For many teams, pitching for a new business is a make-or-break moment.
Entrepreneur Bernhard Burgener says that a well-planned pitch promotes your ideas even if you are not a natural salesperson.
In this article you’ll find out how to make an impression with these easy-to-follow pitch tips.
To begin with, what is a business pitch?
A business pitch is a business plan you present to potential investors to secure funding. To help investors make the right decisions, you need to explain your business in a pitch.
When delivering a business pitch, you should use diagrams and visuals to make your audience more interested and attentive. For instance, you can create an impressive pitch deck using a starter template.
Create a unique presentation using a well-designed mind map to present your business idea. Simply put your idea in the center of the map and arrange related subtopics around that idea.
This can help to fully illustrate your plan and ensure potential investors understand your goals.
The types of business pitches, according to Bernhard Burgener
The elevator pitch
An elevator pitch is a brief speech about your business or brand. The pitch should be brief enough for an elevator ride, hence the name.
Elevator pitches tell people why you do what you do rather than just what you do. That puts you in a better position to make sales.
Elevator pitches need to meet the following criteria:
- It must be brief (no more than 1 minute).
- Clear and compelling (induces greed).
- Irrefutable (statements you make are difficult to deny).
Short form pitch
Investors who like your elevator pitch may invite you for a short form pitch to learn more about your company.
A short form pitch should last between 5 and 10 minutes and include some basic information about your company. You will describe the problem you are solving and your developed solution.
Additionally, you will discuss your team members, your market, your competition, some financial highlights, your goals, and your founders.
If an investor is excited about your product, they may invite you to a long-form pitch. Investors need all the information about your company to invest in you, and the long-form pitch provides that information.
Whenever you use slides for the long-form pitch, follow Guy Kawasaki’s 30/20/10 rule. Fonts should not be smaller than 30 points, pitches shouldn’t exceed 20 minutes, and slides shouldn’t exceed ten slides.
This forces you to be clear and concise about the main ideas of your company. You want to pitch your venture so that the investors will get your point and want to learn more.
You have a good chance of not getting an early no if you make all your pitches clear, concise, and irrefutable!
Bernhard Burgener’s structure of a successful business pitch
Relate to their concerns
When you start a pitch, your investor’s first thought is: Why should I care? Describe a problem your prospect faces to start addressing this issue.
It is likely that your product solves many different problems if you sell a complex product. Focus on the big, overarching problem your product solves.
“Nevertheless, specificity is essential”, says Burgener, Chairman of Highlight Communications. Overselling is not an option if the problem is too broad.
Find a concise way to describe the problem. You can make your description more personal if you find a way to do so.
Provide a solution
The next step is to explain how your product solves their problem. Your solution explanation needs to match your description of the problem closely.
Ensure you don’t divert your attention to another issue or go off a tangent about an additional product feature. Focus on what your product does and how it benefits users. In just a few sentences, you should be able to summarize this part of your pitch.
Avoid filling up your description with empty adjectives like “innovative.” Instead, describe what your product does. Is it timesaving or does it provide useful information?
Consult your company’s website and marketing materials to help with this part of the pitch.
Bernhard Burgener shows how to persuade your audience with your business pitch
Describe what makes the product unique
The opening of your pitch should convince the prospect that your product can solve a problem they’re experiencing. However, prospects still have a big question: Why should I choose your product over another?
You might have a tough time determining whether a market is over-saturated. So, make sure your brand messaging distinguishes your product.
The experience of customers who switched from your competitor’s product to yours can also be helpful. What made them switch? How does your product differ from other options?
In a few sentences, you can summarize this part of your pitch. While alluding to your competitors is okay, it is usually not necessary to mention them directly.
Personalize the message
Once you have clarified the value of your product, you can show that you’ve done your research. You can earn major points by acknowledging a prospect’s unique circumstances.
Before engaging in a pitch, spend at least a half hour researching the prospect and their company.
It is easier to introduce yourself if you have any relevant information, like a contact or alums in common.
A brief description of the company’s current business status or client profile will help establish your credibility.
Craft a compelling call to action
Despite how good your elevator pitch is, it is useless without a clear and engaging call to action.
It is now time to schedule a meeting. Consider asking for a phone call if you sense the prospect might not be ready for such a commitment.
A call-to-action needs to be direct. You should ask, “Can we meet sometime next week?” rather than “Can we meet sometime next week?”
Ask the prospect a direct question and avoid vague phrases. “Let’s talk later” does not give the prospect a chance to truly opt-in to future contact.
Burgener sums up that delivering an effective business pitch can be challenging. It may take several tries before you find one that works.
Therefore, experiment with variations, ask for feedback, and practice. It will be worth your while in the end if you can find the pitch that works for you.