Your investor pitch is the single most important thing that will elevate your startup to the next level in no time and bring in the fund it deserves. It is the pitch that can make or break your prospects of getting an investor. As a rule of thumb, out of every 1000 pitches that an investor listens to, he/she is likely to invest in around 100, out of which though, only 10 make it big. Hence, it is a tough game and if you want to beat your opponent and win the game, your pitch has to be pitch-perfect, to say the least.To be a successful entrepreneur you have to have certain skill sets. Besides, your product has to be good, has to fulfil customer specific needs, address the problem etc. Many entrepreneurs often tick the right boxes with regards to the aforesaid, but they fall short when it comes to selling their vision to the investor. Your idea may be the next big thing since the invention of the wheel but it still may not see the light of the day. So what can entrepreneurs do to successfully sell an idea? There are some basic elements to keep in mind while pitching to your investor.
TIMING IT RIGHT
It is always better if you make a crisp, shorter pitch to investors. If you get X mins for your pitch, you should take 5 mins less. Start with the most vital information about your business. Try to grab their attention within the first 5 mins and “WOW” them straight away.
LET PASSION DRIVE YOU
Pitching to investors is all about developing a bond or connection with the investors on an emotional ride. Let them see your drive and passion. Your passion for your business will differentiate you in their minds and hearts.
BE READY TO DEAL WITH TOUGH QUESTIONS
Don’t think of objections, pushbacks, and questions as something negative. It shows that investors are critically thinking about your offering. You can anticipate and analyze the key questions in advance and try answering them in your presentation.
REHEARSE REHEARSE REHEARSE!Preparation is key to any investor pitch. Do the complete dry run through as many times as you can with your colleagues, your friends or even your spouse to smoothen the information flow and to be as concise as possible. But there is more to practice than just rehearsing your lines. Your physical posture, who is setting up your technology, how the room etc. is going to be is all a part of the prep.
BE AT YOUR BEST
Its understood that you have spent a lot of time reading, researching and preparing your pitch. Is your stomach growling in a pin drop silence situation, do you look tired? Taking good care of yourself is important. So have enough sleep before the presentation, eat well, drink plenty of water to keep yourself energized and hydrated during your presentation.
ASK LOUD AND CLEAR
Lastly, you have to be clear to ask what you want. Is it an investment funding or are you looking at a partnership? Your choice will decide the future roadmap for the business idea and you and your investor’s role in unfolding it. It is recommended to have a clarity of vision and expressing it eloquently to the prospective investor.Everyone advises you to “stand out” in pitching to investors. It’s understood that you should make a memorable impression. At the end of the day, investors should rather remember you for your amazing business idea and not for any gimmicks. I will, therefore, share with you what are common mistakes entrepreneurs make while pitching to investors and hence what you should avoid when you meet your investors.
COMMON MISTAKES WHILE PITCHING TO AN INVESTOR
Entrepreneurs might sound a tad arrogant when they start dropping names to investors. For eg. “We are also in touch with ‘X’ firm and they seem quite impressed.”
ONLY THE CEO SPEAKS
A good team is what everyone looks for when they consider funding a company. So when only the CEO speaks at a team meeting, it fails to display the team’s strength. It would then be difficult for the investor to gauge how good the team is.
ASKING FOR A NON DISCLOSURE AGREEMENT
n entrepreneur is always convinced that his/her idea makes perfect business sense and will bring in a lot of revenue. This belief also spawns fear that an unscrupulous investor can steal their idea. They, therefore, often propose an NDA for the investor. Yet for most investors, NDA is a non-starter. Besides, there is a likelihood that they may have seen the same idea before or may see it many more times again.
A pitch is to sell your idea to the investor. You have to show them you are worth every penny and their valuable time as well as come across as passionate, ambitious, and savvy. It is quite a task in such a short span of time, and given the financial pressure, entrepreneurs often oversell and exaggerate. Investors are well experienced and understand when you are trying to oversell it. So, it’s very important to relax, stick to the script and answer all the questions honestly.
Finally the most important and crucial part – meeting with the wrong investors. It is often an underrated mistake when an entrepreneur does not do a proper research and ends up meeting a wrong investor who is not suited to their business needs. Find out all about the investor you apply to and ensure that their objectives are in alignment with your business goals.We hope that all these tips turn out to be handy when you pitch to prospective investors in future. You can go through our other blog on Smart Funding your business which will take you through all the key steps in making an investor pitch deck. You can also visit www.pitttch.com for our services in making the perfect presentation for your upcoming pitch to investors.