If you’re gunning to get funds from investors for your business or impress new clients, you should learn how to grab the attention of your audience with an interesting business pitch. The business pitch tips we’ll be sharing will help you impress potential investors and find the right fit for your business.
- Get to know your potential investors.
What interests the people you will be pitching to? What are they like? What do they like? What businesses have they invested in before? These are the questions you should have answers to before going in for your pitch in order to know who the investors really are and why they might be interested in your business.
It’s always better to reach out to your existing network to get a personal introduction to your potential investors, rather than to cold call them.
- Tell a story about how your product or service has solved a marketplace problem.
Start your pitch by telling a real customer story about how your product or service solves a problem in the marketplace. Let the story be as real as possible, with real names and believable characters. Avoid using technical terminologies, acronyms and buzzwords. The stories you tell stay in people’s minds for a really long time, so you should always be ready with convincing customer stories to share.
- Only talk about the essentials.
Rather than addressing all aspects of your business plan, prioritize the most important things you want to share about your business and elaborate on them. It makes you look more composed and less nervous and your pitch would look much more compelling too.
Be more focused on selling the problem the product solves rather than selling the awesome features of the product.
“Don’t sell life insurance. Sell what life insurance can do. – Ben Feldman”
- Create credibility
You have to be reputed as a credible person so that the audience you’re targeting would be willing to do business with you.
Create credibility. Run tests, conduct studies, do press outreaches, request for testimonials. Convince the investors that you’re not the only one who believes in your business idea.
- Outline your business model.
You show your investor how your business idea is economically viable in your business model outline. Your business model should answer the questions: What do you sell? To whom? How much do they pay? Let’s look at Uber, for instance. Their business model can be described as:
- A peer-to-peer ridesharing, taxi cab and transportation network company
- Rides are easily and quickly booked online
- Customers pay as they go
- Serves both the Nigerian and international market
- Available everywhere you go
In just a few short bullets, you can see how they make money and from whom.
- Make sure everyone understands your presentation.
There’s a great exercise you can do to make sure your business model is crystal clear to everyone. Simply practice your pitch on someone that knows nothing about your business model, and ask them to repeat what they were able to comprehend back to you. If they’re able to explain concisely, then you’re good to go.
The key to successful pitching is to know how to explain your business model in layman terms.
- Talk about yourself and why you’re the best person for the job.
Investors are more interested in people than in ideas. That’s why they look out for some people and are ready to invest in their next business, even though they have no idea what it is yet. Talk about yourself, your team and accomplishments; a little bragging is allowed here. Tell them, and show them why you’re the best person to lead the business venture.
- Give a load down of what you’ve been up to lately
Investors want to hear about your customers, investments you’ve put in the company, key media placement, product and customer milestones, successes and traction your team has had since your company started. You need to sell your own company to the investors.
However, you can’t just talk your way through the entire conversation. Ask questions to confirm that your audience really understands what you are talking about.
- Know your competition.
Everyone has competition, even if the competition isn’t exactly a direct one. Think about when Henry Ford built the Model T. Were there other cars on the market at that time? No, but he had to find a way to steal people away from other modes of transportation (horses, trains, and walking, for example). Show your investors that you understand your competition and what differentiates you from them.
- Have your financial forecast ready.
Talk is cheap, so the best way to capture the attention of your investors is to show exactly how you intend to reach those millions, rather than just talking about them. Give a detailed financial forecast that shows the information you have about your company that made you predict making those figures. The financial forecast should show how much you intend to spend, the number of customers that are likely to patronize you based on statistics, and how much revenue and profit you’re predicting.
You want to see investors take out their phones and start to calculate numbers. This is a good sign—it means they want to see how you think, and see if it matches what you’ve indicated as your total revenue numbers, and what they already know about your industry.
- Showoff your product!
Create an impressive pitch deck so that investors can quickly size up your business from your projections and engage in business conversation with you. It is important to keep your pitch deck as short as possible (not more than 10 slide pages). Also include enough infographics with the right colours, contrast and whitespaces. It’s amazing what a visual representation of your product and your business can do for the overall effectiveness of your pitch. Even if your product is not yet built, show mock-ups.
Pitching for business doesn’t always have to involve a lot of talk. Get these tips right, and you’re good to go!