I hear shitty pitches all the time. They're long. They're in the weeds. And they bore me.
They mostly make the classic mistake of trying to "push" information to me as a prospective investor, rather than letting me excitedly pull what I want to know when I hear something that lights my fire.
While every entrepreneur is hammered into perfecting an "elevator pitch" (an overly scripted, buzzword-laden 30-60-second monologue), I'm going to tell you something you probably already know: it's rarely used. It's great for an internal exercise, and it's necessary for the once or twice a month you present in front of a group.
But 99% of your pitch interactions are going to be with someone that you've run into casually, when you have (1) no idea of their level of familiarity with your product/industry, and (2) no idea of their level of interest in investing.
FOMO: Fear of Missing Out
What I’ve learned from years of fundraising, marketing, selling, and being pitched to has become my core philosophy: that to win the day, the only thing you need to do—frankly the only thing that matters—is to Build FOMO. And you do that by "inducing pull"... Not. By. Pushing.
I spend time every week (in B-school seminars, at startup accelerators, and in angel investing followups) helping entrepreneurs distill their stories into a series of buzzword-free 25-word intros that quickly sort their fundraising prospects into various interest categories and build excitement that lights fire in the "right" interested prospects to mine you for more information and build a lengthier relationship.
From a bar pitch, I then can help build pitch deck stories (I've designed hundreds of fundraising decks), longer elevator pitches, one-page summaries, and more.
But let's start with your bar pitch. Who do you think you are, who do you help, and why?