The art of the pitch
Are you looking to obtain funding, or sell a product or service in a very convincing way? You have to be passionate and inspiring. You must build a good—read: great—sales pitch. Here are some tips that experts use time and again to fine tune their sales pitches.
Convey professionalism and confidence
Present yourself with composure and poise. Investors want to know if you have courage and the gumption to get in front of them and make your pitch. Investors want to know that they won’t be alone in facing your company’s challenges. If you are not alone in your business venture, take a moment to present your team and partners—and how they work together. It’s always interesting and relevant to gain a better understanding of your team’s structure and dynamic.
Master your numbers
Even though you aren’t a math genius, that’s not an excuse to let slide your knowledge on your company’s numbers. Investors are looking for a solid return on investment: you must clearly demonstrate that you have realistic expectations regarding the revenues you will generate and explain how investors will reap their share of the profits. Work with specialists if you are unsure regarding your business model and accounting. Investors know business and they can take advantage of you if you are not well-prepared.
Develop a razor-sharp strategy
Be prepared to prove that a good market exists for your product or service. Wendy Weiss, also known as the “The Queen of Cold Calling,” explains that a stellar sales pitch has three ingredients: you ask the right questions, you listen to the person you are pitching to, and you offer a concrete solution to his or her problems. Your product should mitigate a specific pain or answer a need—and you need to show that there is a market for your product. Ditch the “build it and they will come” approach.
Carry out a market analysis regarding your targeted sector. Study the competition and its products. Show that product surpasses any other offer out there. And above all else, don’t tell pitch to investors that you are looking achieve a dream. They really don’t care about any warm and fuzzy feelings, even if they are warranted.
Start a meaningful conversation
Even if you have 30 minutes for your pitch, don’t perform a monologue and take up all the time you have talking about your next-best-amazing idea. Set aside ample time for a discussion with your potential investors. Carry out your own due diligence on the potential investors you are meeting with social media and websites; it is easy to determine, in some ways, what makes them tick. The end goal? Craft your pitch based on who you will be meeting: don’t go for a cookie-cutter presentation.
For a successful presentation, keep in mind that you should not simply talk, talk and talk some more. Don’t expect a sale or signed agreement after a simple 30-minute pitch. You’re building a long-term business partnership, not a fly-by-night scheme.
As you undoubtedly know, putting together a good pitch requires time and preparation. There is no room for improvisation. Your pitch will be much more effective if you think of your strategy and the specific goals you want to reach. Finally, be yourself. Authenticity goes a long way to convincing people of your vision and company’s capability of accomplishing great things.
Diotte, Simon. Les secrets d’un bon pitch de vente. Les Affaires.. http://www.lesaffaires.com/archives/generale/les-secrets-d-un-bon-pitch-de-vente/563371. October 1, 2013.
Smith, Jacquelyn. 7 Tips for Crafiting An Effective Sales Pitch.. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2014/01/03/7-tips-for-crafting-an-effective-sales-pitch/#1304f5b15820. January 3, 2014.
Coughter, Peter. The Art of Pitch – Persuasion and Presentation Skills That Win Business. Éditions Palgrave Macmillan. États-Unis. 2012. p.111-113..