When it comes to seizing interest — and ultimately funding — for your unique product or service, thoroughly preparing the pitch is key to avoiding pitfalls and possible rejection. The problem is, such a delivery may not come natural to many entrepreneurs, who understandably spend the majority of their time and passion perfecting their product.
That may explain why such a high number of pitches fall flat and never receive that all-important infusion of investment dollars. It’s true with the hit show Shark Tank, where just 1 percent of 50,000 potential deals received funding.
But there are tried and true methods one can follow that will make any pitch exponentially more appealing. It starts with:
- The Tease: This is all about demonstrating a problem or need in a market and setting the hook with how your product will fix it. Showmanship here can be a plus.
- The Please. The key here is to outline both the features and benefits of your product and to reveal, if possible, the “magical transformation” it will have on the marketplace. Wowing investors early can pay off later.
- Demonstration. If you can physically showcase your product and all of its functions, this is the time! Take an infomercial-style approach and don’t be afraid to impress with the classic hook: “But wait…there’s more!”
- Testimonials and Research. Third-party testimonials, especially from a mix of consumers and experts, can be a powerful tool before cynical investors. Include them. Be sure also to provide data, facts, figures and statistics to show you’ve done your due diligence researching your product, industry and target market.
- Team and Spending Plan. Be prepared to articulate how your product or service will scale by identifying a complete team. That ranges from a board of directors to operations, legal, accounting, customer support and more. Don’t forget to give specifics about why you need the funding and where the investment dollars will be going.
- Marketing Plan. It’s crucial that you demonstrate how you can realistically build buzz and get your product into the world with an ability to withstand unforeseen market swings.
- Seize the Money. You’ve made the perfect pitch. Now bank the money!
Since investors entertain thousands of pitches every year — sometimes from competitors with similar offerings — yours must check every box and carve a singular spot in an investor’s mind. One final trick is to consider adding an “accelerated payback” proposal in the pitch. That way, they can get the return on their money even sooner.
It can seal the deal with the most skeptical shark.