How to Write a Successful Business Pitch

A business pitch can make or break your company. For that reason you want to make absolutely certain that you’ve got it down as much as possible. That can be quite intimidating – particularly if you’ve never done that kind of thing before.

Here’s the good news: Pitching isn’t some kind of weird art form that you can only grasp after you’ve been doing it a while. Instead, pitching is a science. There are objective ways to do better or to do worse. The only thing you need to do is internalize them (and then practice them and practice them and practice them). If you can do that, then you’ll be in a great position and you’ll be able to get the best out of your pitch.

Do your homework

The first thing that you’ve got to know is to do your homework. That means that you’ve got to know everything about your idea that you can possibly be asked about (And then some). It doesn’t just end there, either. You’ve got to also know about who you’re pitching to. If you know their quirks, what they care about and what they’ve done in the past, you can use all of that during your pitch to form a connection and demonstrate that you’re well prepared. That’s sure to impress.

Don’t just stop there, either.

Write your pitch. Then go back to your homework and see what you’ve missed and what you haven’t. Rewrite your pitch. Let it lie for a few days. Then go back and do it again.

Don’t pretend

When you’re writing a pitch, it can be tempting to use jargon, big words and long sentences. Resist that urge at whatever cost. You see, though we might think that if we use jargon and language we’ll come across as really intelligent, that’s not actually the case. Quite often, in fact, when you use big language you’ll actually come across as less intelligent.

Now that’s not what you want. So, make sure that you take the time to simplify your language as much as possible. Use the tools out there, like the Hemingway App as well readability score, to make your texts more accessible and easier to understand.

Don’t use jargon. If you do have to offer longer words, then give people a synonym behind it to make it easier for them to understand.

And always remember, if investors don’t understand what you’re offering then they’re not going to invest in it.

The intellectual argument is only one part

Sometimes one product is clearly superior to another. And yet, people will stick with the worse product for the simple reason that they have a connection with it. That’s because we’re not actually intellectual creatures. We’re primarily emotional creatures that sometimes get guided by intellectual ideas.

Jonathan Haidt has described the emotional intellectual conflict as that of an elephant and its rider. Sure, the rider can pull on the reigns and try to encourage the elephant to do what it wants, but if the elephant has other ideas, then that won’t make much difference.

For that reason, you can’t just appeal to the intellectual dimension. You’ve also got to hit people up on an emotional level, so that they don’t have to end up pulling on those reigns and the elephant heads in the right direction voluntarily.

Back and forth

Don’t write your business pitch alone. This can’t be stressed enough. Why? Because the writer of a piece of text will always struggle to separate what they meant to say from what they actually said. The former will always color the latter, which means you’ll never be able to really see what your words are saying (to not even mention the typos and stupid little mistakes that will crawl into your text when you keep editing it).

Somebody who’s never seen your text will not have that problem. They will only be able to see what you’ve actually written and will therefore be in a position to judge your pitch on its own merit.

So make sure you get plenty of people involved in your pitching process. First hit up business partners and people that you trust. Find people outside of your field of expertise as well. And for the final round get a professional writer involved. This can be somebody you have on staff, or somebody that you’ve brought in for the task in particular (check out this if you don’t know where to find somebody like that). 

The right way to respond

Just as importantly, accept what they’ve got to say. That doesn’t mean that you need to incorporate it into your pitch. They might not have a clue what they’re talking about. You might be right on the money and what they’re saying is absolute rubbish.

That’s not what I’m talking about.

What I’m talking about is that need when somebody gives a critique that you need to explain and defend your position. That is not why you asked them to critique your work. You asked them to do that to give you a better insight on how other people will see your work.

Even more importantly, when you send your pitch, you won’t get to verbally defend it. So, when they see a problem, don’t defend it. That’s counter-productive. Instead, hear them out make a note of it and consider later on if what they’re saying is right and that you’ve got to take action to deal with their problem.

The point to remember is that you’re working with these people, rather than trying to argue against them.

Last words

Writing a pitch isn’t easy. For that reason, make sure that you take the time to do it well. Don’t stop there either. Instead, make sure that you get feedback from other people to know whether it actually is anywhere close to where it has to be.

After all, when you’re writing a text you’ll often end up so close to your text that you can no longer see the forest through the trees. When that happens you won’t know if your actions carry you two steps forwards or two steps back.

Don’t let that happen. Instead, accept the give and take of text writing and accept the critiques of the people around you. They hurt, but they’re an essential part of the pitch writing path. 

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