Pitching your startup concept to potential clients — or investors — is critical to the success of your business. You may indeed have the most innovative and ground-breaking product or concept going, but if you cannot attract the right investor or get potential clients to buy into your business idea it will not take off. Understanding how to pitch is essential to your success.
If you’re not sure what things you should be considering when working on your pitch, then the below tips will help guide you to package your business story into a solid and compelling pitch:
Keep it simple
Start by explaining (in short) your business idea and remember you need to speak strongly to your vision and purpose.
Illustrate the problems that your business is trying to crack and why you are offering these solutions to the market. You need to demonstrate how your company will make a difference in your target audience’s lives.
Most importantly, don’t be overly detailed with information that can detract from the message you are aiming to bring across. Working on your elevator pitch is vital to getting the important message across.
Timing is everything
Time is precious, especially to your prospective investors and clients. You don’t want to present a long-winded pitch that bores or frustrates your audience.
Be sure you work with the time allocated to you. Sometimes the prospective investor will set the time limit, if not you should have a standard time to work by. Stay within the time and plan the pace to avoid rushed endings. Also, you want to be mindful to not overwhelm your audience with facts, so remember to read the room.
Additionally, don’t forget to set aside enough time for questions! Listening and engaging in conversation at the end is a great way to build trust.
Be human in your storytelling
There is a big difference between a sales pitch and a real, impactful business story.
Focusing too much on facts, figures and technical information may take away from the true passion behind your pitch so subtly pull in the most key points. When telling your story, consider being appropriately expressive and animated.
If you read the room, you will easily be able to follow the stream of light and/or serious moods – you need to resonate with your audience. Also, aim to stand out by creating something unique to your startup that is memorable for your audience.
Allow your audience to experience your product or concept first-hand
What better way to showcase the distinguishing features of your product than to show them first-hand? By allowing potential clients or investors to have a more tangible experience of your product you can increase your impact on them.
A tangible experience takes a pitch from hypothetical to ‘proof in the pudding’. And who doesn’t like to have a chance to explore a new thing first hand? Just as kids like toys, investors and clients like new products to play with.
Be clear who your target audience is
Your audience needs to understand who will be using your product. Be detailed about your ideal customer. Paint a picture by including customer profile, demographic data and psychographic features.
By supporting your claims with information, your pitch will be more convincing for investors who need to understand that there’s sufficient demand for your product to justify projected profit and ultimately their return on investment.
Be prepared for the ‘performance’
We have all heard that first impressions count. Your pitch may be solid, but if you’re looking a bit too sloppy then your appearance may undermine your pitch and you might not be taken as seriously.
Additionally, on the technical side, you need to be ready and practised, this includes having your talk, slide deck and content under wraps. Practice is critical to ensure you have the key facts banked in your memory, it will also build your confidence to pitch your best shot.
Pitching your business story can be a nerve-wracking but also exciting journey. The most important thing to remember when planning your pitch is to remain committed to the outcome.
Let your passion for what you have to offer to drive you to stand out and ‘hook’ the right investors and clients that will launch you to success.