Now that you know how much capital you want to raise from what kind of investor and you have settled on your unique value proposition (UVP), it is time to master your 30-second sound bite, based on that value proposition.
It will take some time to get comfortable with the language, and how succinct you must be, but start with what sounds awkward, and then, still following the recommendations below, begin to “soften” the language so that it is more casual and can be spoken easily.
Let’s assume you are speaking to a potential investor at a networking event. He asks, “What do you do?”
Here’s the exercise:
1. State your unique value proposition, and an interesting success fact. Your goal is to get the potential investor to ask, “How do you do that?”
2. The next 60 seconds (maximum 60 seconds) allows you to tell a brief success story (with valid success metrics) as an example of how your unique value proposition creates successful results. The goal of this first story is to have the potential investor ask, “Tell me more.”
3. This answer gives you yet another 60 seconds to tell one or two more illuminating (of your value proposition) stories with success metrics.
Now, of course, all this has to be prepared in advance, especially the really short stories and metrics.
Here is one of mine:
“What do you do?”
“I create wealth for early stage technology founders and investors.” (UVP).
“How do you do that? (create wealth – the success fact).
“I consult to CEOs on what capital to accept from what source at what valuation at the best time, and then stay with the company to ensure success, exit and wealth.”
“Tell me more.” (remember, only tell one or two of these stories – don’t recite a laundry list of wins)
“I once raised $2.2 million in seed capital with no loss of equity, by reversing certain parts of an international distribution agreement, in exchange for access to the Chinese market in the mid-1990s.”
“I once wrote a pitch piece to help my client raise $1.6M in Series A funding, and with it he sold the company within 8 months.”
“I consulted with one software company in its early days, a husband and wife team in their 20s, and we sold the company 4 years later, despite their divorce, for $50M.”
Now, this is a pitch about consulting services, but product companies are actually easier to pitch, as there is a tangible product that targets a specific market, and offers some specialization over its competitors.
Look at the elements and the pattern of language in the stories:
• State what value you (your product) provided
• State what the value given was used for (context)
• State the outcome and timing of the result.
• Use action verbs (raised, wrote, consulted)
• Use real results (don’t exaggerate or lie)
• Use numbers and metrics to show the results and value.
Keep these stories succinct and brief, so you are not dominating the conversation. Your listener can ask for more details later.
My Daddy once taught me, “Always leave them coming back for more.” So, drop these tidbits without over-explaining them, and let your listener ask for a follow up meeting to talk more.