You can engage anyone at any time with a vivid and interesting story about your business. You have all the critical numbers at your fingertips that are relevant to the audience, and can be succinct and inspiring. Your passion and accomplishments are evident. You are the authority, and know more about your business, industry, and product than anyone else on the planet.
- Great pitchers consider who they're pitching to. It is a bit of a game, but the more you know about the person on the end of the side, the better your pitch will be. Having a level of empathy and understanding. Who are they, what are their aspirations, why are they sitting there at all? Of the hundreds and hundreds of pitches I've seen, one that really stands out was when Scotty walked into the tank and he literally said, "I was standing at the clothesline "trying to work out how to hang up "my wife's little black dress, "so it didn't blow away in the wind, "or get marks on it." He said, "I think a clothespin needs hooks." I instantly had this great sense of empathy.
I could imagine myself standing at the clothesline going, oh, I don't want to ruin my clothes. Instantly, I was like, yes, that is a real problem, that's a real problem. The next thing he did was talk about his passion for export. He said, "I'm currently manufacturing "about 7,000 units in China, "but I'd really, really want to manufacture "right here in my hometown." He said, "if I had the right investment, I could do that. "I don't see why we couldn't export "everywhere in the world." What that showed us was he had a big vision, but he had a deep passion.
It was more than the money for us, it was far more than the money. He wanted to do something worthwhile and create jobs locally. He then said, "everyone in the world has this problem. "People are living in apartments "and smaller and smaller spaces "with small line spaces. "My product triples their space." Instantly, I could see the application anywhere and everywhere. He bought us into his world.
Oh, but then he said, "I have a unique offering, "it has seven patents around the world." He also was considering the commercial outcome. What was he going to be the world's best at? And he had protected it. He had a dream, but he wasn't going to let somebody take that dream away from him. He then said, "all I need from you is your contacts. "Help me take my product worldwide." So, he called on our sense of duty to support him in the growth of his enterprise.
He touched on all of the (unclear), emotional, commercial, and then vision. We lived in his world. And I ended up investing in him, and, I must say, the story is a good one. He now distributes in 26 countries, and the pack is translated into 12 different languages. His dream is becoming reality, because he knew how to share his dream. It's important that you stay focused.
It is not the quantity, it is the quality of the story that makes the difference. People do business with people. We're all emotional beings. When you engage somebody in your emotional journey, they may well come with you on your journey. Engage them in your vision., your Big Hairy Audacious Goal, the problem that you are solving. But make sure they know that you know exactly where customers are and you can make it a commercial enterprise.
First of all, research everything you can about them and talk in their language, and about the expected outcomes they want. Secondly, make sure you know everything about you and your customers. Who are they, where they hang out, what does it cost to acquire them, what is the problem you are really solving? Number three, make sure you discover everything you can about the industry. Know the vernacular, the language, everything inside out. Be the world's expert in your industry, your chosen industry.
Number four, know your numbers. Cash flow is everything to a business. Understanding how cash moves through your business, what are people prepared to pay for? Look carefully at your business model. Getting cash in advance can be the greatest source of growth capital. And, number five, and probably most importantly, is do take care of the details. Register your trademarks, look at your patent opportunities, make sure you pay your taxes, have an accountant.
It is really, really important to take care of the compliance side of business. Too many people are rushing around, growing their businesses, not realizing that money is literally falling out of the bottom. Take care of the detail. Pitching can be great fun. Do enjoy it, because your joy comes through when you're presenting. Pitching is like storytelling, but with numbers. Have fun, enjoy yourself, do practice, but maybe practice with a very considered and loving audience.
- Finding your purpose
- Keeping the passion alive
- Setting the framework for success
- Ensuring that your people are aligned to your goals
- Setting your priorities
- Promoting your business effectively