If you want to attract funding from an investor, impress new clients or motivate a new employee, knowing how to create a perfect business pitch that grabs the attention of an audience is an essential skill in business.
Over the years, I’ve witnessed more than 100 business pitches all across the country. And based on my experience from these pitches, here are some business pitch tips that will help you impress potential investors and find the right fit for your business.
1. Research your audience
Who will you be pitching to? What interest them? What businesses or companies have they invested in before? These are the basic information you need to research ahead of time before going in for a business pitch.
Making this effort will not only ensure you know who your audience is but give you an understanding of why they might want to spend money on you. Also, resist the temptation to cold call potential investors. Reach out to your existing network and try to get a personal introduction.
2. Create a perfect pitch deck
A pitch deck is a great way for an investor or potential customer to quickly size up your business. If you’re raising money for your business, having an impressive pitch deck is a key component in your fundraising toolkit. A great pitch deck gets potential investors excited about your idea and engages them in a conversation about your business.
Creating a pitch deck is hard, especially when you’ve never done it before. It is important to keep your pitch deck as short as possible (not more than 10 slide pages). Also include enough infographics (a picture speaks louder than a thousand words) with the use of the right colours, contrast, and whitespaces.
3. Create credibility
Are you reliable, honest, sincere? Your credibility as a business founder is so critical if you want to impress an audience. If the audience doesn’t find you credible, it might be difficult to convince such an audience to do business with you.
You may not be an MBA student. You’ve probably not gained enough relevant work experience. How can your audience trust you enough to do business with you? You need to find some way to create credibility. Run tests, conduct a study, do press outreach, ask for testimonials. Do anything you can to convince me that you’re not the only one who believes in your business idea.
4. Build an understanding rapport
After you create credibility, it’s important to build some understanding and rapport. You need to show that you understand who the customer is and why they need your product or service. The easiest way to achieve this is by asking questions.
An effective business pitch needs to be a two-way exchange. You can’t just talk your way through the entire conversation. Always ask questions that confirm that your audience understands what you are talking about.
5. Focus on the problem, not the product
Most business founders are so focused on selling the awesome features of the product rather than selling the problem the product solves.
In the past, sales and marketing were all about showing off features (“This medicine has 600mg acetaminophen”), then it moved to benefits (“This medicine will make you feel better”), now, it’s evolved to solving problems (“This medicine will remove your headache”).
“Don’t sell life insurance. Sell what life insurance can do. – Ben Feldman”
Most business entrepreneurs think a business pitch needs to be fancy and all about sell sell sell, but it doesn’t. When you’re crafting your next business pitch, remember to apply this five (5) tips.