A launch plan that takes a product from concept to commercialization almost always involves acquiring external funding. Pitching your business is a specialized form of B2B brand positioning, as the product is yourself and your ideas. Giving a good pitch is a combination of research, preparation, and presentation.
Here are 5 tips that will set you up for success for your next pitch:
- Find the right person. When it comes to finding investors for your product launch, “spray and pray” is not the best practice. You should be doing extensive research before beginning to pitch to ensure you aren’t wasting your time or theirs. It’s relative, starting with solid research to find the right person will help find good investors and save your time.
- First impressions matter. Studies show it only takes 1/10 of a second for someone to form an impression of you. Making a personal connection will impact every followup conversation with your potential investor. People invest in people. Eventually you will be selling your product, but at this stage you are selling your ideas and your ability to deliver.
- Be conservative but helpful. Since your first introduction is so important, ensure you are providing the right amount of information to start. Hitting someone with an NDA from the start comes off as presumptuous. If you are requesting an NDA, we suggest waiting until you are far enough in to the process with the possible investor. An NDA can become difficult to manage and possibly turn away investors before they've had a chance to hear your pitch.
- Bring your data. Numbers will be your best friend when it comes to backing up the potential for your idea. Bring what you know and be upfront about knowledge gaps. Remember the following when building your market projections:
- Cite your sources. Investors want to know that you have read the right reports and talked to the right people.
- Be granular. Attention to detail is crucial. You need to show that you have plumbed your sources as deeply as possible. Be concise, but be thorough. Need resources to help develop specific estimates for your budget? Check out our marketing budget resources.
- State your assumptions. Regardless of the depth of your research, there are things you do not know, and that is OK. Make it clear that you are aware of gaps in your information.
- Be conservative. A common pitch mistake is over-estimating your market. False confidence doesn’t stand up well to scrutiny. Remember—your market estimate is definitely wrong.
- Be honest about your team’s qualifications and weaknesses. Show investors that you are aware of the roles you need to fill and that part of your launch plan involves filling out your team. In all likelihood, an investor can connect you with strong candidates.
- Understand their valuation methodologies. Your investor is looking for specific numbers to help represent what your proposed company or product will be worth. Make sure to provide real estimates on the return, not just wishes and fairy tales.
- Avoid defensiveness. This is your idea that you've likely poured time and energy in to, so it's easy to feel protective over it. However, if you had it all worked out, you wouldn't need funding. Keep this in mind as you get questions or feedback from possible investors.
Finding the right investors to get your new business or product launch off the ground can be difficult, but it can also be one of the most important steps to getting started.
For an in-depth look at planning for your next product launch, check out our Product Launch Guide.