Investor’s Insight: Stop Pitching About Your Product

November 25, 2020
Marene Ter

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Build the relationship.

Investors are humans, too. As my business advisor once told me, “They put on their pants the same way that we do.”

Take the time to research their profile. Build a sincere rapport with them.

Listen more, speak less ( except of course, during your pitch ).

You will see that they connect more easily with you when you spend more time listening intently.

Last year at an investment forum in Dubai, I had the ‘privilege’ to sit in front of a project owner who was vehemently pitching his tech product to my business partner and myself.

As I sat there observing this founder and his next-in-command, who was a milder and more pleasant character, rather than listening to what he was pitching us I found myself wondering; Why is he so angry?

He was presenting his pitch in a manner that gave us the impression he was frustrated because no one understands him or buys into his vision, yet he did not make any sense in his communication with us.

Sure, I can understand passion. Sometimes we get overly excited talking to people about our product and company because it is born and nurtured from our passion (not to mention blood, sweat, and tears).

But this was definitely not (just) passion — this man was barking his words in a tone that was almost accusative. Instead of starting by genuinely understanding who we are and what we are looking for, he launched into a full-blown pitch consisting of incomprehensible technical jargon about his product.

Until today, I cannot for the life of me remember what he was pitching about. And it certainly wasn’t because we didn’t understand tech-speak. The only thing from that interaction I can still recall today is the purple bulging vein on his neck as he practically shouted at us.

Remember, first impression lasts. (And don’t shout at your potential investors — connect with them first.)

While your product is certainly an essential factor in the investors’ decision-making on whether to invest, it is not the ultimate defining factor that closes the deal.

In this instance, within the first 30 seconds, I thought to myself; It doesn’t matter how brilliant this product is. I would never invest in this company.

Contrary to what one may think, gushing on about the product features and how great your product is, is not what the investor wants to hear.


1. Connect with the investors

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Build the relationship.

Investors are humans, too. As my business advisor once told me, “They put on their pants the same way that we do.”

Take the time to research their profile. Build a sincere rapport with them.

Listen more, speak less ( except of course, during your pitch ).

You will see that they connect more easily with you when you spend more time listening intently.


2. Communicate your pitch effectively

Photo by Helena Lopes from Pexels

This might sound absurdly obvious, but you would be surprised at how many pitches we have been subjected to where the presenter launches into an in-depth lecture about their product or service, using technical jargons and complex phrases.

Simplify everything. Communicate in a language as if you are speaking to a 12-year-old. This is not condescending or patronizing. It is simply a matter of keeping your communication clear and concise.


3. The 3 P’s

Photo by You X Ventures on Unsplash

Beyond the two P’s ( Pitch and Product ) that many startups tend to focus on first, turn your attention instead to these 3 P’s :

People, Profits, Process.

Sure, your product is important. So is the pitch.

But a great pitch without these 3 P’s being solidly grounded, is just smokes-and-mirrors.

Investors would be more interested in ‘peeking behind the curtains’ and see a great founder, a solid team, a robust business model, scalability, and excellent growth plans.


I will let you in on one final, not-so-secret little tip — investors invest in people.

We do business with people that we genuinely like, trust, believe in, and have a strong relationship with.

The best company in the world would not be successful without an extraordinary team, a highly attuned understanding of the human psyche, AND most significantly, the ability to create successful partnerships and strategic relationships to execute their greater vision.

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