If you are an entrepreneur and are starting a business it is difficult to find investors to help. Your idea has to be unique, innovative and a profit for investors to be interested. When pitching to an investor you only have 30 seconds to land a great first impression; this usually includes how you speak, dress, your body language, how motivated you are and your elevator pitch has to be spot on. It is the best tool to get the job done.
If your elevator pitch hasn’t gotten a positive response there are several reasons why it might not be working.
Pitching your idea should not be formal as you are not taking part in an essay contest. You are having a conversation with someone and it should sound like a natural conversation to anyone who is hearing it. It is a good idea to write your pitch on paper so you know exactly what points you want to convey to the listener and when rehearsing you can make changes to it. If you pitch your idea to someone like you are reading it off a document people tend to figure that out right away and can give a negative image.
This tends to happen to someone who hasn’t spent the time to think about what exactly they want to stay. People also tend to ramble on when the content is not organized. You provide detailed responses when you notice there is no interest from the person and your information is not to the point. It is always good to be excited but if that excitement leads to rambling, you’ll sabotage yourself.
We all have heard the phrase that Practice makes perfect. When you practice you basically prepare exactly what you want to say, figure out what tone of voice to use, pace yourself and you eventually learn to avoid the pitfalls that come up during your speech. Studies have been done by organizations that if you practice way too much then people can tell the difference between someone who is speaking genuinely and someone who has rehearsed his lines. This can lead to a decline in sales.
When pitching the business idea to an investor you should always focus on the problem you are trying to solve. Introduce your business as a solution for a specific problem and during the pitch, speak about the problem first. This will engage your audience as they will immediately understand your business concept as they may face the same problem. That’s when you will know if your idea is a success or not.
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Let’s say you’ve introduced the problem and the solution to the investor. Have you introduced the current landscape you operate in? Investors especially want to know what type of people you’re seeking to serve. What type of competition you’re currently facing and what the market research says about your growth potential. These questions are critically important to answer. You need to do your homework up front. Without data to back up your approach, many investors simply won’t take your pitch seriously.
Your elevator pitch also needs an elevator pitch. Even though you reduced your pitch to 30 – 60 seconds many people tend to zone out and stop listening to you as soon as you open your mouth. This first sentence needs to be direct and should grab your listener’s attention immediately. If it doesn’t you may have lost your audience. Make sure you can describe the company within one sentence and cut out the unnecessary content that is included. Once this is done focus majority of your time discussing the core market problem and how to solve it.
Your elevator pitch, like your business, should be flexible enough to evolve over time. Don’t be afraid to make tweaks and changes. If you commit yourself to ongoing self-improvement, eventually you’ll settle on a variation of your pitch that never ceases to grab your audience’s attention.
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