I was working with a young entrepreneur recently with a very promising company which sells a very niche nutrition drink. Let’s call him “Sheik.”
Sheik’s made real headway with his company, securing regional distribution and growing sales and revenue. He’s looking to raise seed money now to secure his supply chain, so we started looking at his deck and pitch to investors.
I learned that Sheik’s drink tastes naturally sweet. It is organic and extremely nutritious in many ways. It is believed to be therapeutic for children with disabilities as well as endurance athletes. It is extremely labor-intensive (and expensive!) to produce. Sheik has expanded the drink into 8-10 different product lines.
After hearing extensively about his non-GMO, non-homogenized, additive-free, preservative-free, probiotic, and delicious! drink, I finally had to ask Sheik the question, “Sheik, I’ve heard A LOT about why I should buy your drink. But what I don’t understand is: why would I want to buy stock in your company?”
Sheik’s actually pretty typical. For many founders who have raised themselves up by their bootstraps, it’s hard to get out to sales mode. After going and knocking on door after door after door, getting customers to believe in their product and wanting to buy it, it can be extremely difficult for founders to get out of the mode of selling their product and into the mode of selling their company and themselves as founders.
In fact, I see many pitch decks which clearly started life as sales decks with numerous slides attesting to the excellence of their product, but with little to no mention about how the company itself is doing as business.
Now which do you think an investor is more interested in?
That doesn’t mean that investors don’t want to know about your product. But what they really want to know about is your company and why it would be a good investment,. Your product is only one piece of the puzzle.
In Sheik’s case, we revised his pitch to continue highlighting the outstanding aspects of his drink which have already made it a hit with customers, but balanced it out with the other noteworthy elements of his company like its excellent competitive advantages, good traction, growing market and a solid expansion plan.
Result: We streamlined Sheik’s pitch from a snoozeworthy 33 slides to a lean and compelling pitch of an even dozen slides. That pitch is now getting Sheik the right kind of attention from investors as he moves to take his company to the next level.
Remember: Your product is not the product you’re selling in your pitch. In your pitch, your company is your product!
How do YOU sell your company in your pitch?