6. Tell them you’re not exclusive.
Create buzz and hype around your business by telling investors that you’re also pitching to others. The goal here is not to stretch the truth—or utter outright lies—but to present a compelling case about your business and share why other financiers might be interested. An investor is more likely to listen attentively and act quickly if he or she knows you’re considering a wide array of investment options.
7. Never overvalue your idea or your business.
Instinctively, most entrepreneurs want to overvalue their businesses, painting an operational picture that often is too rosy. You want to lure the investor into your concept, but use valuation techniques that are factually supported, in sync with the industry, and easily verifiable. You might lose your credibility if the investor sees you’re trying too hard to oversell your concept.
8. Show your passion.
Passion is a pillar in a perfect pitch. Do you want others to be passionate about your startup? Well, show them why! And it all starts with you. With passion, energy and charisma, you can make it easy for an investor to jump into your company’s bandwagon. Don’t take our word for it. Just see how some companies—think IT giants like Apple and Microsoft—create buzz around product launches, and how the ensuing interest often defies common sense.
9. Listen carefully.
A pitch is a conversation, so don’t make it a monologue. Yeah, you’ve got a lot of things to tell the investor in 15 or 30 minutes, but also take the time to listen to the financier, and heed his or her questions. You might learn a thing or two about the investor’s concerns, and you then can astutely use that insight to tweak your presentation along the way.
10. Introduce a villain and a hero.
Everybody loves a story about a villain and a hero, about one person saving the world and another trying to destroy it. Tell the investor the problem your company fixes, why fixing it will do so much good to your customers … and the whole world, and why only your business can fix it better.
An excellent pitch can make an investor embrace your business or project wholeheartedly, so you should put much energy and preparation into it. The return on investment for a perfect presentation is manifold, especially when you consider than spending a few hours prepping for the pitch can yield tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars in long-term investments. Things to heed when crafting your pitch include precision, brevity, passion, an ability to listen, a compelling story, and an astute use of visuals.
Dr. Emad Rahim is an award winning author, educator, community leader and entrepreneur. He co-founded two startups, a consulting firm and a nonprofit trade association in Upstate NY. He is the appointed Endowed Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Oklahoma State University and serves as a MFP Management Fellow at the University of Chicago. He is also the CLO of Global i365 LLC and was the former Business Dean at Colorado Technical University. He lives in Chicago, loves coffee, considers himself to be a foodie and is passionate with this thing called entrepreneurship. Connect with him on Twitter.