Pitch! The Missing Element [UnPluGGd]

Over the last few days, we are going through the UnPluGGd nominations and out of 100+ nominations, very few entrepreneurs are able to communicate the real USP of their product.

Some of them had plain motherhood statements like

“Will help CIO in cutting the cost and improve productivity”.

“This will change the way <fill in the blanks>”

What surprises me is that it has been so damn difficult to understand one thing, i.e. ‘what do you really do?’. I mean, seriously tell us ‘what is your startup all about!’.

Loaded with industry compliant buzzwords, many of these pitches simply sound like a wannabe statement with no clear direction of product/service one is selling.

What is an Elevator Pitch?

I believe this is the most precise definition (especially when it includes your mother and debars one from making motherhood statements).

An “Elevator Pitch” is a concise, carefully planned, and well-practiced description about your company that your mother should be able to understand in the time it would take to ride up an elevator.

What makes a great pitch?

Couple of points that one needs to keep in mind while pitching your product.

  • Your Product doesn’t really matter
    It’s who you are and your insights that matters. Do not simply pitch your product, but instead pitch your business solution.
  • Do not get into feature level.
    Please be good to yourself by not telling why feature X can take your company to the next level.
  • Do not get into technology depth
    Avoid sharing too much of technology details. Instead focus on the customer/user benefits.
  • Focus on the benefits
    An ideal pitch is more about ‘Benefits’ and less about ‘Implementation’.  Do not jump the gun by talking about implementation aspects of the product (like: we will integrate with operators) – these details will anyways be a part of the next level of discussion. Generate enough interest to ensure that next level of discussion happens.
  • KISS
    Keep it short. I think majority of entrepreneurs want to tell-it-all during the pitch, so that nothing gets missed. Read the next point.
  • Have one clear precise USP
    How many things can you really sell in 2 minutes? Or lets say 5 minutes? On an average, an adult’s attention span is 8 seconds (link) – so ensure that you sell one and only one USP of your product/business.
  • Practice/Write it down
    I am a firm believer that writing helps in crystalizing one’s thought process. Write down your pitch and keep improving unless and until you have come up with one clear USP that sells.
  • Tell a Story
    Story-telling is an art (recommend you to watch this video embedded towards the end of this post) and you don’t get it until you practice really hard. Practice now.

What’s your take.

Pitching reminds me of a Bollywood dialogue by Sanjay Dutt (movie: Khoobsurat), i.e. Thoda Dikhao, Thoda Chupaao, i.e. show off something (not the entire thing) and generate enough interest!

For entrepreneurs, we still have two days left to pitch your product. Here is the link.

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