You attended the innovation conference. You met some potential investors. You gave your well-rehearsed elevator pitch and it did the trick. Now, you have a foot in the door, but you still need to convince that angel investor that this isn’t just something to be discussed in passing at an invention seminar; it is a business concept with real money-making potential. In order to do that you need to be prepared to hit a home run with your proposal presentation.
Step #1. Take a Breath This is important, so read this slowly and really absorb it – the person you are pitching this idea to is a human being. He or she has also faced stressful moments in life, and chances are pretty good that he or she even had to pitch a business idea to other investors in the past. That person has been in your shoes. Throughout this process, just remember that you are speaking to another human being with weaknesses and insecurities or his or her own.
Step #2. Clean Up that Prototype You absolutely should have a prototype of the product that you hope to sell. If it’s a great idea and the investor can hold on to it, chances are better that he or she will see the merit in it.
Step #3. Gets Some Feedback on Your Business Plan Once you have done all of the hard work of researching competitors, narrowing your niche, learning about your intended customer, and running the numbers, it’s time to get a second opinion. It is always a good idea to have another set of eyes read through written content before considering it the final copy. In this case, it would be wise to entrust this task to someone who has had some business experience.
Step 4. Do a Couple of Trial Runs Have a friend or family member listen to your pitch and ask questions. This is a great way to test your ability to answer questions on the spot. It will also make you more comfortable in your delivery of the information.
Step 5. Create a Backup Plan Giving a pitch to a potential investor is tough, but you can ease your nerves a bit by having a backup plan. This might mean attending another high tech exhibition to meet more potential investors, so if the first pitch doesn’t go well, you can try again. It might mean lining up a meeting with the bank that can be canceled if you get the investor to agree to back you. Whatever it is, it will undoubtedly put you a bit more at ease to know that there is a safety net of some kind.