When you have put in all the hard work and passion into creating a unique product or a service, the next big step is to pitch your idea to the investors to obtain funding. Given that 99 percent of startups fail because of budgetary reasons, getting the right financial backing is extremely crucial for your business venture.
Making a great investment pitch may not be easy, but with these tips, you can work towards nailing your presentation and eventually, your business success.
Tips to make a great investment pitch
Get the basics right: Before getting to the actual pitching, it is important to understand what would qualify as a compelling pitch. While facts or figures are crucial, they should not be the only focus. In less than 90 seconds, making a persuasive, confident, and authoritative presentation is key to grabbing your investor’s attention. When your pitch succeeds in exciting the investors, you have won half the battle.
So, what goes into making a great pitch?
- It should strike the right balance between emotional and business needs. Whether pitching to a potential partner, investor, a company or a group, a good pitch is one that resonates with their emotional and business needs.
- A successful pitch is also succinct. With less than 90 minutes to grab the target audience’s attention, getting your point across without missing out on important details is critical.
- A great pitch is also an engaging story! Story-telling skills are important to keep your audience engaged in the narrative.
- Focusing on benefits and value creation is key to onboarding your investors. Instead of focusing on features or cost, center your pitch on value creation.
Know your audience: Research your audience to know more about their interests, motivations, and needs. If you understand what motivates your investor, you will be able to tailor your pitch that is aligned with their emotional needs. While you understand them on a deeper level, also think about what challenges they face and what solutions they are looking for. If you can authentically empathize with your audience’s problems, your credibility can go up by several notches apart from making you likable. People always act on emotion first and then justify their actions with reason, and being likable is important to appeal to their emotions.
Equip yourself with the resources and tools: Preparation is key to nailing your pitch. To make a great pitch, equip yourself with the right tools and resources. These can include:
Stunning presentation: Non-verbal, visual cues constitute 65 percent of communication. This is why focusing on great visuals while making your presentation is critical. While PowerPoint presentation is the traditional pitch-deck, you can use modern tools to create a professional, stunning presentation with curated templates. Use a combination of charts, images, icons, gifs or videos to make your presentation truly memorable.
Mock-up, samples or demos: According to behavioral psychology, giving the audience an “ownership experience” is the most powerful way to win them over. You can use design prototypes using online tools to showcase your products or hold an actual demonstration if possible. If the physical product is not yet available, you can consult a professional designer to render a 3-dimensional visual representation of your product.
Showcase great testimonials: If you already have customers or have tried out your service or product on some customers, obtain their testimonials through an online survey or a personal phone call.
Ask them to provide details on:
- Name and title
- What problem your product or service solved for them
- The favorite features of your service or product
- Whether they are willing to recommend your product or service to others
Having real customers talk about their experience of using your product or service helps provide critical social proof to your investors that your idea or concept has a tangible market.
Explainer or demo videos are also a great option if you cannot bring a physical product. An entertaining, visually stunning, and informative video can work wonders. Statistics show videos have the greatest recall and retention rates as compared to text.
Live action production or a simple screen recording can be effective in showing how your product or service can solve the challenges faced in the real world.
Create a winning pitch-deck: Many factors need to be considered before putting up your pitch-deck, including the number of slides, order, font size, color, and format. While it is important to tailor your pitch-deck to your target audience, here are some crucial elements of a presentation:
- Executive summary
- Statement of the problem
- Value proposition or solution
- Market validation
- Description of product or service
- Business model
- Competitive advantage
- About the founders/founding team
- Goals or milestones
- Funding or financials
While all of these are critical, beginning with a great intro is the key to holding your audience’s interest. Your story-telling begins with the statement of the problem where you establish the existence of a real problem with the use of relevant evidence, facts or figures.
Use four to five bullet points or a simple chart to get directly to the point; then move onto the solution your product or service provides by listing three to four key features or benefits. Describe the market and what share of the market you hope to capture by quoting relevant statistics.
Highlight your USPs: Your investors need to know what makes your service or product different from the rest in the market and why they should invest in you.
Channel all your passion and confidence to explain why your product or service is the ideal solution by addressing these points:
- Competitors: Acknowledge your competitors; describe what they do and what strategies or unique features make your offerings better than theirs.
- Proprietary technology: Explain briefly if you have proprietary technology, IP, innovations or other unique advantages that truly differentiate your product or service.
- Marketing plan: Outline the marketing strategies and long-term plans to acquire customers.
Ask for what you need: Clearly and briefly, highlight what it is that you need from your audience, whether it is investment or partnership. This is the most crucial part because it is the very reason why you are making the presentation in the first place. While many people lose momentum by leaving this section out, asking for what you are looking for will help your investors make informed decisions.