Check yourself for these five common misstes when pitching your business to potential investors:
1) Educating for too long on the obvious
Just about everyone’s heard that obesity and inactivity are huge problems. You don’t need to waste 15 slides and 15 minutes showing potential investors the CDC’s time-lapse US map showing that everyone’s getting fatter and fatter. We get it, OK?
Much better: tell a quick story that helps your potential investor instantly connect on a personal level with the health or wellness problem your business can solve. Then put numbers around the size of that business opportunity.
2) Skipping the hard parts
We’ve seen many presentations that say something like “Our product is so innovative that it is only a matter of time before this revolutionary approach to wellness is widely accepted.”
One of the most important questions that investors ask is why customers will choose your product or service, and how quickly they’ll adopt it. Don’t fall into the trap of answering hard questions with lightweight, fluffy responses.
Instead, lay out the specific facts and figures:
“Women in their forties will choose our weight loss program because we give them only one new lifestyle change to master each month and let them eat their favorite foods, unlike the X, Y, Z programs that overwhelm them with lifestyle changes and forbid favorite foods.”
3) Failure to provide proof
Spell out the facts that build your case. Potential investors won’t take things on faith.
For example, don’t simply say that you have a “great management team”. Instead, highlight their accomplishments and credentials and your audience can draw its own conclusions.
Instead of asserting that “many customers will find our service valuable”, explain that over 100 parents attended your recent seminar on kids and obesity…and 40 of them signed up for your Healthy Kids/Healthy Families program.
Perhaps you want to make the point that your wellness program is medically-based. It’s fine to say that – and it’s truly compelling and believable if you can back it up with, say, endorsements from five local physicians.
4) Death by PowerPoint
We’ve seen investor pitches to health and wellness investors that ranged from 15 to 90 (!) slides. Keep in mind that most investor meetings are 30 – 60 minutes total. Your actual presentation material should not exceed about twenty minutes, leaving the remaining time for questions and discussion. So for most wellness businesses, that usually means only 10 – 15 actual slides.
Use the 6-6-6-6 rule for slides you use when you present live to potential investors:
- No more than six words per bullet point
- No more than six bullets per page
- No more than six text slides in a row
- And the point of the slide has to be clear in no more than six seconds.
Now, if you’re sending slides to an investor who’ll review them without your being present, you need a different (and longer) set of standalone slides that spells out your points more explicitly. However, these slides still need to pass the six-second rule.
What not to do: one of our clients had a slide with a graphic containing fourteen different elements. They always introduced it by saying “Now I know this looks scary, but…”.
Well, if it looks scary, change it!
5) Talking, not listening
Last, listen. Listen hard. Watch for physical cues of interest or boredom. If you’re presenting by telephone, pause frequently and invite questions and comments so that listeners can break in. It’s very frustrating for a potential investor to keep trying to ask a question that you never hear because you’re talking continuously.
Take questions as you present, rather than asking listeners to hold them to the end. After all, you want to know immediately if there’s an early disconnect.
1) Why do they always ask that now?
The issue: You always get the same questions at certain points in the presentation.
Your presentation probably omits something out that you should be addressing explicitly.
2) “If you’ll just hold that question…”
The issue: Investors always want to talk now about points that you plan to cover later in your presentation.
This behavior is often an indicator that you’re spending too much time describing the public health concern (obesity epidemic, for example) and not enough time talking about how you’ll capture the business opportunity.
Consider rearranging your key points, or simply shortening your introductory material.
Still wondering if your pitch delivers?
Feel free to email us your presentation and we’ll give it a quick look-see for you.