Tag Archives: Pitching

What is the most common mistake Entrepreneurs make when pitching their business?

I listen to hundreds of pitches every year, so I would like to think I can quickly identify the key messages an entrepreneur would like to get across to a customer, or investor.

Over the last three weeks I have coached FinTech start-ups, Female Entrepreneurs and Entrepreneurs in the 50+ age bracket, a broad spectrum, I think you’ll agree.

Let me tell you what I believe is the most common mistake all entrepreneurs make when pitching their business ideas!

The fundamental error that entrepreneurs make when pitching is spending too much time talking about their product. They are so enamoured by the product they have developed, they want to tell their audience about every feature.

They believe the question they must answer is:

What do they do?

But initially, nobody is interested in what you do!

The question that needs answering is:

How does your idea/product make your audience’s business or life better?

My number one challenge when working with business people, be they start-ups or an established business, is getting them to articulate clearly how their business idea benefits their prospective client.

When you answer this question clearly and simply, you are much more likely to succeed with engagement and win new business.

Here’s an analogy to explain my idea:

When you get into your car to drive to an important meeting, you do not need to know how the engine works.  But you must be confident that the car will get you there.

Here is Aristo’s strap line:

“I capture your business story and give you the confidence to tell it or sell it”

(Note – there is no mention of how I do that).

In conversation with my prospective clients I focus on how improved communication/pitching skills will win them the next big contract, or investor funding.

To conclude this article, here’s two questions you need to ask yourself before meeting the prospect.

  1. Who are you meeting?

You cannot prepare a presentation/conversation for a faceless person.

(To edit an old cliché, “generic presentations are not worth the paper they are written on”).

  1. How can you make this person better?

You may be pitching to a large organisation, but invariably it’s one or two key individuals who will have the final say.

Are you confident that you can clearly and simply demonstrate to these people how their business will be better as a result of engaging with you?

Clients of mine tell me they find my outside perspective on how they could better tell their story incredibly useful. It’s easy to forget that internal stories don’t always translate well outside the company.

If you feel you need help in delivering your message, why not get in touch and explore how I may be of assistance?

What has James Bond and Business Pitches got in Common?

You have arrived in the cinema with your bucket of popcorn and can of coke and you anticipate watching the new James Bond trailer.  Before you have taken your first mouthful of popcorn or sip of Coke, he’s got into an aeroplane without the pilot, out of an aeroplane without a parachute, rolled the car four times and you are thinking, I must go see the movie.  That’s what a movie trailer is supposed to do. They show you all the exciting, interesting and engaging bits that encourages you to go and buy a ticket to see the movie.

A pitch is like the trailer to the movie.

I often use this analogy to explain to people what a pitch is.

You should tell your listener(s) all the interesting bits, exciting bits, engaging bits.  A pitch is not a business plan. If you are at an early stage, there are lots of things in the plan that are still quite vague and that you have not got absolute confidence in. Do not try and shoehorn an uninteresting business plan into your pitch (trailer).

If you would like to know more, please view my short (3 min video) below:

Poetry and Pitching: The Similarities!

rogermcgough

 

 

 

 

 

Regularly when I work with presenters, be they start-ups or established business people, I hear the same plea, how can I explain my business or my business idea in five minutes?

You have a choice: you can bore your prospect for 30 to 45 minutes, or you can engage and excite in 3 to 5 minutes. They may then give you permission to continue.

This is the real challenge for presenters – how to grab your audience’s attention?

I suggest you tell an interesting story in a short space of time.

If you need help please get in touch.

 

Let me give you some examples from my favourite poet Roger McGough.

In these poems Roger tells somebody’s life story in four lines.

Poems from his Book: Sky in the Pie

(if you have children, buy them this book for Christmas)

Humorous Children’s Friendship Poems

Two’s company
One’s lonely

———————

I’m a fish out of water
I’m two left feet
on my own and lonely
I’m incomplete

Adult Poems: from ‘Collected Poems’

Cake

I wanted one life
you wanted another
we couldn’t have our cake
so we ate each other

Vinegar

I feel like a priest
in a fish and chip queue
quietly thinking
as the vinegar that runs through
how nice it would be
to buy supper for two

If you need to make a good impression in 5 or 50 minutes why not talk to me, I can provide coaching on line or 1-2-1?

 

Testimonial:

There is no better speaker’s coach than Andrew – his very obvious skill as a keynote speaker, coupled with his coaching skills make him the perfect choice for the senior executive looking to polish their personal presentation skills – whether for a one-off event or as part of an ongoing personal development project.
Besides working with Andrew directly I have also recommended him as a keynote to several valued clients – and all of their feedback has been equally excellent.

Deiric McCann – Author & Keynote speaker