It’s that time – you have to pitch in front of a prospective investor, convince them and get the necessary funds for your startup. This can be a great experience or your worst nightmare. Everything depends on how you prepare for it.
Let’s take a look at the points that can make the venture easier for a new entrepreneur.
5 Tips to Pitch Investors
Do Your Homework
The investor you face may have a minuscule knowledge about your field of work or they may be an expert. Whichever category of financiers you face, they expect you to have knowledge of every aspect of the business.
Typically, an investor looks for pitches to convey answer to basic questions:
- What problem do you solve?
- Who are you?
- What have you done until now?
- How do you plan to make money?
- How can the investor help?
If your startup is about selling computer applications and you have no knowledge about the information technology industry or don’t have a business plan, an investor may not feel confident about putting their money on you.
You need to have mastery over all details about your business, your industry, your competitors, your budget and your objectives. If you fail to provide a definitive answer, an investor may not be impressed with your pitch.
Memorize Specific Details
An incompetent entrepreneur says that their business can generate savings for customers. A competent entrepreneur says that their business can generate savings worth $100 for customers.
The easiest way to distinguish a good pitch from a bad one is the way you make it. If you are vague, investors may not think of you as an ideal candidate to invest their money in.
Definitive answers always work best. Be prepared with facts and figures. Whether an investor knows all or nothing about the field, they will be impressed if you have clear-cut points and explicit answers.
Have a Story
Your pitch before an investor is not about rattling off key statistics. Almost all entrepreneurs can memorize and deliver a speech. The problem is – it will fall flat and fail to impress anyone if it’s not connected to you.
A pitch is only a good one if you can relate to it. This becomes possible if it is associated with your life. If you are impersonal about the endeavor, chances are high that the investor will be able to sense your lack of interest.
An investor is not automated. He/she is human. Like every human being, he/she will be more interested in your ideas and knowledge. He/she will only feel enthused about your business concept if you yourself are excited about it.
A simple trick – practice your presentation in advance. If possible, record it. This will help you evaluate your presentation and modify it to make it attractive.
Hone Your Communication Skills
On the personal front, you may have excellent communication skills. However, you need to make sure that your business communication skills are also appropriately perfected before you make the pitch.
Many times, an entrepreneur fails to make an impression on an investor because he/she tries too hard. If you are too formal or too serious, or perhaps too much of a flatterer, things may not turn out the way you wish.
Pay attention to what you say. Pay attention to what the investors ask. Be respectful. Be friendly. The prospective investors you face today may become the solid foundation for your business tomorrow. Treat them the way you would like to be treated by business associates.
Be Open to Feedback
A know-it-all attitude conveys the wrong message to an investor. When you are a new entrepreneur on the lookout for startup funds, you cannot afford to send such a message out.
Keep in mind, every entrepreneur learns throughout their journey from a startup to an established business. Your pitch to impress investors may be very good; however, there is always the opportunity for improvement.
If an investor asks something you don’t understand, politely ask them to explain the question. If they have something to say about your pitch, listen to them carefully. You may learn a lot from experienced investors but only if you have the right attitude.
An investor is human. You can create and nurture a good business relationship with them if you have the right approach. Remain coachable as it will ensure that you continue to learn new things about your area of business from these pros.
The key to success is to be prepared and be yourself.
If you have a mentor, practice your pitch before him/her. You may also get help from a career coach. If you know someone who has pitched in front of investors successfully, ask them for a review of your pitch.
Business Pitch Photo via Shutterstock