Perfect Pitch winner D’Yann Crosby, Sign With Me, Inc., July 2018.

 

How to Perfect Your Pitch
By Veronica Mackey

        Creator, Perfect Pitch L.A.

People generally enter pitch competitions to secure the funds, resources, connections and expertise necessary to move their business forward.  It could mean the difference between your business going to the next level or never getting off the ground. Yet a lot of entrepreneurs struggle to pitch their ideas or products. If you are planning on pitching to investors or other influencers read these 10 tips for a successful presentation.

 

  1. Get straight to the point. You only have 7 seconds to make your first impression. You can start with some facts, a story, a quote, or statistics.  You want to get them engaged as soon as you get in front of them. Tell them what your business is and does.

  2. Know your product! You’re probably saying, “Of course I know my product, I came up with the concept.” Well, you’re right! But I’m talking about knowing your numbers.  How big is the market? How much of your own money have you invested so far? What is your revenue? What is your profit? You also need to understand your weaknesses, struggles and risks.  How can you improve your product?

  3. Make sure you include in your pitch how you’re solving a problem. Describe your targeted customers and how much they will pay for the product. You are in business to fulfill a need. Explain in your presentation how your product is the solution to the customers’ problems.

  4. Do some research on who you will be pitching. Despite how powerful your investors or lending executives can be, they still are human. So, find their interests, their stories and most of all, find out what there business model is.  What do they generally invest in? What is their expertise. Let’s say you have a new idea for the wine business and you go on “Shark Tank” to pitch your idea. If you have done your research on the investors, you would understand Kevin O’Leary (“Mr. Wonderful”) is your guy. Why? Because Kevin knows the wine industry.  He understands the industry’s needs and is more likely to invest in business before anyone else.

  5. What value are you bringing to your potential investors? In other words, what’s in it for them?  Tell them how profitable the business is and show your investors how investing in you is going to benefit them. They are looking to increase their bottom line.  

  6. Know what you want and ask for it. If you are presenting your idea because you need cash, ask for it. How much exactly do you need and how  is it going to be used? If you need their expertise, their connections, and their influence, ask for it and tell them how it would be applied in your business.

  7. Know your competition. If you are in a competitive market, investors want to know who are they competing with, and how you stand out. Basically, tell them who  your competitors are, what their strategies are, and what advantages you have over them. Investors want as little risk as possible when investing their money and time.

  8. Put yourself on a high social status. People want what they can’t have, they chase it and it moves away from them. People value what they pay for. Don't go pitch your idea looking desperate and needy. Don't say “Thank you for allowing me to present my idea and I hope you can invest in our company.” Instead tell them why you are valuable and why they should partner up with you. After all, investors are people who actually want to invest.  Right? They are just looking for the right company to invest in. All you have to do is show them you are that company. Don't sell yourself short, be confident that you are the prize. They want you just as much as you want them.

  9. Represent your product well.Dress accordingly, be professional, don’t be arrogant and body language is the Key. Have your head on your shoulders, again carry yourself with confidence.

  10. Test your pitch. Practice your pitch, then test it and get some feedback. Also, time your delivery so you can use your time wisely.  Go at a normal pace--not too fast, not too slow. Be enthusiastic, but not over the top. That can make you look like you’re NOT taking your business seriously.

 

All these 10 tips are important to get your investors to grab their pens and write you that check. But here are the most important of them. When you get in front of them, get straight to the point, know your business; know your numbers, know your competition and how you stand out.  Understand the risks and have a game plan is to minimize them. And tell them why you are the right person for them to partner up with.

Veronica Mackey is the creator of Perfect Pitch L.A.  For more information, visit www.konnectory.com or email veronica@konnectory.com.

VoyageMIA:  Miami's Most Inspiring Stories

 

Life and Work with Veronica Mackey

May 24, 2018

 

Today we’d like to introduce you to Veronica Mackey

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.

