Hints & Tips Blog
Finding the Perfect Pitch
Every business needs finance, and this means finding investors or shareholders who’ll take a chance on your ideas. This is even more important in the charged climate of today’s start-ups. The usual way to find investors is to create a pitch that will sell them on your idea, and you’re going to need something really outstanding to beat the competition and capture investors’ imagination.
The ability to speak convincingly in a boardroom is less important in business than being able to sell your ideas. Whether it’s to a connoisseur or a random passer-by, this skill builds on a detailed knowledge of your business and how to make the most of its selling points. When you’re launching a business, therefore, one of your first initiatives will be learning how to pitch.
We’ve seen all types of pitcher in our role as business consultants, from the slick spin doctor to the fastidious perfectionist. Some charmers could sell ice to Eskimos and melt cold hearts with their charisma alone. The fastidious perfectionist, on the other hand, will plan every pitch down to the last syllable and include even the drawing pins. These are obviously extremes of behaviour, and there are always problems with such a radical approach.
In our experience, we’ve always operated on the principle that “less is more”. Time today is precious, especially in business, and people don’t want to waste it in long and unproductive meetings. You must therefore prioritise what’s going to matter most to your audience. Confine your pitch to those critical points and deliver an informative, punchy and, above all, convincing argument.
Time how long it takes you to reach your office in the lift. Assuming you don’t work on the ground floor, you can use this as a guide for the duration of your pitch. Be ruthless and cut it to a minimum, focusing only on the crucial selling points. Investing time in this will benefit you considerably in the long run: you’ll have developed a useful tool for your everyday business operations, which could come in handy at any time.
Here are a few key pointers for creating a convincing pitch:
- Keep refining your content until it’s succinct and incisive.
- Put yourself on the receiving end of your pitch. You could be a key investor, a supplier or a potential customer. What do you see as the most important message of the pitch? What will this business deliver that you’re not going to get from its competitors?
- Make it clear to the recipient of your pitch what issues you’re going to solve for them.
- People usually aren’t interested in the inner workings of your business, but just want the bottom line. Confine your pitch to showing people what advantages your business can offer them.
Investors are in it for the financial return, so emphasise those aspects of the business that are critical to sales – such as your business values, the efficiency, quality or delivery speed of your services and the competitive price of your product. Once you’ve fixed on what makes your business distinctive, use that as the main focus of your pitch.
Our team at BHP Consulting have all successfully run businesses, and we understand that every business is unique. Our practical approach to supporting our clients enables us to share our real-world experience to positively impact on the performance of your business. To arrange a call or an exploratory face-to-face meeting, please click here