In this highly competitive economy, if you are looking out for investors, you should know the knack of selling your commodities and services. This knack of projecting your company is known as pitching. It is all about understanding where your investor’s interests lie. Once you understand, develop a dialog that will help you connect with the heart, head and the gut of an investor.
Many small business owners believe that when they meet a venture capitalist to present their company, venture capitalist would be thinking “Is this company going to make a profit?” Contrary to this belief, venture capitalist would be more interested in finding out whether investing in this company is the next best thing for them. To be a successful entrepreneur, you need to get into the crux of the venture capitalist process. Two things that will win the hearts and minds of an investor include:
- Give a clear and interesting story about your small business. However, remember that the story should be true and easy to repeat. When you tell your story, keep in mind that you have only limited time to project your firm.
- Give a perfect positioning for your company. Your pitch should be such that your company is a perfect fit with other investments that the investor has and will make.
Types of Pitching
Elevator Pitch – This type of pitch supposedly got its name when an entrepreneur discussed business with an investor inside an elevator on the way to the investor’s office. Elevator pitch is known to be the best, most powerful pitch, because you have to give a brief description about you, your company and your products/services. The pitch should encourage the listener to request more information. If you are a good communicator who can evoke interest in the investor, you will surely get an appointment to present your company to the top brass of a venture capitalist firm.
Cocktail Pitch – This type of pitching happens when you meet investors at a cocktail party. Here, you are mixing pleasure with business. As an ambitious entrepreneur, if you are invited to attend a cocktail party, use the opportunity to meet a few potential investors. This is also a great way to make necessary connections that may help win that valuable investment. At a cocktail party, when you meet an investor do, not talk about your firm or your ideas straight away; this can put them off. Instead, start a simple small talk conversation and then slowly and gently drop your idea in the conversation. Remember, pitching is not about selling or sealing a deal, it is all about portraying what your company has to offer.
Tips on Effective Pitching
To be effective in pitching your company, you need to have certain qualities that will persuade your listener. Let’s take a look at them.
Good communication skills – To have a good pitching success rate, you should possess good communication skills which include listening and responding. This in turn will lead to relationship building. When you are making a PowerPoint presentation or conversing with a potential investor at a cocktail party, it is necessary that you emanate a good level of confidence and persuasion.
Remember it is ‘you they buy’- Prepare your pitch well before you meet investors. Be your normal self and play to your strengths. Show positive body language and tone of voice. Your pitch should be crisp and clear. Listen to what your audience has to say about you and your pitch.
Open ended conversation – Establish empathy, this will make the investors open up. Take this opportunity to understand what they are looking for. Always ask open ended questions, this will give them a reason for answering your questions.
You should also know how to handle arguments and disagreement. Remember, you are the one who is in need of an investor. Therefore, if you do not agree with something you need not respond. Silence is a powerful way of disarming argument and showing your displeasure.
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