Are you an entrepreneur looking for investors? If you are, good luck. We don’t mean to sound cynical, but finding investors is a tough job.
There are only so many new ideas in the world, and no guarantee that your idea is even viable. Investors know this, they see it every day.
In 2013 less than one quarter of entrepreneurs seeking angel investors (affluent individuals who provide capital for a start-up) received capital.
The odds stacked against you aren’t terrible, though you’re still looking at an uphill battle.
However, this high failure rate hasn’t slowed down budding entrepreneurs from taking their shot at success.
The popular television show Shark Tank is proof that not only is entrepreneurship not dead, but it’s actually being romanticized and idolized by the general population.
Contestants gain valuable experience and real world capital pitching their ideas to a variety of investors. In this instance, you can believe what you see on television.
We’re breaking down how shark tank survivors prepared their investor pitch for success.
Speak With Your Body
Your body language says a lot about your mentality.
Someone who is confident in their product should walk strong, shoulders back and chest forward. No one will believe in your product if you don’t believe in yourself.
Make sure to maintain strong eye contact with your potential investors. Lack of eye contact is perceived as indicative of insecurity.
Further, analysis of patient complaints at one hospital found that 9 out of 10 complaints mentioned poor-doctor patient eye contact. Patients interpreted this as a “lack of caring.”
Your investors need to believe in you and your determination as much as they believe in your product.
Bring Something Tangible
Never arrive at a pitch without something tangible to show the investors.
Always bring charts, graphs, and a typed out business plan. Forgo projectors and PowerPoints. Remember, your business needs to feel like it already exists.
If possible, bring a working model or prototype of your product.
Studies have shown that we form bonds of ownership with products we’re able to touch and hold.
The more we feel we already own something, the more valuable it becomes to us and the more money we’ll spend to buy it.
Your negotiating position drastically improves if investors feel value in your product.
Do Your Homework
If you thought arriving without something tangible was bad, investors will laugh in your face for arriving without a business plan.
Come prepared with a fully fleshed out plan, including answers to short and long term goals.
Investors want to see solid planning before assuming risk. “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it” won’t inspire anyone to risk their capital.
A notable example of poor planning appeared on an episode of Shark Tank where two doctors pitched an idea for a social media platform that allows physicians to upload and display their medical records.
The two came in with only an idea, no business plan, and no idea how social media really worked.
They earned Mark Cuban’s designation as the worst pitch he’d ever seen.
Don’t come into your pitch unprepared. Buzzwords and ideas are useless without a meticulously detailed business plan.
Investors hear more business ideas in a day than you’ll have in a lifetime, and they didn’t become successful by taking on risky clients.
Make sure to wow potential investors with your pitch by coming across confident, prepared, and knowledgeable about not only your product, but your business as well.
Author: Nick Rojas is a self-taught, serial entrepreneur who’s enjoyed success working with and consulting for startups. Using his journalism training, Nick writes for publications such as Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, and Yahoo. He concentrates on teaching small and medium-sized enterprises how best to manage their social media marketing and define their branding objectives. Follow him @NickARojas