Why am I even talking about this? I just came out of AngelPad and I’ve pitched to 30+ VCs since then.
I gotta admit — I am tech/ design nerd who has never sold anything earlier. I don’t feel comfortable going to customers, VCs and press people and asking them to buy something from me — its plain uncomfortable. But as startup founders I had to overcome this hurdle. Let me tell you how I did this.
Talking to your engaged customers is the best way to find out what their problems are and how good your solution currently is at mapping to their needs. You learn what their pain was and how your product is helping them overcome it. Talk less, listen more. I usually try to do 20:80. You’ll be amazed how much you learn about the USP of your product and your user’s pain points. That’s pretty much all you need to know with these customer calls. Repeat this with at least 20 people and you’ll begin to see patterns. Move forward.
Start selling to your friends/ acquaintances then — Once you know the pain-points and your product’s USP, try practicing talking about it with your friends and acquaintances. Usually people I meet at parties and social gatherings, always end up asking — ‘so what do you do?’ There it is, your golden chance to pitch your product. I usually start with the customer pain, something I’ve heard repeatedly and see if they nod. That means they can identify with the problem and you can sell your vision. People who don’t get it — don’t let them go, ask them what they didn’t understand, make a note and see if you can make your pitch better. Learn by asking!
Start selling to VCs — now comes the most daunting part, selling to VCs! But it should be easy by now, because you already know what your company does, what is the big pain its solving for real people. If you add your market size and the traction your product has — it becomes your elevator pitch!
Add how you’ll make money + team bio + Ask ($$$) and it becomes your 3 min long pitch.
That’s pretty much it. Try it and let me know if it works for you!