We’ve all seen the British show ‘The Apprentice’ and the other variations of it according to the particular nation. We have seen shows like ‘Dragons Den’ which is another British show done in different nations. On these shows you have entrepreneurs and micro as well as small business owners fighting for their cause trying to win over clients that will give them the funding their need. Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of the pitches fail. Even ideas that are good and people that seem very sound of mind, fall flat and don’t secure what they need. More often than not it’s because their pitch was lacking something. Perhaps in that moment, when you’re meeting people for the first time and trying to persuade them to part with their money and invest in you is one of the few times in the modern world of business, that we are reminded that business is about people. You need so many different things to gel all at once for your pitch to be successful. Here are just a few things you need to tick off your list.
Lock yourself away
Don’t you cringe when you see people who are pitching resort to ‘umm’ and ‘errr’ when they are asked difficult questions? They just stand there, looking lost and the eyes staring back at them don’t go anywhere. The pressure mounts and mounts and when you don’t have an answer, everything else falls apart. It doesn’t matter how good your product is, if you don’t know what kind of volume you are able to produce in the first year of retail. So, you need to lock yourself away. Study every aspect of your product and your business plan. Play the role of the client and ask yourself questions you think they will have waiting for you.
Know every in and out of your product and or service. Think about the business strategy, how long it will be and what kind of success you envisage. What will you do if you don’t achieve the success you thought you would? Consider the marketing aspect in terms of what will your product mean to consumers? What role or hole are your filling in the world? Consider the logistics of how you will make your product, where, when, how and what is the distribution plan? All of these questions need to be answered. You really do need to go over and over the same questions and areas of your ambition to fully be prepared for the questions you will face when pitching to potential investors and clients.
An ability to charm
When an entrepreneur comes into a pitch brash and bold, there’s an instant reaction he or she will get from investors and or clients. They will think that this person is very confident or perhaps they are putting on an act. Sooner or later, this will be found out. Confidence does not equal competency, remember this. It doesn’t matter how confident you are if you are not able to shoot down every missile that is launched at you. Which also means you can’t be too confident because you might look very silly if one of those does land on its mark. You should also not have a lack of belief in yourself.
Body language is the biggest tell of someone who lacks confidence. A person who lacks confidence in a pitch will be looking at the floor a lot, they will be fidgeting with their hands and feet but they will also avoid making eye contact. Even if you are able to make a great pitch that has been rehearsed and deals purely with the facts, your personality will be tested too. A client will want to get into business with someone they will like doing business with. No one wants to enter into a business deal with someone who they can’t stand. Having a lack of confidence is just as off-putting as having misplaced or too much confidence. Be humble but have a strong sense of belief and you will be able to charm those you are pitching to.
Interesting and entertaining visuals
Okay, so you’re not someone who can wow a potential client with your words. If you can make an interesting and entertaining pitch, this can make up for your lack of persuasive conversation. You do this by having an excellent presentation that answers most of the questions in a way that keeps their eyes fixed on it. They are able to absorb key pieces of information without any fuss and can see your idea in a much simpler way. Consider Beautiful.AI’s presentation software because you can in fact make your own templates. This is brilliant for niche ideas and also complex analytical information displaying. You have the ability to design your own template so if you have some part of your idea that is abnormal, you can make it understandable to someone who has never come across your idea.
The other great thing is that A.I. can be used in the forming of visuals in a presentations. For example, if you have a percentage you want to show then you can be given different kinds of units and templates that might be best for it. For example, you’re trying to quickly compare how big company A is to company B but you don’t want to do it using minute details. You can be recommended bubble units that can be placed alongside each other or perhaps a pyramid instead. It also drastically improves the time it takes to make a presentation, so any last minute changes you need to make can be done without fuss. With a unique presentation, you can win over doubters and impress those that might have even been bored initially with your idea. Digestible and easily understandable statistics are happily welcomed in a pitching room that has probably been through hundreds of pitches throughout the week.
Entrepreneurs fail their pitches so often because they really haven’t poked holes in their own ideas and business plans. Lock yourself away from yes men, and put yourself in the shoes of the investor. Make a presentation that can help people understand what your true aims are and the facts to back up your ideas.
*This is a contributed post