It wasn’t until I finished my 30 minute pitch and a face across the table anxiously said, “Tell them what apps you’ve made.” that I realized I’ve been playing defense when I should be playing offense. There I was, convincing total strangers to trust and empower my company. I needed to prove then and there I was capable and solid.
My approach to any pitch is simple. I’m straight forward and fundamental. I prepare my best possible business plan from every angle I can foresee and I deliver. If I don’t know an answer fired in return, I say so, and say how I’ll find it in the future. That means I’ve spent most of my preparation on filling the gaps. I’m educated as an engineer so I researched my sales and marketing tactics to hell and back. I meticulously laid out my revenue streams and financial projections. I planned milestones with exact measurable results that anyone can understand.
Here’s the big problem. My team’s employment history was nowhere to be found. We’ve built and launched 50+ mobile apps. We’ve been featured in the App Store, Google Play, CES, and many web design awards multiple times over. Apps we’ve created generate thousands of active users per month. In a statement – we are collectively one of the top talents in mobile tech anywhere. It’s our biggest strength and the reason I was invited to pitch. The advantage is so great that I never have to worry about it. But like a seasoned musician plugging his shiny new song, my audience was only waiting for me to play my hits. The worst part is if I wasn’t cued up, I would have left without ever doing so.
After I rattled off a list of some of my favorites, the entire room groaned. “Why would you say anything else!?” one listener yelled. We all had a good laugh and concluded a very successful meeting. This is my public service announcement. Wherever you are in your business, you’re there for a reason. Something got you there – your all-star marketing mind, your successful past ventures, even your impressive network of advisors if your have one. Be sure that you’re not a one trick pony and constantly improving, but also make sure leave your audience with the big finale. You have to defend your weaknesses, but you can’t succeed without a strong offense either.