Delivering a concise, persuasive pitch can be a nerve-wracking endeavor for even the bravest of entrepreneurs
In an ideal world, investors and partners would hear about your amazing new product or service through the grapevine and line up around the block for their chance to get involved. In the real world, you’ll have to work hard to pitch your business. Delivering a concise, persuasive pitch can be a nerve-wracking endeavor for even the bravest of entrepreneurs. After all, millions of viewers tune in to ABC to watch hopeful entrepreneurs present their ideas on Shark Tank. Your business pitch may not come with a built-in audience and an imposing panel of famous investors, but your presentation has the potential to make or break your business.4 awesome tips for putting together an irresistible business pitch. Click To Tweet
Keep these four tips for putting together an irresistible business pitch in mind next time you’re seeking funding or trying to clinch a contract. You’re confident in your company, and it’s up to you to convey that in a short amount of time to the people who matter.
Solve a Real Problem
Tech entrepreneur Jeanine Swatton outlines one main problem with pitches: They focus on why the product or service in question is “cool,” rather than how it solves a problem. As the cliché goes, all that glitters is not gold. If your pitch is based on buzz alone, prospective partners may see it as a flash in the pan. Instead, use your brief meeting to demonstrate how your company fills a much-needed niche within a certain industry and solves a problem for its users.
Provide Winning Visuals
Nothing will bring your pitch session to a grinding halt faster than throwing so many numbers at potential investors that it feels like a dense college lecture. Back up your verbal assertions with visuals—like an interactive PowerPoint—to keep people engaged in your presentation from start to finish. Not only will visual aids help you illustrate the facts, but interactive polling technology allows you to treat pitches like a two-way street. Open your pitch with a question and let everyone in the room weigh in. Based on the results, you have a ready-made transition that incorporates everyone in the room.
Fall Back on the Facts
You can walk into a room with an exciting idea, a winning personality and an enthusiastic presentation and walk back out with zero interest in your pitch. How is this possible? Without a succinct, factual business plan, investors and partners have no way of knowing if they can enter a sustainable relationship with you.
Rick Frasch, a tech entrepreneur and investor, writes that any worthwhile business plan or executive summary should contain these points and more:
-The problem your company will solve
-At least one competitive advantage
-Expected costs and ROI supported by realistic, detailed analysis
-Description of the management team
-The exit (or financial benefit) for investors or partners
Add Personal Touches
There’s a reason that humans haven’t outsourced business pitches to robots, or that we don’t simply send out an email outlining our great ideas. The human element is just as important as any other when it comes to securing your desired outcome. You’re selling yourself just as much as your product or services.
Entrepreneur and venture capitalist James Caan points out how important it is to research who you’re pitching to in advance so you can engage with the audience on a deeper level. He remembers once closing a deal over a round of golf, all because he noticed a collection of golfing photographs hanging in an office. The more you know about potential partners, the better you can craft your pitch to resonate with their wants and needs.
Your pitch is your business’s first impression. You believe in your product or skill set; now it’s time to convince others to hop on board. Keep pitching sessions short, interactive and engaging to forge important partnerships that help your company get ahead. Good luck!