Elaine has “pitched” to a combined 6 Dragons and Sharks (from Dragons’ Den in Canada and Shark Tank in the USA), and every one of them wanted “in”!
Whether you are looking to pitch your business to investors, or pitch your product or service to an individual who is a potential customer, you will want to know these 5 Must-Do’s and 5 Exert Tips on how to nail the perfect pitch. The best advice comes from those who have done it before.
Grab them by outlining the problem
Reveal your unique solution
Explain your story
Always provide proof
Tantalize with your numbers
Quickbooks accounting software if you are doing your own book-keeping. Wayyyy better than using Excel! By the way, if you are outsourcing your book-keeping, that’s great, but make sure you still know your numbers!
Elaine: 00:10 Hi, welcome to Elaine’s Kitchen Table. I am so honored that you are here with us. I say because I have my special guest with me today and that is Mr Ron Comeau my partner in business. Marriage. Parenting. Yup. Just a good guy.
Ron: 00:33 Partners in business and partners in life is what we call it honey.
Elaine: 00:37 Right. Okay. Well we’re so happy that you could join us today because we are going to talk about a topic that seems to be very important in the world of entrepreneurs and it is a topic that I need to put on a podcast because I know exactly when it is time for auditions for Dragons’ Den, for Shark Tank, for Pitch Tank because our email box is always full of questions and our phone keeps ringing because people want to know how to do a good pitch or how to have the perfect pitch for their business.
Ron: 01:14 Now let me tell you folks, if you’re wondering how to do the perfect pitch, you’re listening to the right person here. Now I know Elaine won’t brag about this, so I’ll brag for her. She appeared on Dragons’ Den a few years ago, which is the Canadian version of Shark Tank and she had all five investors wanting in on her deal and that has happened before on that show. But then recently she had a chance to do something called Pitch Tank which had one of the Sharks, Kevin Harrington in it and out of 400 people, they got narrowed down to five she pitched and guests who Kevin Harrington chose – Elaine! So that means she is pitched to six people who are Sharks or Dragons and all six have wanted in on her idea. So she must know a thing or two about doing the perfect pitch.
Elaine: 02:00 Ok well, I think that was too kind. I think we learn as we go and I would just be so happy to share with you some of the tips that I have learned about how to do a good pitch and we’re going to call this episode five steps to the perfect pitch and also five must knows to doing that perfect pitch. Let’s start with the five things that you must know before you even think about pitching. And that is
Step #1 to the Perfect Pitch – Know Your Investors
Elaine: 02:28 Number one, know your investors. You have to know who they are, what strengths and qualities do they have. For example, when we were going on Dragons’ Den, we knew that Mr Kevin O’Leary was going to be there and that he started an educational software program out of his basement that he sold for just under $4 billion. This is a man who’s been in the industry that we are in and we knew that each one of those investors had a strength. That would be a huge blessing or a benefit to our business. So know what they can bring to the table because you know what, as much as you’re pitching to them, you need to know what they can bring to the table as well. So
Ron: 03:10 do your research folks.
Elaine: 03:11 Yeah. So make sure that, how well do they know your industry.
Step #2 to the Perfect Pitch – Know Your Business Plan (and feel free to change it often)
Elaine: 03:14 Number two, know your business plan. If you don’t have a business plan, you are walking blindly and that is no way to build a business – in the dark. So definitely, definitely have a business plan. And when you are going to pitch and if you are auditioning for a show like Shark Tank or Pitch Tank or Dragons’ Den, that is probably the best crash course, 101 business course ever because it makes you delve into your business and look at the numbers seriously and to create that one year plan, five year plan, and even an exit strategy. So number three,
Ron: 03:54 I just wanted to say about number two, if it ain’t written, it’s a rumor. So there’s no such thing as a business plan in your head. It has to be on paper.
Elaine: 04:02 and please know that when you write your business plan you can change it. It’s very healthy to keep changing your business plan because it works as your guideline and kind of a skeleton to hold everything together. Very important.
