How to Up Your Pitching Game

Pitching requires a compelling mix of patience, vision, and clarity. But there is no one right pitch when it comes to getting investor attention. You can deliver different types of pitches by repackaging information. Let’s understand some ways to pique investor curiosity.

Elevator Pitch

This is the pitch you would deliver if you found yourself in an elevator with an investor. The idea is to keep it short yet interesting. The standard formula for successfully elevator pitching is:

 The Problem: All great companies start out by solving a pain point. The more accurately you can describe the problem, the more valuable your product as a solution becomes. For instance, renting DVDs out is a pain- movie buffs feel it wastes time and money.

 The Solution: After articulating the problem, explain how your product is the perfect solution to it. For instance, video streaming websites offer customers a huge array of movies delivered right at their doorstep.

 Market Size: This relates the demand for your product- how many people will buy it. It indicates how much you can scale your idea and how much investors can gain by investing in you.

The goal of the elevator pitch is to putting across as much important information in the smallest number of words and capture the listener’s interest.

Email Pitch

Introductions to investors usually happen over email. This means your email pitch should be interesting. It is the first step towards getting an in-person meeting. Its key elements are:

 Subject Line: Investors see loads of emails every day, so start with a compelling subject line. The generic “Investment Opportunity” is a guaranteed ticket to the trash can.

 Personal Touch: Customised emails work wonders. Try addressing the investor by their name, find common ground and make a reference to it, or look for a direct connection. This could be similar educational background, professional history etc.

 Elevator Pitch: This is the soul of your email, so get it to it as soon as you can. Keep the elevator pitch concise and streamlined. The goal is to deliver maximum information in minimum words.

 Conclusion: The conclusion is where you communicate your fundraising goals, stage, and other information. This is also where you request the investor for an in-person meeting.

In-Person Pitch

This is the culmination of a long journey every entrepreneur embarks on- the in-person pitch. But a meeting with an investor is hardly the end. Following are some tips to help you cross the last frontier:

 Be concise: Investors have a lot on their plate at any time. To capture their short attention spans, keep your presentation under half an hour– concise yet informative.

 Be transparent: Investors hate it when they get a whiff of secrets. It is your prerogative to be open about the risks involved, weaknesses in the business etc. But don’t stop with a fair warning. Have a plan to tackle issues.

 Be confident: In the early stages of a business, a pitch sells not just the startup but also the owner. The more confident you are in your venture, the more confidence you can inspire in investors.

 Chart out an exit strategy: The ultimate goal of an investment is returns and that is the only way investors look at it. So don’t forget to include a clear exit plan in your presentation. Tell them what they can expect from this investment – interest, profits from sale or an IPO.

Pitching your company is all about patience and practice. With each failed pitch you make, your chances of a successful one increase. So keep trying till you emerge a winner.