Docstoc

The Pitch

Document Sample
The Pitch Powered By Docstoc
					The Pitch
Your pitch is the most essential part of your communication arsenal.
Without it, you are dead in the water; with it, you are alive and well.
Case in point: the previous two sentences have either grabbed you or not.
You will either read the rest of this article or skip over to the next
thing on your mind.
Do not underestimate the power of the pitch and do not under prepare. You
will refine and hone the pitch over and over again and each time you will
not have prepared enough. I have been "pitching" my businesses for the
better part of the last decade. I have worked with great PR and marketing
folks refining the pitch and still there are times when I just come off
flat. So you have to practice, practice, practice. And, if you're like
me, you don't need anyone to tell you once you have pitched whether it's
good or not. You just know.
Here are some things to keep in mind when developing your pitch: clarity
and conciseness, imagery, and repeatability.
1) Clarity and conciseness. This is the proverbial elevator pitch. I like
to think of it as 30 seconds long. It needs to be brief and to the point.
I changed the name of my current company because I thought of a tagline
that went with the name that accomplished this in three words. Send.
Receive. Pay. Don't try to be clever and don't try to use big words. If
you write it out and the sentence is a run-on or is more than 20 words,
it is too long.
2) Imagery. A picture is worth a thousand words, as they say. So if you
don't have time to say a thousand words, create an image that is way more
powerful. Additionally, it is will be quite memorable. To illustrate a
scene for an online accounting solution for small businesses, I conjure
up the images of invoices everywhere, lost behind desks and even the way
things were done when my folks were starting their first business (punch
cards). This solution cleans up that mess. Images you conjure up for your
business will work and will be remembered.
3) Repeatability. If you don't say the same thing every time you are at
your kids' soccer game or sitting next to someone on the airplane, then
how will your target market remember it? There is a fun game, called
"Telephone," that we used to play as kids. You line up a group of kids
and whisper in one ear and then have that repeated to each kid along the
chain. Invariably, what you get at the end of the chain is very different
than when it started. Don't forget this when you are developing your
pitch. Your message will get repeated many more times than you know and
you always want the last person to hear it to be as if you were talking
to them.
Now that you have it, practice! Not once or twice, but hundreds of times.
When I launched my most recent business at Demo last fall, I practiced my
six-minute pitch more than 100 times in the final three weeks before the
show. We did win a Demogod award but I still wished I had practiced more.
Once thing to keep in mind when you pitch, is your environment. When you
are raising money from VC's it is different than Angel Investors and it
is different than being on stage. Be prepared for interruptions in the
form of questions, suggestions or bright lights/flashes going off, if on
stage. The more you practice by yourself with friends that play the role,
or actual advisors, the better you will be.
Developing that pitch is an art and it is never done.
René is currently CEO and founder of bill.com. He realized the tremendous
need to simplify and automate the way businesses manage bills, invoices,
payments, contracts and other important financial documents; and the
challenge of not having control and intelligence into daily spending and
cash flow. bill.com solves accounts payable issues and also puts all
valuable financial documents in one place for secure access
anywhere/anytime.
Prior to bill.com, René co-founded America's #1 online payroll service
PayCycle, which now employs over 100 people and serves over 50,000
customers. PayCycle has received multiple 5-star awards from PC Magazine
and numerous accountant trade publications.
René spent five years at Intuit, creating and managing the company's bill
presentment team and growing its bill payment and credit card businesses
30% in one year. He also launched Intuit's first connected payroll
product, growing the team from two employees to 300 in 18 months.
René received a Masters of Science degree in Industrial Engineering and a
Bachelor of Arts degree in Quantitative Economics from Stanford
University.


				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Stats:
views:39
posted:10/17/2010
language:English
pages:2