How to pitch your business | University of Nevada, Reno
How to pitch your business
By Katie Champagne
Program Director, Nevada SBDC EPPICenter
No matter what kind of business you have, you will encounter opportunities to pitch your business to others. You may find yourself pitching your business idea to potential partners or investors or you may be pitching your product to potential customers. In any situation, it can be challenging for a founder or small business owner to clearly describe their value proposition to a new person. But whether talking to potential customers, partners or investors, following a few key principles can help you craft and deliver a more effective pitch.
• Know your audience
A crucial step in pitch success is understanding to whom you are pitching and what they are looking for. For potential customers, they want to hear that your product or business is going to solve a problem for them. Having a deep understanding of your customer base and the problems they face will help you articulate the value of your business in a way that they will understand. Asking yourself what problems the client currently faces, how they deal with it, and how your business could help with that problem, is a good place to start. Partners and investors want to hear how your product or business is going to help them succeed. According to Entrepreneur.com, "Investors need to be confident that your business will attract and retain customers." Building a customer base is key to your business success - and key to your investors making money. Rather than go into the deep details of your market segment or give a lengthy description of the technology within your market, focus on addressing the TOP concern of the audience you're addressing. Tailoring your pitch to each specific audience can go a long way toward helping you reach your desired outcome from the conversation.
• Know your desired outcome
Begin each pitch meeting or conversation with the end in mind. Define for yourself what you want to get out of the conversation. If you are pitching potential customers, your desired outcome might be to make a sale. With partners and investors, desired outcomes might include signing a contract, receiving an investment offer or even just securing a follow-up meeting. By defining your desired outcome, you can prepare your pitch material to drive toward your goal. Anticipate possible questions or objections that might come up and prepare data and anecdotes to address them. Orienting your pitch toward this desired conclusion will create a more focused conversation or meeting and increase your chances of achieving positive results.
• Issue a call to action
Conclude the conversation with a call to action. Depending on the audience and the status of your relationship with them, there may be many possible actions you want them to take. If you are talking with a potential customer, invite them to come into your store or visit your website. If you are talking with a potential investor, request a specific amount of money and offer a description of how you would use the money you're requesting. Do your research ahead of time to understand the decision-making process of your potential customer, partner or investor. Then include a call to action that aligns with their decision-making process and your estimate of where they are in the process.
Using these tips to prepare for a pitch opportunity can go a long way toward a more successful pitch meeting. For assistance in developing or improving your pitch, contact us at the Nevada Small Business Development Center (www.nevadasbdc.org) to set up an appointment.
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