In November 2020 I posted an article entitled, “How To Make A Perfect Pitch When You Only Have One Shot!“ Since that time, I have been on the receiving end of at least 100 more startup business proposals. What I have learned is that the perfect pitch doesn’t exist.
If at first, you don’t succeed…
There is no such thing as the ‘flawless’ founder. Every business goes through a process of success and failure. As any entrepreneur will attest it takes a lot of work, grit, luck, and perseverance to win in the game of business. Good ideas come from the most unlikely places so remain open to them. Entrepreneurship is a risky business and many fail. not one but several times, before they find ‘the formula that works. Some people are excellent at selling but couldn’t chair a meeting to save their soul. Others, administrative geniuses, but couldn’t sell water in the desert.
Following is some sage advice taken from the hallowed annals of 4M Performance on ‘selling’ your idea to prospective funders/investors.
The Lesson: This is your one chance to grab and hold the attention of an investor. Show them that you are motivated and innovative and that your idea is going to make a ‘difference’ in one way or another.
- Storytelling is essential. You must, however, simplify your story into 5 minutes and that takes work and practice – and you never want to forget what you want to achieve.
- Keep it short and sweet. Get right to the point. Grab your audience in the first 10 seconds.
- Be clear & concise. Make every single word count! Paint pictures in the listener’s mind to help them remember your idea.
- Be authentic. You are not the hero. People want to see the real you and what you propose to accomplish and how you are going to accomplish it.
- Know your audience. The people that have taken their time to indulge your pitch want to help you forge ahead. Make sure you know who they are, their backgrounds, those they have funded previously.
- Test your pitch. Rehearse your pitch in front of friends, colleagues and partners in the venture. Ask them for constructive advice no matter how much it hurts. Reformulate the pitch and practice your delivery. Make certain any visuals/graphics are easily understood, clean, crisp, and original. Recording and playback is highly recommended so that you can listen to yourself and make improvements.
- Don’t script the entire pitch. You’ll need to ad-lib depending upon the questions you’ll be receiving. Be confident and relaxed.
- Get the timing right. I think it best to pitch mid-week in the morning. That’s because people are catching up on Mondays and they’re distracted about upcoming weekend events on Fridays. Pitches in the afternoon are tough as everyone is a bit lethargic after lunch.
- Repetition is not bad. You know what you have to get across to gain the confidence of the investors. Make sure that message is conveyed and repeated so that it sinks in.
Follow these suggestions and you’ll greatly improve your chances of getting your funding or at worst getting a second chance to present your idea to the rest of the angels in a particular group.