Pitching to Investors: How to Convincingly Ask for Capital

Investment Pitches that work

How do you get your company funded? This is a question that every entrepreneur has at some point in their business career. With more than $650 billion invested annually into private companies, there are plenty of options available if you know where to look and how. Pitching to investors is a crucial step for many businesses. After all, without capital, your business will never succeed. This article discusses the basics of pitching effectively and convincingly in order to get the funds you need to grow your company or launch a new one!

Know your audience and be prepared.

This seems pretty obvious, but hear us out. Knowing your audience and being prepared covers both who you’re pitching to and how you should prepare the pitch. It all starts with the “who,” and then you can expand to the “how.” Make sure you conserve your efforts to prioritize the right person at the right time.

You may think you know which investors are prime to be pitched, but do the legwork to confirm. It could be the right person, but it might not be the right time.

You may think you know what the investor wants to hear, but it’s still important to research and prepare. Don’t let an assumption or preconceived bias get in your way. 

Know which investors you can pitch in terms of their expertise or interest. Do some research on those investors so you know who they are and what they’re looking for in an investment opportunity. How’d you find them? Is there information available on LinkedIn or other sites? The more context you have on their background and past behaviors, the more you can tailor your pitch.

Researching an individual investor can be challenging, so you should also try researching a firm or industry that is in line with the investment type you are looking for.

Have all the information ready to go before you start pitching

Investors want to see a solid plan for success that will make them money. If you don’t have everything ready, they might not take the time or even meet with you! Here are some things you can prepare before pitching:

A clear statement of how much capital is needed, and why it’s necessary. Provide information on who will be receiving the funds, for what purpose, and when they’ll receive it.

Your go-to-market strategy in a nutshell. Who’s the target market, what’s the revenue model, how saturated is the field, and how are you positioned to be different or competitive?

Focus on the benefits of your product, not just features. Every point should answer “so what?” What are the benefits? Why is it a better alternative than the competition? How does it work? Who can use it? What will people get if they purchase it?

Be clear about what investors will get from their investment.

Make a list of all the benefits that come with investing in your business. Include an explanation of why this is a good investment opportunity.

If you know it, include how much the investor will get back for their investment. Provide facts and data to support what you’re saying. Data isn’t perfect, but it is compelling, and numbers can’t be ignored by investors. An amazing story is important and could be your differentiator, but the facts and the data need to back it up. They want the full package.

Find a way to stand out from other entrepreneurs pitching their ideas.

Investors have short attention spans and want quick answers. They also hear multiple pitches, so you need to differentiate yourself from the crowd.

Make it memorable and don’t be afraid to share your story. Highlight your business’s unique qualities with stories and anecdotes.

Stick the landing, deliver it powerfully: Be confident when speaking and be passionate about what you’re talking about! Craft your pitch and rehearse in a way that still sounds like you.

Don’t be afraid to pause for dramatic effect and make eye contact with investors during your speech.

KISS: Keep it short and sweet. Be concise and truthful; assume their sensitivity to B.S. is extreme. Investors don’t have time for long-winded deep-dives and technical jargon, so have it available but don’t include it in the pitch.

End with a call to action for the audience and know when it’s the right time to stop talking and let the investor ask questions.

Crafting and delivering a successful pitch can be daunting, but we’ve provided you with some practical tips to make your pitching process easier and access capital to get your business off the ground. Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list and there are many more strategies on how to successfully pitch, especially as they apply to your specific business context. Sign up to learn more about our Bootcamp series, where we’ll prepare you with all the skills and tools you’ll need to stick the landing with investors and get the capital you need to realize your dreams.

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