So you’ve founded a start-up and are looking for investors to keep the ball rolling. You’re filled with confidence at this new, ground-breaking business proposal.
They just can’t say no.
Underestimating how much you need to prepare to ace investment preparations means you’ll fail. You can’t simply stroll in and blow people’s minds with your brilliant idea.
Starting to feel nervous?
Here are three easy-to-remember acronyms to sail through that pitch.
T.A. stands for Target Audience. Getting a beat on your potential investors should be the first thing on your to-do list.
We’ve previously discussed the importance of having good objectives that guide your pitch. For effective objectives, have a well-defined target audience.
Preparing an investment pitch doesn’t only mean narrowing down who benefits from your product or service. Zero in on who your investors could be.
Granted, you may not have easily-accessible information on who they are. Don’t be afraid to make educated guesses when your standard search engine results turn up with nil.
Take some tips from Sticky Marketing Club CEO, Grant Leboff, and examine your company and the market you want to enter before casting out the net.
Look for possible needs and wants they may have, then formulate questions or concerns they might bring up. This allows you to plan ahead with answers to best alleviate their worries. This also lets you highlight positives that they can relate with while spinning negatives that can turn them off.
Planning your pitch without even knowing who you’ll be talking to seals your start-up in a coffin.
Now that you know who you’re selling to, define a specific niche your proposed solution intends to fill.
Before you write your speech, define your U.S.P. – Unique Selling Proposition. This idea was first developed by ad expert Rosser Reeves in his book “Reality in Advertising (1961),” stating that its uses were:
- to offer a valuable proposition.
- to demonstrate a quality that can’t be offered by a competitor, and
- be a strong and catchy “hook” to draw in new customers or investors.
It also helps to have a U.S.P. that can afford you a competitive advantage that’s sustainable for the near future – a characteristic that’s not easily copied or improved upon.
Don’t make these benefits up, as unsubstantiated claims can get you in trouble, or even make you lose investors.
Whatever the case, knowing your U.S.P. easily tells your audience two things: why they should care and how you can make their life easier.
Be confident, assertive, and passionate. These three are all important virtues in any pitch that are your linchpin to success.
Dressing the part and proper body language gives you the confidence to win the crowd over.
Having firm and specific objectives allows you to focus your pitch, imparting a more assertive and persuasive tone.
Relay memorable personal stories that tie into your message to make for an impassioned speech.
Go beyond describing a business model with limitless potential. Why would an audience trust a presenter lacking in conviction? Believing in your product makes you sell your product.
Your audience is looking for an investment that’s poised profit financially. Be worthy of their time, money, and trust.
Summing It Up
Investment pitch decks can be the most nerve-wracking of all the business opportunities.
Keep those fears in check with a proven three-pronged approach to get the best result from your pitch. All you need are three simple acronyms: T.A., U.S.P., and C.A.P.
Know who you’re selling to, what unique benefit you’re selling, and pitch with the confidence of a master presenter.
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Belch, G., & Michael A. Belch. Advertising and Promotion: An Integrated Marketing Communications Perspective. 5th ed. Boston, Mass.: Irwin/McGraw-Hill, 2001.
Leboff, Grant. “Six Steps to Defining Your Target Market.” Marketing Donut. Accessed June 16, 2015.
Reeves, R. Reality in Advertising. New York: Knopf, 1961.
Featured Image: “Wallis046 Fish Fork” by Gordon McDowell on Wikimedia Commons