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How to get attention from investors, partners and customers

April 11, 2019

Take-aways from Pitch and Sales Insights seminar for Growing Food startups.

As a startup you need investors, partners and, of course, customers. So how do you get their attention and convince them of the value you bring? Training your sales and communication skills is a good start, so we did just that with our participants and a couple of experts from Rhetor.

Sales: Begin with eliminating purchase barriers

You have developed a unique product. All you need now, is for potential customers to buy it. But how do you approach them, what are the purchase barriers and how do you eliminate these barriers?

One of the primary challenges in a selling process is that the customers don’t have much time and find it difficult to see the value you bring. Therefore, you always need to view the sales process from the customer’s perspective.

Five selling phases:

Why should the customer choose you? Do you know the value you create? What is the meaning with what you do and why do you exist as a company?

  1. The selection: Who do you approach? Make sure you find the right person, one authorized to make the decision to buy. Or, if not, a person who can bridge contact to the right person?
  2. The conversation – listen and learn: Listen to the customer before you air your opportunities, what he or she says is your reality. Be curious, ask questions and show an interest. You need to show that you have a solution for their problems. Make them remember you by giving samples of your product and by continuously reminding them of your existence, for example by linking on social media and through posts and comments on social media – also on other people’s posts.
  3. After the first order: Discuss delivery with your customer as well as implementation. Can you project manage the implementation? The customers rarely have time for this and it is crucial to be able to handle support in case of problems.
  4. The next order: How to you ensure you get it? Through a contract, or by contacting them the next time they need the product, through subscription? The customer’s prior experience can usually contribute to a solution.

The perfect pitch: Solve a problem. Build a bridge... And the three musketeers.

You have developed a unique product. But you need investors and perhaps also one or more partners. So how do you deliver the perfect pitch?

To begin with, you need to remember that people who listen, also always think about other stuff while listening. So be aware that you do not have their entire frequency to yourself! You know that you have to begin with “why”, that is, what problem you solve. So how do you get from there and through a short, precise and successful pitch?

Three pitch tools:

  1. What is the meaning of your startup? Do you improve the quality of life for people? Do you solve a problem? Or do you prevent the end of something good (stop something from breaking etc.)?
  2. Now you have to “build a bridge” from the problem presented to the solution that you bring. The bridge serves to ensure that people can “see, smell and taste it” what you try to communicate. Like – for example – if your product is a security alert for elderly people, a “bridge” could be to tell the story of your uncle who fell over in his home and was found days later because he was unable to contact anyone.
  3. Finally, you need to implement the necessary rhetorical ingredients in your pitch: Logos, ethos and pathos (the Three Musketeers). Use data and facts to substantiate the validity of what you say – logos. Show who you are, what you can do and your background for doing this - ethos. Speak with passion and use examples that the listeners can feel and relate to – pathos.

The Growing Food Pitch and Sales Insights seminar was hosted by two experts from Rhetor:

Sales Advisor, Dorte Krüger Molin and Rhetorical Advisor, Kell Jarner Rasmussen.

All participants in Growing Food can choose individual training sessions with Rhetor as part of the advisor scheme in the programme.

Contact us at Growing Food if you wish to sign up for pitch/communication and/or sales training: