I hope that you all had a chance to participate at the UVEF Hot Seat: Perfect Pitch event in April.  In case you missed it, I felt that Preferred CFO had an obligation to its friends and contacts to share some of the wisdom shared at the event.

John Pilmer of Pilmer PR covered a number of topics, but mostly focused around the concepts of having your business plan succinct enough for a tight and engaging elevator pitch, and of nailing your business model and then scaling it.

Engaging Pitch

Every one of us has been out “networking” and we find ourselves talking for 10+ minutes with an overly passionate, internally focused entrepreneur that continues in circles as they explain their business idea to you.  The absolutely most critical item of an elevator pitch is to make it engaging, keeping in mind the audience.  Very likely your audience won’t know all of the intricate details about your industry, or your business model to truly enjoy the glorious solution you’ve put together.  So put the pitch in terms they will understand.

Consider a hook at the beginning of your elevator pitch to catch their attention. A good hook typically outlines the pain you’re trying to solve using some quantitative numbers, or a quick example.  Then you need to really hone in on exactly what the value proposition your solution provides to solve that need in the market place.  Finally, finish off with mention of either traction you’re experiencing in launching your business, or another exciting hook or indication that the pain is real.  That will help to leave someone wanting to know and learn more.

Nail It Then Scale It

This has become a bit overused as a phrase, but the principles are crucial if you’re honing in on your business model and pitch. Just as you need to nail your business model, it is critical to nail the elevator pitch as well. Failure is part of the game, and an awkward conversation where someone doesn’t get your idea is inevitable.

The important thing to remember is that you need to validate two major items: The Pain, and the Solution. Once you’ve discovered a real nasty pain in a marketplace that is able and willing to pay for a solution, continue to interview and go back and forth with them until you come up with that singular solution that they would pay to get.

Finally, no pain/solution combination will be successful unless while you’re going through the process you gather intel to learn how your customers find out about new products/services and how you’re going to get them to try your product/service.  And of course, how are they willing to pay for it and consume it.

UVEF’s events are always a wealth of information, and hopefully this little synopsis will inspire some creative and entrepreneurial thoughts!