Great to meet you. What do you do? 

Oh oh… do you have your elevator pitch ready? Are you going to fumble?  Freeze?  Immediately lose the interest of the prospect? You have about 4 seconds to avoid that fate.

I recently joined an enjoyable and productive global financing network in which members listen to pitches from other members and have an opportunity to participate in the financing.  Every week there are multiple zoom meetings during which members with opportunities are given 5 minutes to pitch their deal and ask for capital to support acquisitions, refinancings, growth or other similar transactions. 

Some of the pitches are excellent.  But it is striking to me how bad a lot of them are.  I listen for 5 minutes and leave unclear about what the business does and what the deal is. 

In simple terms, all investors need to know what problem your business solves, how they get in on the deal (debt, equity, valuation, etc.), how they get out of the deal (exit strategy, valuation growth, etc.) and what happens in between so that they don’t lose their money (risk mitigation, security, management, debt service, etc.). 

If you have five minutes with a global audience, the prospects should not leave bored and wondering what that was all about.

Be prepared. If you are responsible for pitches, you should have three pitches ready to go off the top of your head:
·     the no more than 30 second elevator pitch
·     the no more than 3 minute pitch that adds a story to the elevator pitch
·     the no more than 5 minute pitch that further adds some context on you and the deal.

Do you agree? How do you handle pitches?