Step #3 to the Perfect Pitch – Know Your Numbers
Elaine: 04:19 Number three, know your numbers. When you know your numbers, you know what you can offer and give away to an investor and you know your numbers well enough then to know what you can say yes or no to because you don’t want to be tricked or taken either.
Ron: 04:41 Do you remember that time early in Easy Daysies when you spent a year tracking your numbers in an excel spreadsheet? Yes. That was fun, wasn’t it?
Elaine: 04:49 Oh, that was so painful. Sometimes exciting, but sometimes really, really painful. So yes, having a good system
Ron: 04:57 as far as knowing your own numbers, we would highly recommend getting an accounting software. It’s not that expensive and it’s well worth it.
Elaine: 05:03 Yes. And we’ve tried a couple. And what was your favorite of the
Ron: 05:07 definitely Quickbooks is the one that I would recommend.
Step #4 to the Perfect Pitch – Nail it in 60 Seconds
Elaine: 05:10 Yes. So moving on to number four of the must knows before you even come up with pitching is to nail it. Nail your pitch in 60 seconds, 60 seconds, not five minutes but 60 seconds. The reason why you want to do that is because when you have time in front of a busy investor, all you have sometimes is 60 seconds to capture their attention and their interest. So make sure you can capture that all in the first 60 seconds. Then of course if they are enticed to want to know more, they are going to give you more time. So nail that pitch in the first 60 seconds.
Step #5 to the Perfect Pitch – Be Presentable and Professional
Elaine: 05:55 And number five is your appearance. This is so important to look professional, to be professional. That means when you are standing in front of investors, you want to dress professionally. You don’t have to wear expensive clothes, be real, be who you are.
Elaine: 06:13 But there is no need ladies wear short skirts or a low cut tops or anything like that. Be sincere, be real and just just say it as it is. Do not read. Do not read your pitch. You should know your business so well and your numbers so well that you can look at someone in the eye and talk to them. Person to person. And I remember one of our investors that we had pitched in front of before had shared, um, that, that she felt quite offended when, when people are standing in front of her asking for money and doesn’t even take the effort to look at her in the eye. And how can you borrow money from our ask for money from someone if you can’t even look at them in the eye. So please don’t read just speak from your heart and, and be truthful and share.
Ron: 07:05 Don’t bring paper into the meeting. Memorize it, and wear shoes.
Elaine: 07:10 Oh my goodness. Okay, well I think it’s bed time for him, oh boy. Okay. Moving on here. So let’s move on to the five steps for the perfect pitch. And when we talk about the perfect pitch, we mean a great pitch, and I’m using the word G.R.E.A.T. because I actually made that into an acronym and that must be the school teacher inside of me. So the five steps are going to be covered by the letters of G R E A T for great.
Must-Have #1 for a G.R.E.A.T. Perfect Pitch – Grab them
Elaine: 07:42 So G stands for Grab them, grab them with an existing problem that needs to be solved, make them see and feel that pain of that problem. So they realize, oh my goodness, that is so true. That exists and you’re right, that needs a solution. But as fast as they can think of that, they will also realize there probably is other solutions to this problem.
Must-Have #2 for a G.R.E.A.T. Perfect Pitch – Reveal your unique solution
Elaine: 08:08 So that’s why number two is very important, is to Reveal your unique solution or answer to that problem. So you’ve shown the problem. Now you’re going to say why your solution is different than any other one and better than any other solution. And good golly, if it’s the only solution, I think you’ve, you’ve sold it right there.
Must-Have #3 for a G.R.E.A.T. Perfect Pitch – Explain your story
Elaine: 08:32 So, and then the third step is Explain. So now we’ve got the G and the R and the E. Explain, explain your story of how you came up with a solution and how it works. This is what makes you stand out. This is what makes you so different from any competitor. No one can compete against your story cause it’s your story. So this is so important. And if you are pitching on Shark Tank or Dragons’ Den, this is the part that the producers love and that will capture your audience is your story. This is what is so key. So please don’t feel like you don’t have anything but a product or a service. What is your story behind your product or your service that is, that is the money, I would say. Do you want to add anything there, Ron?
