You already have a business plan. All you need to do is pitch it to some investors and convince them to invest in your business.
That looks so easy in writing, but everyone who had been through this process will tell you how unpleasant the feeling was – it’s like walking through a gauntlet. Your business plan is not the only thing undergoing some scrutiny here but your capability as well. How well you deliver your pitch will reflect that capability.
A winning business pitch does not just happen. It is the product of many elements which we are going to lay down in this article. But before we get down to the juice, let’s lay down some strong foundations.
A strong building has basically four strong pillars to hold everything together. The same goes for a winning business pitch. It should have:
Sure, you are talking to prospects but it does not necessarily mean that you have to use all the jargon to impress them. On the contrary, speaking in a language, your customers can understand well will give you a better fighting chance.
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If you can convince your prospect within the first 8 minutes of your pitch, you have captured the rest of his attention. Thus, you have to focus on being understood than persuading your listener.
Passion is the element that will make your business pitch memorable, unique, and convincing. Your listeners will be able to sense through your pitch whether you are sold to the idea you’re selling to them or not. Don’t hold back because it could be what will make or break your pitch.
4. A lot of practice
No matter how passionate you are or how well-written your pitch is but you haven’t practiced it, then it is nothing.
With the four pillars in place, you are now ready to build a winning business pitch. Let’s take a closer look at each of them:
1. Your hook should be interesting
Venture capitalist Charlie O’Donnell confessed in his short blog post that, VCs get bored easily and their mind gets continuously distracted making it difficult for them to focus.
He also added that starting the pitch by introducing who you are and trying to convince them how qualified you are is a big no-no. The fact that a VC allowed being your audience means they have already vetted you.
Even if you are pitching to businesses, the same reality applies. Thus, you need to be straight to the point and capture your audience’s attention. As Renee Zellweger’s Dorothy told Tom Cruise’s Jerry, “You had me at hello,” you should create the same impact on your clients.
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2. You need to show them not only your solution but the problem
No matter how good your solution is if you haven’t identified what the problem really is, the solution is nothing. Once you identify that, you have to make sure that your audience understands that there really is a problem. Also, make sure that your audience feels a certain pain so they will seek a remedy.
3. Create a unique solution
It’s not enough that you have a solution. It should be a unique one, something that makes you a cut above the rest. Businesses want to hear that you’re offering something new. Think for a minute, what can your company offer them?
4. Confidence shows credibility
Confidence makes a lot of difference in whatever you’re doing. Your confidence reflects your capability and how much you believe in your product.
Look your audience in the eye when you deliver your pitch, and answer them with as much clarity in your voice as possible. Even when you faced tough questions, do not wave them off but discuss them. It could be your only chance to answer those kinds of questions.
Lastly, don’t forget to show your audience the results. Build your credibility further by showing them positive results as well as your determination to get the job done.
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The manner you present your pitch will leave an impression -positive, negative, neutral – on your audience. What matters most is that you present your pitch with genuineness, clarity, and confidence. All of this can be done through a compelling story and by listening to your audience as well.