The process of crafting the perfect pitch is long and passes different stages. From collecting all needed data and arranging it in presentation slides through practicing the whole pitch and polishing the last details before the big day – it is all a truly exciting journey. During the process of development, many entrepreneurs make significant changes – some good, some really unnecessarily, and, sometimes, some truly disastrous.
After years of studying startup pitches and receiving feedback from the investors we work with, we have come to the conclusion that there are certain phrases in a pitch that really hit the nail on the head. We have narrowed it down to the following 7 phrases (+ one extra tip) that work precisely well in a stage of a pitch competition like The Pitcher.
It doesn’t necessarily mean that you should use the exact phrase. It is important that you understand the reason why these phrases work and craft them according to your pitch style.
This short list of phrases will give you useful and actionable tips on preparing your next investor pitch, so read on carefully!
“The product/idea/business is extremely important to me and I have invested money personally/quit my job to devote my time to the business.” – Message: “I am doing this because I truly believe that it will succeed. I am so passionate about this venture and am completely determined to make it work.”
“We have worked together for… and have successfully built…” – Message: “We have a good work history together, so we are ready to face the challenges that entrepreneurship will present to us!” Investors are interested in the team behind the product. It is important to note for how long you have known each other; to mention previous projects that you have worked on together or projects that you have worked on individually, but were successful. Let the investors know how you complement each other’s skills.
“The market/customer research showed that…” – Message: “We have spent a lot of time, money, and effort to determine the market share, the demand for the product, and the profile of our customers.” Data is important. Include it in your pitch to prove there is a place on the market for your product/service and to show who your customers are.
“Our biggest competitor is…, but this is how we are better than them” – Message: “We are aware of the competition, but we have already created a strategy, which will help us to beat them.” It is good to mention the competition, but don’t spend too much time on them. This pitch is all about you and the opportunity you present to the investors to jump in your promising business!
“We are looking for X amount of money for X equity in return!” – Message: “We understand business valuation. We know exactly what our company is worth!” It is important that you stay realistic when you determine the valuation of the company. This phrase will work only when the numbers are realistic. Remember, if the investors seem interested, you can always negotiate! You’ve seen Shark Tank, you know!
“This is how we are going to spend the money!” – Message: “The amount we ask from you is not just a number we made up. We know exactly how the investment will be spent in order to bring a return.”
“Beyond capital, we would like to have an investor like you on board, because…” – Message: “We don’t need just your money. We look for your expertise, your advice, and support. You are important to us and we hope that you will jump on board with us. We trust you and you can trust us as well!”
Tip: “I am not absolutely sure, so let me just quickly check with my partner/my data…” – Message: “I have no answer ready to your question, but I don’t want to shoot in the dark so I will double check.” This is an extremely useful phrase that will help you when the investors catch you off guard with a question. The investors will understand if you have missed some detail, but will never tolerate if you give them wrong information, just because you didn’t want to admit that you are not fully prepared.