The first pitch of any great new idea is a critical moment for every new entrepreneur and business. A great pitch brings valuable partnerships and financial incentives to the table, so it is important to put your best foot and tools forward.
But what sets apart the struggling salesman and the Mark Zuckerberg’s of this world? Read on to find the must-read guide to developing the perfect business pitch.
1. Elevator pitch
When developing a business that you are passionate about, it can be tempting to bombard corporate investors with a 100-page manifesto of your life’s hard work. The perfect pitch, however, should always be succinct and persuasive. An elevator pitch is, therefore, an idea that is capable of being explained in the length of a short elevator ride.
Verbose presentations and lengthy explanations will do little to impress your corporate counterparts. Your customers need to understand your concept in a short time span. Therefore, so do your investors.
2. Practice makes perfect
Pulling of a fluid and flawless presentation requires extensive practice. The more familiar and comfortable you are with your pitch, the more effective your presentation will be. Practicing your speech and knowing your product back to front, results in a fluidity and level of comfort in the presentation, that cannot be achieved by improvisation.
Practicing your work with friends and family allows you opportunities to overcome weaknesses and reflect on what you can do differently next time. Venture capitalists who have listened to thousands of successful and unsuccessful pitches, even recommend starting with a clean slate every five pitches. This gives you an opportunity to start over with the recommendations of your family and friends until it is ‘just right’.
3. Do your homework
There are no shortcuts when developing the perfect business pitch. How you present your pitch should be modified to suit every single investor or future corporate relationship in the room. This means you must study the investment backgrounds and profiles of every major player you are seeking to influence. When you understand what drives each of them, you can adapt your pitch accordingly. Making an emotional connection with your investors and connecting with them on a human level, can make a big difference in the outcome of your pitch.
4. Add visuals and Interaction
A common thread for successful business pitches is incorporating visual and interactive elements. If you are able to bring any products into the meeting, it’s great for investors to be able to touch and experience the products for themselves.
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Research shows that physical interaction has positive impacts on an audience, causing people to place a higher value on the object in question.
5. Facts over fiction
The perfect business pitch should be filled with hard-hitting, indisputable facts. Investors seek low-risk business which proven results. This is why many entrepreneurs test their business’s viability on a small budget, to prove its function and financial capabilities.
Over the top predictions of how your business will soar have no place in the business world. Show investors that you have a grasp on reality with three versions of financial projections: best case, moderate case, and worst case. Inspire confidence with facts, not fiction, and be ready to back your claims up with tangible evidence.
6. Know your competition
Before entering any business pitch it’s vital to know what your competitors are offering. What is your competitive advantage? Inspire confidence that what you are pitching is better than what your competitors are offering, and how you have shielded yourself against future competition.
In the business world, confidence can only get you so far. Whether you’re presenting to potential investors, clients or customers, following these tips will help your pitch stand above the rest.