It All Comes Down to Less Than
Your Pitch Day has arrived. You worked so much and so hard on your pitch, that you are absolutely sure you cannot fail; the investors you pitch before are bound to throw all the money they have available at you.
Are they, really?
What you say, how you say it and even what you do not say matters when you are face to face with an investor.
It takes no more than a minute for someone to decide whether they like you, they can trust you, and whether they are interested in what you say.
Grabbing an investor’s attention has as much to do with your ability to perform and come across as compelling, as it does with what you are actually saying. Below are some key points you should always keep at the front of your mind:
- Respect – how polite are you, and how well mannered are you during your interaction with them? Forgetting something as basic as a greeting or introducing yourself, including thanking them for their time and attention, are deal breakers.
- Appearance – while fashion is always changing and hair colours, body piercings and tattoos have entered mainstream fashion, food between your teeth or stained/creased clothing have not.
- Language – straight talking and honesty are highly recommended when pitching. Invectives (swear words), non-gender-neutral references and similar bad manners can make all the wrong impression.
- Attitude – irrespective of whether your pitch is in person or online, watch your body language and gestures. Scratching your armpits, laughing excessively, lifting your trousers, or pulling out your bra straps are, of course, frowned upon.
- Listening – too many start-ups hear, yet very few listen. Providing the answer to the question you have been asked is not as easy as it may sound. While you may have rehearsed your pitch a million times, the investors’ questions, and your answers to these, take precedence over any pre-learnt script.
- Observation – watch the mood changes of the investors; pay attention to their body language and to how focused they are on what you say. If they lose interest, you lost them.
- Content – if you have a product/demo, bring it with you and show it to them. If you do not, the amount of work you need put in your pitch increases dramatically. Explain what it does and why you have created it. Emphasise what makes your product special, why anyone would buy it/use it, and how it is different to that of your competition. Tell them how you make money, how quickly you can make them money, and what you want from them – remember to mention how much equity you are willing to offer for their investment. This is just a small part of your ‘must have’ content.
- Involvement – get them involved; ask them for their feedback and advice. Ask if you can follow up with them. Make them feel they matter.
If you are unsure where you stand right now, or if you seek clarity on your path to scale or go-to-market, perhaps you need to consider joining our start-up Business Configurator because, in a world where most investors’ attention span is no longer than three seconds (trust us on this!!!), you do need to stand out, don’t you?
We can offer you clear and tangible solutions to all these pinch points and more. And, as a plus, we are solely dedicated to sustainable start-ups. We can help you configure your start-up for both profit and purpose and, after 12 weeks of intensive business coaching, mentoring, dry-pitching, and networking with industry experts, angel investors, venture capitalists and other start-ups in our community, you will see the real difference we can make to your business: we optimise it to be investment-ready.
Join our Configurator to develop your product/service and be confident about what it can deliver to your customer base. Apply now.