Startup founders from Morocco, Africa or elsewhere, at some point in your entrepreneurial journey, your pitch has probably become an obsession. So much that as soon as someone asks for your name, you start delivering it without hesitation. It might not seem obvious, but adopting the same pitch for your next-door neighbor as for a potential investor is not the best idea. Instead, you want a pitch that remains relevant, and therefore adapted to each situation. Otherwise, you risk losing the attention of your audience.
A pitch for every setting
In order to make good use of your pitch, it is important to begin by defining its objectives. To achieve that, there are two important questions to ask yourself:
1. Who is the pitch for?
2. What decision do you want them to make?
Based on this, you can divide your pitches into these four categories corresponding to startups’ most common challenges :
1. Networking Pitch: your goal is to chat with other professionals and expand your network.
2. Sales Pitch: your goal is to close business deals.
3. Investor Pitch: your goal is to raise funds.
4. Recruitment Pitch: your goal is to recruit talent for your startup.
Now it’s up to you to make use of each of the four pitches in the relevant situations.
Important : For each setting, it’s best to go with one type of pitch. If you mix up the pitches, your message will not be as clear and your speech may lack impact.
The Networking Pitch
In the professional world, attending networking events is one of the most effective ways to expand your network. This is obvious, since you are surrounded by people who share the same interests as you. The best thing is to take advantage of this opportunity to network with the right people!
Entrepreneurs can come from a variety of backgrounds. Some may have been in the same industry as you for years and have all the answers. Others have just launched their startup and don’t understand the specialized terms you throw at them.
Therefore you need to be able to move swiftly from jargon to common language, and discuss topics you may not be familiar with.
Tip: Verbs appeal more to the imagination than names and job titles. Therefore it’s very helpful to use verbs to explain precisely what you do.
Remember: other entrepreneurs are also there to network. They want to meet as many people as possible and do not have hours to listen to your story.
Networking aims for one purpose: to make connections. If you’re lucky, you’ll get meaningful conversations that eventually lead to developing your startup. The goal is not to sell on the spot! You obviously don’t want to overwhelm your contacts with information.
The Sales Pitch
This pitch type is dedicated to your partners, customers and potential customers. With your customers, it is important that you focus on the problems they face, their particular needs and the solutions you offer them. With potential partners, you ought to focus more on what you can offer them and especially on what you expect from them.
It’s worth remembering that clients and partners are used to being pitched quite often. So make sure you stand out. You should also research your potential customers and tailor your pitch accordingly. Telling the same story without researching your client may cause you to miss your next deal.
The Investor Pitch
In the case of the investor pitch, you have a single objective: you want to raise money. You know it, and your potential investors know it too. So don’t beat around the bush. It’s very useful to be precise in this case: how much money do you want, who do you want it from and what do you want to do with it?
Focus on the problem your startup is solving. Investors need to understand the value of your product, so you need to do this without going through all the slides in your business plan. What frustrations inspired the creation of your product? What needs does your product address? These are your startup elements that will determine the success of your pitch.
Don’t forget that many investors pay special attention to the founders and employees of startups. It happens that they decide to invest in a startup because they believe in the team more than in the product. Numbers are obviously important, but the human aspect can also make a difference. So, in the pitch situation situation, you can explain to the investor the origin of your idea, talk about your passion, familiarize him with your team, its composition, and only then, broach the subject of numbers.
Your pitch is supposed to be brief and to the point. You don’t have hours to perform your pitch. You only have a moment to use your explanations to convince and amaze your audience.
The Recruiting Pitch
Even when you are preparing to hire new employees, it is important that you have an effective pitch. It needs to be clear: will they work on projects they have experience with, projects they can relate to?
Obviously, it goes beyond that. Employees are looking for a positive company culture, a learning environment and a job where they can have an impact.
Be clear about what you can offer them – even if you don’t have to go into detail during this initial exchange. Describe the work environment, could they work on projects they are passionate about, what are the prospects for growth? Salary and benefits are also convincing factors, so it’s best to offer your potential employee an attractive package.
Now you have a selection of pitches to keep in mind at all times. This way, using your adapted pitches, you can approach the opportunities that come your way with efficiency.