The “pitch” is a critical part of any new venture, be it to investors, potential partners or distribution. Getting it right is critical to the success of any venture.
Many people make the mistake of pitching by themselves. Pitches are better conducted in pairs. You can show teamwork and solidarity just in the pitch. How you work together also shows how good a team you are and allows different strengths to come to the fore. Ideally one can be the charismatic story teller and one the solid financial and planning person. This gives your audience a chance to get carried away on the brand’s journey and value proposition, but can also reassure themselves that there is a solid well managed and deliverable plan behind it. It also means one person doesn’t have to remember everything and the second can also interject if necessary.
Have supporting material but don’t rely on it – use it to annotate your conversation but not dictate it. Your audience should focus on you not a screen. Investor’s buy in to great people with great ideas, that they believe can be achieved.
Remember to have a start, middle and end. Think of it as a journey from what inspired you / the market gap, through what makes your idea unique, your team, through to your business plan (financials and timing). Make sure you close gain a clear statement of support and clear way forward. Do not be afraid to ask if they are interested and agree a clear next step. Finally always follow up.
Success of a pitch is measured in two ways:
1. Have you created a brand advocate
2. Have you got agreement to continue negotiations
Occasionally you even get a “YES” at the first meeting.