Discover the key questions you need to answer.
If you’re familiar with the TV show, the Shark Tank, then you’ve been exposed to the concept of the 5-minute pitch.
If you’re unfamiliar with the program, an entrepreneur steps in front of a panel of 5 potential investors (all highly successful entrepreneurs themselves), and PITCHES their business in the hope of convincing one of the sharks to sink some money into their venture.
Even if you NEVER intend to PITCH your business to a panel of investors (on TV or elsewhere) to get capital to develop your business, pitching is a skill every entrepreneur needs to master.
Because to be able to deliver the PERFECT PITCH requires you to be able to answer a series of powerful questions.
If you can answer these questions successfully, you will have the framework for a HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL business.
See how you go answering them.
Let’s set the scene.
Imagine you’ve been asked to PITCH your business to a group of would be investors (Gulp… sounds scary).
Where would you start?
If you’re like most, you’ll begin with trying to convince the panel about the potential of your business or idea and why you’re so passionate about it.
However, when it comes to pitching (and marketing), one fatal mistake is to become blinded by your own passion!
The truth is the potential investor, or in a more general sense, the prospective customer, doesn’t need you to CONVINCE them of your passion; they need you to show them why they should PAY ATTENTION.
In a 5-minute Pitch, time is clearly limited so you need to be able to CUT TO THE CHASE quickly.
In marketing, the same rule applies.
Your prospective clients will not give you hours or even minutes of their time.
You have only SECONDS in which to CAPTURE THEIR ATTENTION and INTEREST.
With that in mind, let’s look at the KEY QUESTIONS you need to be able to answer to deliver the PERFECT PITCH!
To help you design your PERFECT PITCH, I’ve created a FREE PITCH GUIDE for you to download and complete.
The PITCH GUIDE outlines the key questions as well as important additional information you need to effectively position your business with ANYONE you want to attract.
5 Questions you need to answer to design your PITCH.
1. What CUSTOMER PROBLEM (need) do you solve?
With this one question the investor can determine:
- How BIG is the PROBLEM?
- Is there a real NEED for this product or service?
- Are there enough people looking for a solution (size of market?)
The first question in the mind of an investor is not who are you, what do you do, or where are you located.
It’s, WHAT PROBLEM DO YOU SOLVE?
The same is true of your prospective customers.
The prospective buyer doesn’t want to work through your credentials; they simply want to know if you can help them solve their problem.
Your job then is to CLEARLY articulate the problem you solve.
Notice I said PROBLEM – singular!
It’s true most businesses solve more than ONE problem.
But when you’re PITCHING or MARKETING, if you try to communicate ALL the problems you solve, then you’re unlikely to create more interest.
In fact, you will more than likely lose their interest. When it comes to pitch as with marketing, less is more!
The irony is the more problems you promote you can solve, the less ATTENTION you will gain!
If you are uncertain of the problem you solve, then chances are your PITCH will fail at the first hurdle.
2. What’s so special about you or your approach?
Logically if an investor is satisfied that you solve a REAL problem and there are sufficient people seeking a solution to build a scalable business, their next question is Why You, Why This, Why Now?
In other words, what makes you different or unique?
This is what is commonly referred to as your ELEVATOR PITCH and it needs to be CLEAR and CONCISE.
If you can’t articulate a point of difference, or if the investor can’t grasp your concept quickly, they will assume the customer won’t understand your pitch either.
Whether you are pitching for investment or marketing your business, a solid ELEVATOR PITCH is important.
Your elevator pitch needs to show the GAP that your product or service fills. That means you need to understand who your competitors are and what you bring to the table that is different.
When it comes to your Unique Selling Proposition (USP), the investor is looking to see what is your SECRET SAUCE?
What is it that sets you apart and makes your offering more compelling to consumers than what is currently available?
If you are offering a ME TOO product or service that is simply a mimic of an already existing one, then investors will lose interest quickly.
To start working on designing your Elevator Pitch, download your FREE Pitch Guide
3. How You Make Money.
When it comes to mapping the finances of your venture, fact is always better than fiction. Investors are looking to invest in businesses that offer them the best chance of a return.
Therefore, investors are looking for two critical pieces of evidence.
The first is EVIDENCE OF RESULTS.
Investors are far more interested in a company that has a cash flow, knows their customer value and can prove their sales results, than a business with speculative plans about generating large returns.
When I was a musician the same rules applied with being signed by a record label.
Labels were far more interested in artists whose music had already found an audience.
If you had a large following at your live gigs and were selling plenty of CD’s as an independent artist, then the label would be more inclined to consider signing you.
The second evidence piece is MONEY MANAGEMENT!
If you are operating your business on a shoestring budget, before you start seeking investment, you must demonstrate you can manage finances responsibly and get runs on the board, even with limited funds.
This proves your ability to attract and convert customers with limited resources and that is always a big tick with investors.
4. What’s the plan?
In business one of the most overlooked, misunderstood and undervalued resources is a clear plan.
The fact is most small businesses begin with little or no planning at all. This lack of planning often causes challenges down the road.
Clearly if you are seeking funds from an investor, you will need to provide a detailed Marketing Plan. Within the plan, the investors will seek answers about your Marketing and Sales activity by looking at two things.
A) How do you create a lead?
This is about your Marketing Strategy. What is your plan to consistently attract a flow of leads into the business? Lead generation is essential to the long-term success of any business.
An investor KNOWS it doesn’t matter how great the ideas is, or how talented you are. If you can’t generate sufficient leads, the business will fail.
B) Once you’ve stimulated a lead, what do you say?
This is the Sales Process. Marketing’s job is to create the opportunity; Sales job is to CONVERT that interest into a customer.
An investor wants to know there is a robust and effective sales process in places to maximise the number of conversions. You can have the best marketing in the world, but if it doesn’t translate into business, then it was all for nothing and your business will be of little interest to an investor.
As a business owner, (regardless of whether you ever want investment) you need to design your marketing to create a consistent flow of prospects and build a selling system to ensure you maximise the conversion of the leads you produce.
This is the heartbeat of any profitable business.
5. What’s your exit strategy?
As the founder of the business, one of the critical things an investor will want to know from you is what’s your exit strategy?
For a business to be worth investing in, it cannot be tied to the owner. It’s important therefore, that the owner has a clear plan not only to ensure the business is not wrapped around them, but that they also know who are the potential buyers of their business.
Investors invest in businesses that can be built and then SOLD. Most investors are looking for at least a 10x return on their investment and they want to see a plan for the sale of the business within 3 to 6 years.
Now the investor doesn’t care if the owner wants to stay on in the business after it’s sold. What matters is there is a CLEAR EXIT STRATEGY.
Again, even if you’re not intending to seek investment, or even sell your business, it’s a smart move to understand what your end game is.
To start building your PERFECT PITCH, download your FREE Pitch Guide HERE
How did you go answering the 5 questions?
- Do you know the Customer Problem you solve?
- Can you quickly and concisely communicate your USP?
- Do you have a handle on your revenue streams, cash flow and finances?
- Do you have a plan for attracting prospects and converting them into customers?
- Have you got an exit strategy in place?
As I said from the outset, these questions are not just essential for an entrepreneur seeking investment, they are a fundamental framework for the success of any business.
Regardless of your desire to seek investment, if you can answer YES to these 5 critical questions, then your business is on the pathway to success.
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. To build a great business takes time, energy, persistence and unwavering belief in what you are doing.
Dedicated to your success,
P.S. To fast track your results, grab a copy of the FREE Pitch Guide HERE