Your pitch is so ingrained in your mind that as soon as someone asks you your name, you can recite it without any mistake. Regardless of whether you’re talking to your cousin or a potential investor. You may not realize it yourself, but you’re making a big mistake here. Because your pitch has to be relevant, and therefore adapted to each situation. Otherwise, your listener is guaranteed to drop out. So: prepare your pitches!
A different pitch for every situation
To get the most out of your pitch, it’s important to know exactly what you want to achieve with your pitch. To do this, you need to ask two important questions, namely:
1. Who’s listening?
2. What do you want them to do?
Based on that, you can divide pitches into four categories:
1. Network pitch: you want to talk to people and expand your network.
2. Sales pitch: you want to sell.
3. Investor pitch: you want to raise capital.
4. Employee pitch: you want to recruit people.
Now it’s up to you to determine which of the four pitches is most applicable. Important: choose one of these four. If you mix them up, your message won’t be clear and your pitch will miss its mark.
#1 Network pitch
In the entrepreneurial world, the reception after an event is one of the most important means of expanding your network. It’s only logical, because you’re surrounded by like-minded people. You should use this opportunity to get to know the right people!
Entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes. Some may have been in the same industry as you for years and understand every detail effortlessly, others have only just started their own one-man business and don’t understand any of the trade-specific terms you throw at them.
You must therefore be able to switch flexibly from specialist jargon to human language, and also be able to talk about sectors in which you may not be familiar. Tip: verbs appeal more to the imagination than nouns and job titles. So explain very specifically what you are doing.
Don’t forget: other entrepreneurs are there to network too. They want to get to know as many people as possible, so they don’t have time to spend hours listening to your story.
Networking at events is done with one goal in mind: making connections. If you’re lucky, you’ll build some indirect leads and have some meaningful conversations. Selling directly is not the goal! You obviously don’t want to overwhelm your interlocutors.
#2 Sales pitch
This is the pitch you make to your partners, your clients and your potential clients. With your customers, it’s important to focus on what they’re looking for, their problems and the solutions you offer. With potential partners you focus more on what you can offer them and especially what you expect from them.
Keep in mind that clients and partners often see multiple pitches. Make sure you stand out. You also need to research your potential customers and tailor your pitch accordingly. Rattling off the same story without doing any research into your customer can end up hurting you.
#3 Money pitch
In a money pitch or an investor pitch, you have one big goal: you want to raise capital. You know that, and your potential investors know that too. So don’t beat about the bush. Be specific: how much money do you want, who do you want it from, and what do you want to do with it?
Focus briefly on the problem your business solves. Investors need to see the value of your product of course, but don’t start by going through all the slides of your business plan. What is the frustration that inspired your product? That story makes up whether or not you get something sold.
Also, don’t forget that many investors also consider the founder(s) and employees of a start-up to be hugely important. Sometimes they believe in the team more than the product. Figures are important, but the human aspect can make the difference. So talk about why you came up with this idea, where your passion lies, who your team is and how it’s composed, and only then come up with the numbers.
Keep it short and sweet, because of course it’s a pitch. You don’t have hours. You have one moment to succeed and to blow your audience away with your explanation.
Tell where you are now and where you want to go. Be clear: how long can you continue with your current funds, and how much are you asking for? Be honest. If you’re really in trouble and need money urgently, have the courage to admit it. That way, there will be no catching up during subsequent negotiations.
#4 Employee pitch
Also when you are looking for new employees, it is important that your pitch is in order. It has to be quickly clear what you’re doing: is it something they can relate to or already know about?
But it goes beyond that, of course. Employees are looking for a pleasant company culture, a learning environment and a job where they can make a real difference.
Make it clear what you can offer them – although you don’t need to go into too much detail about pay and such in this first introduction. Are training courses provided, what is the work atmosphere like, is there room for personal projects, what are the future plans? Wages are rarely the most convincing factor anymore, so it is better to include your potential future employee in a dazzling work story.
So, now you know which pitches to keep in mind at all times. Still looking for tips to make your pitch as convincing as possible? Here are our tips for the perfect pitch!