September 16, 2014 Helpful Tips

Your business pitch will inform everything about your business, from your logo to your store design, to the way you handle customer service. Whether you’re selling a product, service, or your own expertise, or you’re meeting with a potential investor, you need to have a clear, concise, consistent message.

When you have the chance to express that message face-to-face, it’s known as a pitch: who are you, what do you do, and why would I want to give you my business?

Generally, you’ll only have two or three minutes for this opportunity before you lose someone’s attention, so here are some good guidelines to stick to when trying to create the “perfect pitch.” Some of the following pitch points were suggested by Jennifer Glanville, a Pitch Room Competition judge and Brewery Manager at Sam Adams.

1. Share your business story.

Hearing about why you started your company and what keeps you going with the business helps you stand out and gives your pitch a nice, personal touch.

2. Solve a problem.

Your niche in business is to answer a need no one else has, or do it better than someone else is doing it. Explain the problem and why your business is the solution.

3. Explain your business plan.

It’s important that you share where you see your company going and that you also touch upon how it’s going to get there. Who will you sell to? Where? What is your sales and marketing strategy?

4. Sell your audience on the product.

You can offer your audience a taste of your product or show them how it will be packaged. The point is that when walking away, your audience should be convinced they want what you have to offer.

5. Make it personal.

If you can communicate why you’re passionate about your product, your audience will feel a stronger connection to you, your product, and your business. Your story can be inspiring for others to hear.

6. Be positive.

If you don’t believe what you’re pitching, no one else will either. Don’t be cocky, but definitely be confident. Sell your listener on what’s so wonderful about your business. Be positive: show how you have a vision and inspire others with it. Why is it special? What makes you so passionate about it? Pitch from a position of strength.

7. Plan to succeed.

While you don’t want your plan to sound scripted, you can’t wing it. You must put in the right preparation to make sure you cover what a prospective customer or investor needs to know to want to do business with you.

8. Personalize your delivery.

While much of the information will apply across the board, who the pitch is directed to will help you decide what to concentrate on each time you pitch your business. A potential investor will want more of the nuts and bolts about your business plan, while a possible new client wants to know what’s in it for them.

9. Practice.

It really does make perfect! Give your pitch to friends, family, and trusted business acquaintances. Ask for feedback to figure out if you’re hitting the mark. Videotape yourself to make sure you have no annoying mannerisms and that you’re speaking clearly and enthusiastically. The more you give the pitch, the better you’ll be at it, the more natural it will sound, and the more effective it will be.

Business Pitch Competition

As an extra incentive, think about entering a business pitch contest, like the Samuel Adams' Pitch Room for food and beverage businesses.

Entering such a competition gives you the chance to win some money and exposure for your business, and you’ll be able get feedback from professionals that can pay benefits for years to come.

Even if you don’t actually enter a competition, going through the steps as if you were will help you keep the key components of a good pitch in mind and remind you of how important it is to your business.

See some snippets of successful pitches on Accion’s YouTube channel.

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