You’ve invented an amazingly unique solution to a real world business problem, assembled your team and now need to pitch your idea and your product or service to show what it can do for investors, partners, tradespeople and customers. What you need is a short, pre-prepared speech – call it an elevator speech or 30-second commercial, that explains what your business does clearly and succinctly.
So where do you start? Over the course of many years working to help entrepreneurs launch their businesses, I’ve listened to hundreds of pitches for new companies and products. To help you write a knockout pitch, I’ve created 5 tips you should consider:
- It’s All About You
You may think you are selling a product, a service or something else to your investors or potential customers. And to be sure, those things may be part of the appeal. Yet it’s really all about you, because people invest in people. Every action you take helps others define you. What I’ve learned is that it isn’t as much the product or service that investors or potential customers are basing their decisions on it’s YOU! Their first impression is based on the passion, charisma and clarity of you, the founder and the leadership team you’ve created.
- Identify Your Goal
The first thing you need to do is get very clear about what it is you want to achieve. Do you want to take a consumer online business to market in ninety days? Do you want to release a new product that extends your company’s footprint in the marketplace? Do you want to close financing for a big project? Do you want to create a rock-star team to help transform your local business into a global franchise? Who do you need to be to achieve that goal? What image do you need to project to bring others along with you?
- Demonstrate Your Passion
As you are writing your pitch, keep in mind that you are telling potential investors or customers who you are. Starting with your name, your title and a one-sentence description of what your company does and who it will serve, describing your target customer as specifically as possible. Talk about how your customer will benefit from what you have to offer.
- Be Yourself
Don’t pretend to be someone else. When developing a personal brand in today’s multimedia world, authenticity is key. If you try to pass yourself off as someone you are not, people will find out and that will undercut your credibility. Be original, be creative, but don’t try to be what you think other people want you to be. Be the sincerest, most heightened version of yourself. When investors and customers meet you, you want them to think, this is a person I want to do business with.
- Create a Call for Action
At the end of your 30-second pitch, create an “ask” tailored for the person you are meeting with. It can be as simple as asking whether the person you’re talking to knows someone who would benefit from these services.
Remember the old adage, “practice makes perfect.” The more you practice your pitch, the clearer and more powerful it becomes. Once you’ve perfected your 30-second commercial on paper, it’s in your toolbox to pull out when you are meeting investors or potential customers, and also a great resource for times when you are networking and people are asking you what you do.