When pitching your idea to a potential investor, every second counts.
While the opportunity to pitch is an important moment to you, it’s important to remember that most investors hear hundreds of pitches per year. From all over. And everyone of those people pitching thinks their idea is the next big thing.
Designing your pitch to generate interest – rather than investment – is more likely to set you apart from the other pitches that investors hear, thus landing you a potentially life-changing conversation.
Interest, Not Investment
The key thing to remember about the purpose of your pitch: it’s purpose is not to generate investment in your project. That would be presumptuous; most investors didn’t become successful by throwing a lot of money at projects without any diligence, simply because the sales pitch was so compelling.
Instead, your pitch should be focused on generating interest. You want to generate interest in your project, in your team, in your vision, in the problem you’re trying to solve. The goal is get a conversation with an investor, not a deal from them.
Ideally, you want the investor to come up to you after the pitch and have them ask you, “Hey, can you tell me a little more about [x].” Or, “I didn’t know [insert problem you’re solving here]. Why do you think…” Or, even better, “I know someone struggling to solve [insert problem here], let’s connect and discuss [possible solution].”
Deals Take Time
You want your pitch to arouse curiosity and interest, and get you a follow-up conversation. Then use that conversation to get another one, and another one, and so on. You’ll use these additional opportunities to move closer towards making a deal. And it will take more time thank you think – there will be many meetings, diligence, lawyers, negotiation, and so on. The extent of this process will vary by project, funding round, amount of investment sought, and so forth. But it’s not uncommon for it to take months.
When pitching to investors, it’s easy to convince yourself that this pitch is your door to investment. That’s not the case. Most investors take their time. And most investors see hundreds of pitches a year. Rather than try to pitch for investment, you’re better off organizing your pitch to generate interest and arouse curiosity. When investors are interested and curious, then they’ll push you through the investment process. And that’s much easier than you trying to force your own way through it.