Recently I’ve spent a lot of time pitching StyleRocks. The reasons for this have been varied: pitching to win some wholesale business, pitching to win a trip to Silicon Valley, and pitching in the context of seeking new investors.
It’s always interesting to see the other companies that I’m up against – I’m always genuinely surprised by the ‘pain points’ that prompted other businesses to start. Someone that has been frustrated by the lack of good software for teachers, for example. Or the frustration that someone else has felt when trying to find a job after returning to the workforce after maternity leave (and I know this!).
So much what drives you to solve these problems, is generated by personal experience. I was frustrated by the fact I couldn’t find jewellery exactly as I wanted it, and didn’t have the time/energy to go to a jeweller to create it myself. And even when I have created jewellery, working together with the jewellers, it’s an inexact science. There’s a few squiggles and dots on paper, and you say things like ‘I want it to look a bit like X but without the edge’. You never quite know what you’re going to get. So when I had the StyleRocks idea, it was really important to me that you, as the StyleRocks customer, could see what you were going to get, before you bought it. This is true of whatever item you created: your personalised ring, your customised bracelet, the necklace you created yourself.
But I digress. What works for a pitch of one environment doesn’t necessarily work in the context of another: the differences I found are based on:
a) gender. Pitching to a room full of women is very different to a room full of men (women have a more immediate ‘This is awesome’ response when they hear the StyleRocks concept
b) familiarity with the competitive landscape. People understand the power of StyleRocks better if they’re aware of competitors quality (or not!)
c) familiarity with price. This varies again with people’s experience of jewellery purchasing
So with all this experience, am I becoming the pitching pro? Well, I can pitch StyleRocks in 60 seconds, 90 seconds, 6 or 10 minutes. The hardest part is the timing…getting the story down to the time limit!
What are your experiences of pitching – do you enjoy it?