For several years now I have been speaking to the budding entrepreneurs competing in the Adelaide University eChallenge. The biggest challenge they face when preparing for their pitches is clarity. Most participants try to cram their 20 page business plan into a 5-7 minute pitch with disastrous results!
When you look at the fundamentals of a pitch, they consist of these three components:
Let’s look closer at these three points to help you to achieve pitch perfection and persuasion.
Investors want to know:
- What problem are you solving?
- Is there a market?
- How big is the gap?
This comprises the business opportunity. You may have a brilliant product, but without understanding the market and gap you will not succeed. Steve Jobs predicted that the Segway personal mover would have as great an impact as the PC.
The company forecast that their first year sales would be over 500,000 units. But although technically brilliant, the team misread the market and after seven years the company had only sold 30,000 units. They didn’t research and understand the ‘need’ and their product was not the global success they expected.
When pitching start with the consumer’s wants and needs – if there are no wants and needs you’ll have a hard time selling the opportunity.
This is your product or service. You need to be able to explain clearly how you solve the problem highlighted by the opportunity with persuasion. Focus on the benefits to the consumer, explain how unique your solution is and how you plan to support its longevity in the market. If your product is anything like these, you may want to start again.
Now it’s time to sell you and your team with persuasion. Have you covered all bases? Do you have finance, marketing, sales, strategy and manufacturing experience in your team? If not, you need to be able to explain how you will meet these deficiencies.
The investor is thinking: “Do I know, like and trust this person?” They want to see ‘skin in the game.’ They want to know if you’re fully committed, passionate and driven to succeed, after all, they’re giving you their money!
Showcase you and your team or else they may take the opportunity and your idea and give it to someone else!