“There is no such thing as a no sale call. A sale is made on every call you make. Either you sell the client some stock or he sells you a reason he can’t. Either way a sale is made, the only question is who is gonna close? You or him?” – Jim Young, Boiler Room (2000)
If you’re a freelancer, an entrepreneur or anyone in the workforce really, then you’ll know all about the power of a sale and the importance of the pitch. Today, we’re focusing on the latter.
Whether you’re trying to crack an interview at a company or hire people, you’re constantly giving a pitch ; be it’s about yourself or the company you work at. Especially for an entrepreneur, because giving a pitch is a huge and an integral part of the process.
In this article, we’re talking about how to give your best pitch to recruit the best investors and employees.
But hold on. Let’s be-kind-rewind and have a quick recap though, before we dive into the technicalities of it all –
What is a business pitch?
*“A business pitch is a presentation by one or more people to an investor or group of investors, though it can also be an email, letter, or even an impromptu conversation.”
(Helpful tip, to know more, search for “business pitch” or risk being stuck in the musical Pitch Perfect’s world 😛 ) And,
What is an elevator pitch?
**“The name—elevator pitch—reflects the idea that it should be possible to deliver the summary in the time span of an elevator ride, or approximately thirty seconds to two minutes… An elevator pitch, elevator speech, or elevator statement is a short description of an idea, product, company, or oneself that explains the concept in a way such that any listener can understand it in a short period of time… An elevator pitch does not have to include all of these components, but it usually does at least explain what the idea, product, company, or person is and why it/they are valuable.”
Awesome! Now that we’re all on the same page (somewhat, anyway), we can get into further details. Such as –
Pitching For – Investors
If you’re an entrepreneur who needs to secure funding for their start-up, at some point or the other, you’re going to have to approach investors. A quick Google search shows a plethora of articles, all giving you points on how to go about your pitch and all the do’s and don’ts. But what do you focus on? Do you focus on the techniques used while pitching or how well you dress? Should you focus on your slides or research your investor?
If you haven’t got the time to go through every book, article and every other piece of information on creating your perfect pitch, then simply keep these points in mind –
- Ensure you create a pitch deck. ***“A pitch deck is an essential fundraising tool, whether you’re looking to raise $50,000, $500,000 or $50 million.” A short, sweet and to the point pitch deck can easily get your point across to any prospective VC partner. There are also various online tools to help you create your own pitch deck.
- Dress well. Yup, this is worth mentioning. Startup culture automatically conjures images of youngsters wearing ripped jeans and graphic tees while they furiously tap away at their respective laptops. Think about it – would you want to do business with someone who essentially looks like a college-going student?
- Have your elevator pitch ready. A key point to remember about creating and perfecting your elevator pitch is that it’s meant to generate curiosity. You don’t necessarily have to close the deal then and there. You need just enough time and just enough information to make the other party interested in doing business with you.
- Be honest. “Fake it till you make it” is a saying a lot of people tend you abide by, but we feel compelled to point out that that’s usually in the context of faking confidence. Whether you’re pitching to an investor, employee or a prospective customer of your idea/product, always give true facts.
- Ensure you have a narrative and your “why” clear. You want to ensure that when a person leaves after hearing your pitch, they are clear on how your idea can add value to them (or in the market). One of the easiest ways of ensuring this, is to present your pitch in a story format. A story makes it easier for someone to relate to (and remember!) your idea in the first place.
Pitching For – Recruitment
If you’ve reached this part of the article, then congratulations! Presumably, you and your startup are established and well on your way! Once your vision has been established and funding has been secured, you’re going to need all the help you can get for bringing your vision to fruition. But this is also the crucial part of your trajectory as you want to ensure that you work with the best of the best.
- Always be ready to pitch. That is the general rule of thumb here as you never know when you might bump into your next manager or your next best employee. However, it is always helpful to have a pitch ready at your fingertips, one you might have to use when speaking to a potential candidate.
For instance, as an entrepreneur, you could find yourself at a B2B meeting where your audience consists of people from various different backgrounds. Alternately, depending upon the position you need to fill, you need to be able to pitch your vision to the candidate (especially if this is early on in the process and you’re looking to bring people on-board for a long duration).
2) Understand and prepare your pitches. The way you would pitch the organization and your vision to someone who you might want to bring on-board as a VP will naturally, be very different than the type of pitch that you would give to a prospective employee. But both pitches matter equally. You want to bring enthusiastic and passionate people on your team, those who’d be willing to burn the midnight oil in order to bring your vision alive.
3) Understand the person as well. Ensure that your pitch paints a vivid and exciting picture of your vision but at the same time, also addresses any concern that the candidate might have.
4) Build strong and healthy relationships. Keep in mind that every single person you meet and come across in this process might not join you but could lead you to someone else. It’s a small world and you’re bound to bump into people you know or find connections almost all the time, so don’t step on anyone’s toes…
If you’re practiced and well prepared with all your pitches, then there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to assemble an absolutely cracking team and bring your vision to life!