How I got here…

My entry into the fascinating world of business began as a representative for the Wilshire Chamber of Commerce in Los Angeles. I loved my job! Nothing thrilled me more than seeing entrepreneurs turn their dreams into successful enterprises.

But when the recession hit, I watched helplessly as business owners in the area closed their doors. Their dreams. their life savings all gone. It broke my heart.

I thought of all the entrepreneurs who could have supported each other — if only they knew where to look. Maybe my friend who owned the travel agency might have survived with a few key referrals from the embassy official I’d recently met.

It took a long time, but when I watched “Shark Tank” I knew I’d found the right platform. I decided to help entrepreneurs fulfill their dreams by bringing them together with advisors, lenders, and investors.

Perfect Pitch is an open pitch competition where entrepreneurs compete for cash prizes while gaining access to experts who can provide funding and steer them in the right direction.

The positive energy, thank-you notes, and amazing networking that happens at Perfect Pitch events let me know I’m onto something!

I am currently seeking sponsors for Perfect Pitch, and expect to launch my crowdfunding campaign this spring. Eventually, I plan to franchise the event in 10 cities.

Has it been a smooth road?

My business went through a lot of evolution before everything came together. First, I thought it was going to be a newsletter that people could use to network. (I’m a journalist). Then, I thought it would become a business organization. Then, I just got confused and stopped pursuing it all together. I also became disillusioned because the same people who praised my work were those who were least willing to pitch in and help.

This will happen. So, again, do not wait. The road to becoming a trailblazer is not a straight path. There may be a lot of false starts and unexpected roadblocks. And, you never know how long it will take.

Everything looks so easy when you’re young and enthusiastic. So, it’s important to get going as soon as you can because you don’t want to lose your momentum. Don’t wait for the time to be perfect because there is no such thing. Find a way to keep your dream going even if you can’t leave your job right now. Whatever you’re able to do to move your dream further will sustain you in the difficult times.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Perfect Pitch – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I am the CEO-Matchmaker of Konnectory, a business-to-business matchmaking firm. I specialize in connecting entrepreneurs to their ideal audience by arranging private meetings, mixers, and events.

Konnectory creates opportunities for clients to connect directly with influencers, decision-makers, or whomever their target market is, through pre-qualified leads, referrals, and introductions.

We think this approach is far superior, more time and cost efficient, than traditional networking.

One of the things I’m most proud of was a connection I made between a distributor of filtered water bottles and a nonprofit devoted to bringing clean water to third world countries. Through this introduction, $10,000 was raised and proceeds went toward building water wells in Africa.

What sets Konnectory apart? Our approach to marketing. We believe face-to-face meetings are still the best way to do business. It builds credibility and connects people in a way that the Internet just cannot do. Of course, we use technology too, but as a connecting tool, and not as a substitute for building relationships.

There’s a wealth of academic research that suggests that lack of mentors and networking opportunities for women has materially affected the number of women in leadership roles. Smart organizations and industry leaders are working to change this, but in the meantime, do you have any advice for finding a mentor and building a network?
Focus on the “Who.” Find out who is going to be at the networking event. Get a list if possible, and try and plan who to talk to before you arrive.

Time is precious and you need to be strategic. Also, don’t try and “sell” anything the first time you meet because that can be a real turnoff. They don’t know you, so they’re not necessarily interested in hearing a sales pitch. Networking is the starting point. From there, you follow up and begin to develop your relationship. Think of how you might be able to help them first.

Mentors can be anyone — a friend, teacher, pastor, or your boss. Or it may be someone you don’t know. I have lots of different mentors that I have never met. Most have come from YouTube. When I want to learn something or have a problem, I just watch videos until I find someone who resonates with me. Sometimes, I buy their book or attend their conference. It depends on how much is needed to satisfy my situation.

I recently joined MicroMentor.com.  It’s a free website that helps you find mentors.  

Pricing:

  • Perfect Pitch vendor space starts at $50
  • Private matchmaking starts at $500
  • Perfect Pitch sponsorships start at $1500

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageMIA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.