Do you ever feel at a loss for words when asked to describe your business? What if you’re presenting to potential investors? Being able to describe your business pitch simply and succinctly is crucial for networking and for fundraising purposes. But how do we prepare for these important conversations?
As business coaches in Vancouver, we hear business pitches from clients all of the time, and we know what makes a successful pitch shine out from forgettable ones. Read on to learn how to create a business pitch that will leave people excited to know more.
First…Begin With a Story
In today’s business marketplace, nobody wants to be “sold” something. Rather, investors and consumers alike want to be educated, inspired and motivated to invest in something that resonates with their heart (values), not just their head (dollars and cents).
Although sound decisions need to be made and logic needs to be utilized, appealing to people with a story-based pitch is far more likely to land your desired outcome over a presentation fuelled by charts and graphs. Even the most left brained, data-driven investor will respond to a thought-provoking story.
In fact, there’s a science behind how stories capture attention. An adorable story of a dog can quickly gain our attention before an advertisement on cell phones. Stories are excellent platforms from which to launch your pitch.
It’s Not About You, It’s About Your Customers
Consider opening your business pitch by telling a real customer story. Whether it’s about the impact you made in a person’s life, solving a problem they had, or meeting a need through your brand, third person stories create trust and connection.
When telling a customer story, remember to:
- Use real names
- Relate it to real people
…this will make your story relatable to others, and could offer a piece of information that creates the tipping point for investors.
| “The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behaviour crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire.”
― Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
For more inspiration on how to build your business story, read our post on “The Power of Finding Your Why”.
Your Business Pitch Should …Address the Right Audience
Knowing your audience before you pitch your idea is imperative. As an entrepreneur, the interests of your investors need to matter – not only to ensure you’re speaking to the right audience, but also to attract people who match your values and principles.
Not all Angel Investors are, well – angels. However, experts suggest pitching your ideas to angel investors is a worthwhile venture, and is well-worth exploring.
Also, keep in mind that the right audience requires the right information, so make sure your business pitch is crystal clear to any given audience. If there are investors in the room who do not understand your business, they will not invest in your brand.
How do you ensure your pitch is crystal clear? Remove jargon such as:
- Tech speak
- Flowery phrases that speak to nothing
The best way to see if an audience will understand your pitch is to practice it with friends or family. At the end ask them to tell you what they believe your business is about and ask you questions to see how prepared you are for rapid fire Q&A’s.
Your Business Pitch Should ….Utilize the KISS Principle
KISS stands for – ‘keep it simple, stupid’. The KISS principle states that most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complicated.
Having a simple yet profound pitch to investors plays an important role in your presentation. And although many entrepreneurs think that using unique language will set them apart, it actually works against them.
Presentation Tips for your Business Pitch
When speaking to your audience, use simple language that a child could understand, while creating an engaging story that includes financial facts. It will give your pitch the “Goldilocks appeal”: not too long, and not too short, but juuuuuuuust right!
It’s not an auction and you don’t have to rattle off reams of data. Rather, apply the KISS principle when speaking, including:
- Stay calm …relax, remain authentic and share your passion as though it were being shared to a group of friends.
- Know that you don’t have enemies in the room …the people present have chosen to listen to you, so own the space accordingly
- The less is more ideology
Also, consider referencing your Business Plan to help you narrow down your business pitch with …
- A list the tangible benefits of your product
- A list the monetary benefits of your product
- A list the emotional benefits of your product. (How does it make you feel, what pain point is it removing?)
Address the Age-Old “What’s In It for Me” Question/Answer
As a new entrepreneur you likely have just begun recording sales – and if so, be honest about that so your investors know the limited scope of the numbers you’re presenting.
Provide a sales graph that represents a timeline of your business. Investors want to see how your business has been profitable and where growth potential is, which is why you are there in the first place – to help your business grow. So be transparent about your profits thus far, and how their financial backing will further enhance that.
Don’t Forget to Show Your Product
It’s surprising how many people head into a pitch presentation without their product or a business model displayed. Don’t be that person!
Depending on your industry, this may be difficult, but whether it’s a physical object or a video display – have something to show investors so they can visualize what they are investing in. Visuals go a long way in the effectiveness of your pitch.
Display Confidence and Passion
Passion sells – whether to an investor or to a direct customer. Anyone investing in your business will respond to your passion backed by the confidence you have in your business.
Such things display to others that you believe in you, as well as in the idea you are pitching. It also demonstrates your stamina to not only start a business but to continue on towards growth.
Passion is an amazing motivator – both for the person behind the business, as well as those looking to invest in it. So let your light shine!
| “Creativity is intelligence having fun” – Albert Einstein
Presenting a successful business pitch that takes into account your audience, your story, your figures, your business plan and the confidence you have in your product. Fine tune your pitch by rehearsing your key messages with a professional business coach. We can help you save you a lot of time and disappointment reaching out to the wrong people. At mybusinessskills.com we’re here to cheer you on and help you succeed.
Contact us for a free 30-minute coaching call.