Capturing the attention of your target market is one of your most important and immediate goals as a startup. Getting these individuals into your sales funnel, nurturing them as leads, and converting them into customers is what will help you scale, and an effective pitch is the best method to pique their interest in the product/service that you offer.
What is Pitching?
Pitching is a sales technique that includes verbal and written presentations designed to persuade potential customers to action. In your case, pitching is more about convincing people to support your startup or, more importantly, get them to patronize what you offer. Generally, a great pitch consists of two carefully planned strategies.
Your verbal presentation contains several main points you want to convey in your pitch. A popular opening spiel consists of listing down the problems that your product/service addresses. How your product benefits the consumer and why they should choose it over other brands is also essential in the verbal presentation.
There are several golden rules to follow in terms of delivery. Confidence and body language are crucial, so much that bad posture can lead to an alienated crowd. Another golden rule is incorporating a gripping story into your verbal presentation, since good storytelling activates neurochemical signals in the brain.
While you have the liberty to craft your verbal presentation any way you like, experts recommend the elevator pitch to instantly grab your target audience’s attention without losing it halfway through your discussion. An elevator-style pitch is extremely concise, usually starting with an explanation of a problem and ending with a solution. Overall, an elevator pitch should be:
- Easy to understand
- Inclusive of the value of your product/service
Elevator pitches are brief, so ensure that you can summarize it into three short parts. Generally, elevator pitches should sound like this:
- Do you know… (intro to the problem)
- What I/we do… (explain what you offer)
- So that… (conclude with how your service addresses the problem)
Acting as the core of your presentation, the pitch deck is a supplement to your verbal presentation that lists down a more comprehensive view of everything you’ve said and are about to discuss. Again, you have the freedom to customize how your pitch deck will look, but there is a universally accepted template for effective pitch decks:
- Title Slide- company name, your name and position, address, email, and phone #
- Problem/Opportunity- customer’s problem
- Value Proposition- problem/solution fit through your product/service
- Underlying Magic- your technology, systems, “secret sauce,” etc.
- Business Model- cash flow, proof of scalability
- Go-to-Market Plan- ways how people can find you
- Competitive Analysis- a snapshot of your competition plus three reasons why you’re better than them
- Management Team- your internal team, board of investors, and advisory board
- Financials/Metrics- income statement
- Now, Then, and What- current status, traction, plans, what you need
You don’t need to have a natural talent for pitching, in fact, the best pitches are those that that have been plotted out and refined over months and months of research and lead profiling. Remember these tips and when pitch day comes, you’ll have the material to win over your audience.
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