“Story is everything. Good content making is not a crap shoot. We know how this works,” the actor Kevin Spacey told a meeting of business marketers. Spacey is right.
Thanks to neuroscience we’ve learned more about storytelling in the last 10 years than we’ve ever known. We now know what brain chemicals make us pay attention (cortisol), what causes to feel empathy (oxytocin) and what make us feel good (dopamine). We know exactly which type of stories trigger these chemicals, why they work, and we can prove it scientifically.
As a woman-led business, when you’re pitching for investment, you’ll want to capitalize on the same strategies that Hollywood uses.
ACT I: THE INTRO
The introduction is your simple, straightforward explanation of your business and Unique Value Proposition (UVP) compared to others in market. This section is also where you want to lay out the problem and the need in the market for your business, and the WHY behind your business.
ACT II: THE DEVELOPMENT
Now you want to move into describing your target market, WHO needs your business, and what is the opportunity to succeed.
What’s the solution to the problem your business is solving? Be clear about the traction you’ve gained and clearly display your month-over-month growth in sales, number of users, annual revenue, and profit margins.
Give a detailed description of your marketing and sales strategy – your advertising and sales plans that incorporate a unique marketing approach.
Identify and acknowledge your competitors… both who they are and their market share. Also be prepared to discuss a comprehensive SWOT analysis for your company.
As you begin the crescendo towards your pitch’s climax, recognize that a company can begin with a great vision, but it is the people involved who make it come to life. Ideas can change. Customers come and go. But, the founding team and their expertise and capabilities are the backbone of a successful business.
ACT III: THE RESOLUTION
Here’s where the magic happens… Your financials. As Mark Cuban says, “Sales cures all…. Anybody who has ever told you, ‘Don’t worry about sales. You can grow it and worry about sales later,’ they are lying to you. They will fail. You will fail.“
Share the last 3 to 5 years of income statements, sales pipelines, and projected growth. Use graphics.
THE ASK: Don’t forget to close out your pitch with an audible, articulate ASK. Ask for the amount of money you need to fund your business and how it will be spent.
THE WHY: Come back to the beginning of your presentation and close out your pitch with the emotional pull of your company’s WHY.
“There are leaders and there are those who lead. Leaders hold a position of power or influence. Those who lead inspire us. Whether individuals or organizations, we follow those who lead not because we have to, but because we want to. We follow those who lead not for them, but for ourselves.”~~ Simon Sinek