Ron: 09:25 Yeah, who cares if you’ve got a widget, but if you’ve got a widget with heart and you’ve got a reason why you made the widget and why you have passion for this widget, that goes a long way.
Must-Have #4 for a G.R.E.A.T. Perfect Pitch – Always provide proof
Elaine: 09:36 So the fourth step is starting with A, because we are covering the acronym of great and A is Always provide proof. What is your expertise? What are the testimonials, the awards, the evidence that shows that what your solution is actually is successful. It actually works. This is very, very important. So this is the time where you just want to tell your credentials and it’s okay to brag. I don’t like bragging, but it’s the only word I have to use right now.
Must-Have #5 for a G.R.E.A.T. Perfect Pitch – Tantalize with your numbers
Elaine: 10:10 And T this takes us to the next step of sealing the deal. And the T stands for Tantalize. You wanted to tantalize with the numbers. Show your numbers. What are your sales, what’s your forecast for your sales? And this is where you want the eyes to pop out of your investors. They say, okay, this is real, a real business. And so that is where you will share your growth strategy, the return on investment when you’re providing these numbers and even an exit plan. Because investors like to know that you have one, that there is an exit plan for them, for you and they want to know what the money is so that they can make money with you and for themselves.
Elaine: 10:58 So that is it. We are very excited to hear from you, so please, please do comment on the tips that you just heard here, find me on Twitter @chatwithelaine or on Facebook. What is my Facebook? Elaine’s Kitchen Table!
Elaine: 11:22 So go on and there and find us. And you know what, I would be honored and excited to hear your pitch. So let us know if there was one of these tips that stood out for you that you are just going to run and hang on to and utilize right away. And we just want to say thank you for your time today.
Ron: 11:42 Uh, one last question for you, Elaine. Yes. Now you’ve put out some great information about doing the perfect pitch in one of your first episodes of your podcast. What about there’s probably a lot of your listeners out there who haven’t actually even started a business yet or just have an idea, why would you tell them about what happens at the end, at the beginning?
Elaine: 12:03 The topic that we covered today is about how to do the perfect pitch, a great pitch for your business to investors. For those of you who are just starting out in business or have, are in the conceptual phase of thinking about what your product is going to be or your idea, this is so important for you to know because eventually you might get to this step and it is so important to start thinking of these steps right when you start. So when you are starting your business or just in the concept phase of your idea of a product or a service, you do want to ask yourself these questions and start thinking about how would you pitch this to an investor? Because you may just be closer to that step than you think and you want to think when you start your product or service idea, how does it solve a problem? Does it even solve a problem? Because if it doesn’t, you might want to rethink what you’re doing.
Ron: 13:00 And that’s the key I think to know from the very beginning. I think it’s also important too, like if you’re just getting into something that you sell at home parties or something like that, that you can use the same sort of techniques when you’re pitching to your potential customers. And I’m sure you’ll talk about this on another podcast, Elaine. You can tell your listeners about the, the first retail store that you got into for Easy Daysies and the way that you had to pitch that. And you’ll probably tell the story of how you went and met with 11 executives in their suits, in a boardroom in New York, to pitch your product to Easy Daysies for Barnes and Noble and got it in there too. And you use the same principles all along, whether you’re pitching to a large corporation or pitching to a potential customer.
Elaine: 13:45 That is an excellent point, Ron. That is so true because your pitch becomes your business card. And the beauty of the pitch is you, the creator and the inventor, are the one who gets to deliver it so much better than a piece of cardboard paper. So yes, so do you come back and check our podcast because we will have lots of information for you on how to go into a local store and get your product on their shelves to a mass retailer. So we look forward to talking with you again. Bye bye.