If you're an entrepreneur pitching your business to a potential investor, it can be an intimidating process particularly if you've already received a lot of rejection from other investor prospects. However, a pitch meeting with a prospective investor can become much less intimidating and more approachable if you consider these tips.
Know your audience
When pitching your business to a potential investor, you don't need to know everything about your potential investor like you do about your best friend, but it benefits you greatly to know as much as you possibly can. Also, if you can get introduced to a potential investor by a third party or business colleague, it's clearly much better than emailing someone with no personal introduction. Being introduced to an investor also helps you get to know the investor before you pitch your business by allowing you to research the potential investor's background and interests.
Upon meeting with your potential partner, you want to get to know them but you don't want to waste his or her time. With that in mind, you would do well to avoid any frivolous small talk and just get right into the pitch. After all, this potential investor has given you an audience. Why would you want to waste any of your time on a conversation that doesn't involve your business? Stick with the topics that are important to the investor, and how the investment will grow sales and the company.
Be thorough, but don't overdo it
First, you want to be thorough in your research of the investor. You don't have to research the investor's personal details. However, knowing about previous investments will help you to know how you might fit into an investor's plans. It will also help tailor your pitch for the best chance at success.
You want to be thorough in your pitch, but this is really where you don't want to go overboard. Yes, you probably have the ability to tell your investor about every minute detail of your product and the production of it. However, you want to limit your scope to the interests of the investor. An investor doesn't necessarily care about the minute and technical details of production. An investor cares about the target market and the profitability of a company much more than the technical aspects of producing your product.
Know your business
Of course, no one knows your business like you do. However, your investor is going to ask you about more than just what it is you do and why it should interest him or her. You should also have a firm grasp of your market, how big it is for growth, and good ideas about how to gain market share. An investor is more likely to move on a product that has broad appeal than one that targets only a niche market.
The other part of knowing your business is being precise when asked about sales numbers. If you answer with a figure that sounds like an estimate, you're telling the investor that you don't know the exact numbers. It can also imply that you're inflating your numbers for the sake of your audience. Giving an answer that is exact helps your investor know if your product is worth the investment.
This article was written by Gary Schwind for Small Business Pulse
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