“Chase the vision, not the money; the money will end up following you.” – Tony Hsieh
You only get one chance to make a first impression, and potential investors have to be some of the trickiest people in the world to impress.
That said, the difference between sounding like a savvy pro and a nervous rookie is sometimes just a few simple techniques. In this article, we’ll look at 26 quick knockout investor pitching techniques for startups that will help you break through investors’ cynicism and show that you mean business.
Read on to learn more about the following aspects of investor pitching strategies for startups…
- What to include in your pitch
- Anticipating questions
- Ideal length and pacing
- Conquering nerves
- Winning them over
Let’s begin, shall we?
Here are 26 investor pitching strategies for startups to use in your next pitch:
1. Keep it under 10 minutes. Don’t give them time to get bored.
2. Leave plenty of time for questions.
3. Also, try to anticipate what questions they’ll ask and prepare convincing answers. It helps to practise delivering your pitch to someone you trust and getting them to ask the questions that spring to mind.
4. Don’t stay on any one slide for more than 3 minutes.
5. Don’t put too much information in each slide. You want them to be listening to you, not distracted with extra info on the screen.
6. Use clear, precise, everyday language – never jargon or overly technical terminology.
7. It’s a good idea to have a script, but if you do, make sure it’s written for the ear, not for the eye. That means accessible wording and short, punchy sentences.
8. Incorporate a brief product demo or video to bring what you’re selling to life.
9. Focus on telling a story – the story behind the brand, what your product does for users, or both.
10. Don’t waste time stating the obvious. You have 10 minutes, so use it to tell them what they don’t know, not what they do.
Our knockout investor pitching techniques for startups continue:
11. Explain exactly what your product/service does, using action words. Don’t just describe it.
12. Explain why your product/service is unique.
13. Talk about market gaps and explain what you do that your competitors don’t – but be respectful and professional.
14. Be very clear about who your target market is.
15. Walk them through how you will reach and acquire customers.
16. Wow them with a deeply-considered plan for targeted online marketing.
17. Outline your revenue model (and why you’re using it).
18. Talk about your exit strategy – and set this at five years or so. That shows that you believe you can make good money in that time.
19. Focus on the value your product brings to customers and how this gives you an edge.
20. Don’t make wild promises, but give investors a clear idea of how soon they can expect to see a return on investment.
So, if you’re actually paying attention to what you’ve read so far, you’ve noticed we listed only 20 investor pitching techniques for startups so far. Don’t worry, the last 6 are just below:
21. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. You need the pitch to be slick. Be confident with your material and ensure it’s paced correctly and sounds right out loud.
22. Show your passion. If you’re not incredibly enthusiastic about this, you can hardly expect them to be.
23. Smile and make eye contact. A confident demeanour will go a long way.
24. Dress impeccably. If in doubt, go suited and booted.
25. If you get nervous before your pitch, run your wrists under cold water to cool down quickly, breathing slow (four breaths per minute) to reduce your heart rate.
26. Get your pitch tied down several days in advance to give you plenty of time to practice – and to get a good night’s sleep before pitch day.
Remember that people buy from people. You need these investors to have faith in you as a person as much as your company, so when using pitching techniques for startups ensure you’ll highlight your reliability, expertise, experience and your commitment. They need to believe that you are the right person to drive this venture if they’re going to trust you with their money.
Ah, once you’ve convinced the investors – and your startup is taking off – it’s important to maintain startup momentum. In order to do so, we’ve got a few tips which will be extremely useful. Also, don’t forget that one of the many reasons startups fail is because of financial shortcomings. So, in order to prevent such a fate befalling your startup, take a look at our article on finance tips for startups.