Many times the entrepreneur will be required to pitch their business models to interested parties. Whether this might be raising finance or negotiating with potential clients, the pitch is important to any business. Frequently too, when making your pitch your pitch you will be operating under time constraints. This could be a speed networking event or elevator pitch or an ad hoc meeting with a potential client. So how do you construct a pitch that will grab your listener’s attention and get your message across? Follow these 5 key steps for the perfect pitch if you want to win your client or potential investor over…
Obviously, the very first thing you need to do is to introduce yourself and the name of your company. If you are pitching to a single person be sure and look them in the eyes. If you are pitching to a room make sure that you look around the room and try to make eye contact with as many people as possible.
The opening statement should be powerful and attention-grabbing. For example if your company makes widgets and grommets you may begin your pitch with…
“My name is Marvin Marvellous and my company the Widget & Grommet manufacturing company make the strongest, most cost-efficient widgets and grommets in the Midlands.”
Make sure that your listeners know who you are, what your product or service is and why you believe it is special in your opening statement.
It is important to identify what problem the person or people may have that your company can help them with. If you are a plumber, for example, you may want to highlight a blocked drain or a leaky faucet. Whereas for an accountant it may be VAT or tax returns that cause your clients headaches. Try to find their ‘pain points’ and you will immediately grab their attention.
Once you have identified the problem you need to offer them a solution. The best way to do this is by using real-life examples. By highlighting an actual scenario where you were able to help a customer you will give your audience a definite point of reference. They are then able to see themselves in the position of the customer.
As an example, the plumber may reference a time when he unblocked the drains of an elderly couple whose garden was flooded. He may say that he did this in under 30 minutes by using specialist suction equipment which reduces the time it takes to unblock drains by half. The accountant may speak about a time he secured a local restaurant thousands of pounds in VAT rebates because they bought necessary computer equipment for their business.
Tell them about your mission. Why does your business exist? What is it that you do better than your competitors. Try to tell your audience why your business or service is unique and why you started your business. Maybe you became a professional football coach because a local under 12 team were looking for facilities and training to improve their position in the league. Your mission was to guide them into becoming professional sportsmen and women.
Perhaps you started your photography business because a friend asked you to take photos at her wedding. Your mission may be to give young couples lasting memories that they will treasure forever.
Always close your pitch with a brief summary of yourself your business and how you are different from the competition. Just like a good story, a pitch should always have a beginning, a middle and an end.
Do not be afraid to ask the listener for feedback. If you are speaking to a client ask for their business. If you are pitching to an investor ask them if your business is something they would consider getting involved with.
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