The Perfect Pitch – Is Your's Music to an Investors Ear?

Perfect Pitch

The Perfect Pitch - Is Your's Music to an Investors Ear?

Recall in a recent post I gave you the recipe for a great elevator pitch. If you haven't read that post you can find it here. In that post I suggested that there are four specific elements to the perfect pitch:

  1. It must be exciting (connects to the emotions of the listener)
  2. It must be simple and not confusing
  3. It must be intriguingly incomplete, leaving the listener wanting more
  4. It must be easy to remember and repeat (so the listener can share it with others)

I suggested that one method for achieving all four of these elements is an unexpected ending. *See the short video at the end for a quick summary. 

Now by unexpected, I don't mean preposterous or fanciful. I don't mean implausible or silly. I mean unexpected as in "wow, I didn't see that coming!" You see that is the reaction you want from the listener because that's an indication that your pitch was memorable. If it's memorable then it can be shared with others and that makes your pitch viral.

And viral (among investors) is what you want.

Of course, before you get to that memorable unexpected closing line, your pitch still has to be interesting, simple and leave them wanting more . . .

But even if your pitch does all those things, if it isn't memorable due to an unexpected closing line, chances are most listeners won't retain it in their memory for long. So let's explore the kind of unexpected ending I'm encouraging you to use to conclude your pitch. To do that I'm going to share my own Intelliversity elevator pitch. So, here it is -- without the last line:

  • Billions are wasted yearly on bad VC and angel investments
  • Too many losers get funded while worthy entrepreneurs don't
  • Because investors don't know how to pick winners

So what do you think?

Was that interesting to someone in the investor or entrepreneurial community? Was it simple and straightforward? Did it leave you wanting to know more -- to know how to fix this huge problem?

Well, I hope so and I can tell you that I've received a lot of positive feedback from the investor and entrepreneurial communities about that elevator pitch. But you haven't heard the unexpected finish yet have you? Before I share that, consider what some "expected" endings might be. For example:

  • So Intelliversity teaches investors how to make better bets?
  • So Intelliversity helps investors pick winners?
  • So Intelliversity qualifies entrepreneurial winners for investors?

All of those statements are true, but none of them are memorable, are they?

To be memorable the last line of your perfect pitch needs to interrupt the thinking pattern that the first two or three statements formed in the mind of the listener. In other words, once they hear those first two or three statements their brains have often already completed your pitch before you speak it. They are on auto-pilot because they think they already know what you are going to say next. It's somewhat like when you are at the movies and you figure out the surprise ending before it happens. While it is kind of fun to see if you were right, the excitement and mystery is gone.

The ending you remember is the one you never saw coming.

So let's complete the Intelliversity elevator pitch and see what you think:

  • Billions are wasted yearly on bad investments;
  • Too many losers get funded and worthy entrepreneurs don't
  • Because investors don't know how to reliably pick winners

The solution is betting on the jockey, not the horse

This is a common metaphor, yet, did you see that coming?

Probably not and the reason is that my final statement introduced a metaphor that had no connection to the other statements, yet communicated a simple and clear proposition -- investors are betting on companies, not on the people who form, run and grow those companies. Instead, they need to understand how to place their bets on the people (like you) who are most in control over whether a company fails or succeeds.

Now ask yourself this: is my last line memorable?

It's very simple and it has two key words: jockey and horse. It calls to mind an image of a horse race that nearly everyone has some familiarity with. And it communicates a challenge to their conditioned thinking about how to invest. In other words, most investors are doing everything they can to figure out how to find the best companies in which to invest and not so much time on whether those companies have the right team composition and CEO to create success.

Now here is something you -- an entrepreneur, should find really interesting . . .

My own research and experience is that most investors really do care about the teams into whom they consider investing, but they don't have a clue about how to rate those teams. Intuitively, they understand that good teams are essential to good companies and thus good investments. But they have no tried and true method for rating teams.

In fact, investors DO bet on the CEO and the team but they do it unconsciously or subconsciously.  For example, they only take you seriously if they trust you.  So I've taught you how to stimulate our trust organ in previous blog posts.  Now I want you fully and consciously, rationally, to become the jockey that any investor would and should invest in.  Then your bet on yourself and your company will more likely pay off.

Now, do you understand the power in my last line -- horses and jockeys?

It's powerful both for you the visionary entrepreneur and for your future investors.

Jockey and horse.  That common metaphor almost uniformly intrigues investors with whom I speak, because it reminds them that they often fall back on trying to pick winning horses because they've given up on figuring out how to pick good jockeys. And that haunts investors because they know deep down that it's the jockeys that win races when the horses are all pretty much of even ability. You know what an ear bug is? It's that song you can't forget and keeps replaying in your head. You've got to create your own ear bug.

And it universally intrigues entrepreneurs because you do want to win and you do want to be recognized as the winner, whether you admit it or not.

So my pitch is designed to elicit something like "interesting, so how do you pick the right jockey, Rob?" And that's all it takes. They're interested and want to hear more and they'll remember the horses and jockeys bit.  Now I get to expand on something everyone really does care about -- what makes a winning team.

That then allows me to share our secret sauce -- the work you and I do together to understand what you can do to create a dazzling, winning team that investors can rely on to produce results. I get to share what we do here and I get to talk about all the heroes I've met along the way that are building winning teams using the resources and support we provide at Intelliversity.

If my last line was what they expected to hear, none of that would be possible. So ask yourself this about YOUR company: "what is it about my idea or company that I most want to communicate in my pitch? Then ask yourself, how can I communicate that thing in a way that is simple, connects to the emotions and intriguing? Finally, ask yourself how can I express those things in three statements, finishing with something people won't expect, but that is completely relevant to my business? I can't answer those questions for you, but I encourage you to work with the questions, write things down, try different motifs and metaphors. Then get out there and pitch to friends, family, total strangers, whomever and see what they can retain of your pitch. Review the process for practicing your pitch here.

Proven Pitch Tip #3:  Grab and hold a piece of every investor's mind.  To do this, end your perfect pitch with a single line which you own FOREVER in the mind of investors, a line which is unique to you and which will stay in the mind forever like an ear bug from a song.

Be sure and watch our video!