ahead was to compete against idiots. And luckily, there's a large supply."

  • This quote is an example of Munger's humor, where he makes a jest about the relative nature of competency.

"Everybody wants fiscal virtue, but not quite yet."

  • Munger's quote humorously compares the desire for fiscal responsibility to the postponement of personal virtue, eliciting laughter and making the message memorable.

Social Proof in Steve Jobs' Presentations

  • Steve Jobs frequently used social proof in his presentations, showcasing testimonials and favorable reviews.
  • The book "Poor Charlie's Almanack" is referenced for its discussion on the psychological impact of social proof and its benefits to scale.
  • The speaker emphasizes the importance of social proof in business and how it can lead to a "winner take most" scenario.

"We are all influenced subconsciously and to some extent consciously by what we see others do and approve."

  • This quote from the book explains the concept of social proof and its influence on consumer behavior.

"Social proof leads to more sales, which leads to better distribution, which accelerates the winner take all, or winner take most flywheel."

  • The quote describes the domino effect of social proof in business, highlighting its role in creating a competitive advantage.

The Importance of Practice in Presentations

  • The speaker stresses the importance of practice for effective public speaking, with a suggested ratio of 90 hours of practice for every 1 hour of presentation.
  • Steve Jobs is noted for his meticulous preparation and involvement in every detail of his presentations.
  • Anecdotes from the book "The Second Coming of Steve Jobs" are used to illustrate Jobs' dedication to rehearsing his presentations.

"It takes a lot of effort to make something look effortless."

  • This quote reflects on the extensive preparation required to deliver a presentation that appears natural and easy.

"The public praises people for what they practice in private."

  • The quote emphasizes that the success of a public performance is often the result of unseen, rigorous practice.

Steve Jobs' Messianic Sense of Purpose

  • Steve Jobs is described as having a messianic zeal for creating new experiences for customers.
  • The speaker discusses Jobs' belief in his products as tools that improve people's lives.
  • Quotes from Jobs and others, such as Lee Clow and Phil Knight, are used to illustrate the infectious nature of passion and belief.

"Steve dedicated his life to building technology that made other people's lives better."

  • This quote captures the core of Steve Jobs' motivation and the driving force behind his work.

"Passion is infectious. The belief and passion you have in what you're doing can literally be transferred to another human being."

  • The quote explains the power of passion in communication and its ability to inspire and influence others.

Conclusion: Selling with Passion and Belief

  • The speaker concludes by urging listeners to identify their passions and share their enthusiasm with others.
  • The importance of selling with belief and passion, rather than just pitching a product, is emphasized.
  • The discussion returns to the idea that a genuine passion for what one is selling is key to success, as exemplified by Steve Jobs and Phil Knight.

"If you don't enjoy what you are doing, I beg you to find another job."

  • This quote from David Ogilvy advises people to pursue work that they are passionate about, enhancing their ability to sell effectively and enjoy their career.

"I think one of the things that really separates us from the high primates is that we're tool builders."

  • The final quote from Steve Jobs reflects on humanity's unique ability to create tools, highlighting his own purpose in advancing technology for the betterment of society.

Efficiency of Locomotion and Computers as Tools for the Mind

  • The podcast starts with a reflection on the efficiency of locomotion in animals and humans.
  • A comparison is made between the condor and a human on a bicycle in terms of energy efficiency.
  • The human on a bicycle outperforms the condor, which is used as an analogy for the computer as a tool for the mind.
  • The computer is likened to a bicycle for the mind, enhancing our cognitive abilities.

"And a man on a bicycle, a human on a bicycle, blew the condor away completely off the top of the charts. And that is what a computer is to me. What a computer is to me is the most remarkable tool that we have ever come up with, is the equivalent of a bicycle for our mind."

  • The quote compares the revolutionary impact of the bicycle on human locomotion to the transformative power of computers on human cognition.
  • The host mentions a book that provides the full story on the efficiency of locomotion and computers as tools for the mind.
  • Recommends buying the book through a link in the show notes to support the podcast.

"For the full story, recommend buying the book. If you buy the book using the link that's in the show notes, you'll be supporting the podcast at the same time."

  • This quote serves as a direct advertisement for a book related to the podcast's theme, providing an opportunity for listeners to learn more and support the podcast.

Founders Events and Founders Notes

  • The host introduces two products/services: Founders Events and Founders Notes.
  • Founders Events aims to build relationships among high-value individuals such as founders, investors, and executives.
  • Founders Notes is a tool for learning from history's greatest entrepreneurs, providing on-demand access to a vast knowledge database.

"Come to a founder's events to build relationships with other high value people." "Founders notes gives you the superpower to do this on demand."

  • The first quote emphasizes the purpose of Founders Events - networking for high-value individuals.
  • The second quote highlights the main benefit of Founders Notes - immediate access to entrepreneurial wisdom.

Personal Approach and Authenticity

  • The host discusses his personal commitment to the material and his ability to speak from the heart.
  • He compares his speaking style to that of Steve Jobs, emphasizing a sense of purpose and authenticity.

"I live this stuff that I don't need to read from a script. I think about this every day, I practice it every day. And then therefore I can speak about it just like Steve Jobs. I could speak about it from the heart and with a messianic sense of purpose."

  • This quote reflects the host's dedication to his work and the natural, heartfelt delivery of his message, drawing a parallel with Steve Jobs' presentation style.

Upcoming Founders Conference

  • The host announces a founders conference in Scotts Valley, California.
  • The event is designed to facilitate relationship-building among attendees.
  • The conference is intentionally small to encourage meaningful connections.

"This event in Scotts Valley, California, on July 29 to the 31st that I highly encourage you to attend is only going to be around 120 to 130 people."

  • The quote informs listeners about the exclusivity and focus of the upcoming founders conference.

Event Structure and Goals

  • The event structure includes renting out the entire venue, making it all-inclusive, and keeping it small-scale.
  • The purpose is to simplify the experience for attendees and foster quick relationship-building.
  • The event's success is measured by the tangible outcomes like friendships, investments, and partnerships that result from it.

"I actually stumbled on a great way to help other people build relationships with high value people."

  • This quote explains how the host discovered an effective method for enabling attendees to form valuable connections at the event.

Founders Notes and Readwise Partnership

  • Founders Notes originated from the host's use of Readwise for cataloging research.
  • The tool has evolved to include an AI assistant named Sage, which provides on-demand access to knowledge.
  • The partnership with Readwise was initiated by the host to make his "second brain" accessible to others.

"I have been cataloging all the research that I do for this podcast, and I was putting all of my notes and highlights in this app called Readwise."

  • The quote describes the host's process of organizing research and the origin of Founders Notes.

The Importance of Learning from History

  • The host cites Charlie Munger's quote about learning from history as a form of leverage.
  • Founders Notes is presented as a tool that gives users the ability to leverage historical entrepreneurial knowledge.

"Learning from history is a form of leverage. Founders notes gives you the superpower to do this on demand."

  • This quote conveys the value proposition of Founders Notes, emphasizing the strategic advantage of learning from the past.

Founders Notes Features and Usage

  • Two main features of Founders Notes are highlighted: keyword search and the AI assistant, Sage.
  • Sage is described as wise and prudent, reflecting the collective wisdom of the entrepreneurs studied in the podcast.
  • The host shares testimonials on how Founders Notes has provided tactical advantages to subscribers.

"Foundersnotes gives you the superpower to now access the collective knowledge of history's greatest entrepreneurs on demand when you need it."

  • The quote summarizes the core functionality of Founders Notes, which is to provide immediate access to entrepreneurial insights and wisdom.

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