I’ve been there. Landing the perfect pitch. You’re in the interview, or investor meeting. You only have a few seconds to make an awesome first impression. You don’t want to come off as cocky, and blow the deal. If you come off as desperate, you will really turn them off! You only have a few seconds to wow them with your perfect pitch! What you say is as important as how you say it. This may seem like a very difficult task, but really it is doable! People do it every day and you can too!
Confidence if the first step to landing that perfect pitch. If you are confident in yourself and your product it will show! it will wow your investor or interviewer. You know your stuff and you are the best person for the job! You know that. Now, you just need to make sure they know that. But, this can go wrong. If you are overly cocky you lose the deal. Let the desperation drip out of your pores, you lose the deal.
These guys are lucky they even graced you with their presence! They have so many better things you could be doing with your time! They are dripping in cologne, feel no need to make eye contact with the other people in the room. Oh man, at least they have your smart phone on them! They can be on social media during the entire meeting if they feel like it. These people are lucky at even the prospect of having someone like them on board! Don’t be that guy. This overly cocky attitude will get you no where fast. Well, unless out the door is where you want to be…
If this deal doesn’t go through you won’t be able to pay your mortgage this month! I’m desperate to get my business off the ground! I’ve been rejected by three previous investors! Sometimes desperation can sink in after a lot of rejection. Even if you have been rejected by the last three investors, it’s their loss! You move on, and don’t waste your time with them. There are plenty of investor fish in the sea! Your sense of desperation is a mindset. Instead of letting your circumstances get to you, focus on what you can do. Have a plan B for every scenario. Have clients lined up so if you lose one or two it’s not the end of the world. That will help your confidence, and take away from the desperation factor.
It’s not about you, it’s about them
What can you do for them? for the client? for the new employer? You need them to know that what you provide is not only valuable, but that they can only get it from you! It could be a trademarked product, or years of unique experience. Most importantly, how does this help your prospect? How do you solve a problem that they have? Keep things short and sweet and to the point!
If you have lots of experience, how did you use it? How did you make of save your previous employer money? Will you be able to do it for this company, and how would you do so? If you are asking an investor for money, what is your anticipated return on investment for them? When and how will they receive it? Work this in somehow. “Based on recent market trends over the past ten years customers value x in their products and services. X products and services have increased 10 % yearly. With our patented technology we can create product x at a fraction of the cost; having your investment plus 15% back to you by x year” Something like that. Short sweet and to the point.
Keep your audience in mind
This is a great article from Entrepreneur that goes into what investors are really looking for. Inc. also goes into a few different approaches too. If your business plan has you making a $200,000 salary in the first year you won’t last a minute in that meeting. That investor doesn’t care what their money can do for you. They care about what their money can do for them. Keep it about them. Focus on returns on investment.
If it’s a job
You need to perfect your pitch for a job interview too. A recruiter or HR manager is very busy, can you imagine how many resumes they have to sift through? Keep your pitch short and sweet. Thirty seconds to convince them ten seconds to snag their attention. Do this elevator pitch style. It’s sage advice not to broach the topic of money in the first interview. How are you going to make or save this company money? Do you have a proven track record of doing this successfully?
Play the right part
If you are looking to get millions from an investor, make sure you look like a million bucks! If you are looking to land that corporate job, look corporate. Those first impressions set the stage for success!
Practice, Practice, Practice
I think I’ve mentioned this before, but it took me six months and 24-25 interviews before I landed my first full time job out to college. That’s obviously a lot of practice for my pitch 🙂 That was 2009-2010 so my pitch has changed a lot since then, but the fact is all those interviews helped me practice, gain my confidence and calm my nerves. You can do mock interviews with your friends and family. Practice in front of the mirror whatever helps you feel comfortable and confident.
Pitching is tough, but well worth it! Keep these tips in mind and you will go far!