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How to create the perfect pitch
Written by Johnny Beirne
As business owners we have to tell people what we do on a regular basis, at the network meeting, at the sales meeting and maybe even an investor meeting. But are we doing it properly, have we got the perfect business pitch?
Here are some tips I have picked up over the last few years and really had to put them into practice when pitching to investors in Silicon Valley. There are some great resources online on this topic and the points below are more for pitches “introducing your business” as opposed to raising investment.
How long should your pitch be?
Depends on how long you have but 30 seconds should be enough to at least get people’s attention.
In a business networking scenario that may be all the time you have to make an impression but should be enough to get a conversation going. It should also be enough information to plant with the person to whom you are speaking that they can refer business your way should a need arise.
Avoid technical jargon.
When we first launched TEXT A TRACK, I used to tell people we sold music using premium rate reverse billing SMS. Now our pitch is:
We allow recording artists to sell music via text message removing the need for their fans to have a credit card. This usually gets people’s attention.
Of course if you are going into a Dragons’ Den scenario you will have more time but you still need to be clinical in the explanation and delivery.
Define the problem.
Our first attempt with TEXTATRACK was too technical and we talked more about the solution more than the problem. You should always outline the problem and then how your product/service provides the solution.
It can be useful to include a household name that your audience would know e.g. TEXTATRACK is iTunes without the credit card.
Follow with additional interesting stats
Our service has x number of users, we have sold y and have orders from z. Include the size of the market outlining potential growth but do not say the market is worth €1 billion and if you get 1% of that you will turnover €10 million.
Sell painkillers not vitamins.
While vitamins can be good for you, painkillers really solve a problem. Focus on solving the problem and not the “nice to have”.
Describe the solution.
Once you have defined the problem, clearly and quickly follow up with your solution