An Overview of Business Pitching (Including Types and Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published June 18, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Making a pitch is an effective way of proposing new concepts and persuading others to support them. There may often be situations in your working life when you can promote yourself and your ideas. Understanding how to create successful pitches can help you advance your career and gain investors or clients. In this article, we discuss types of business pitching, explore how to create and deliver a productive pitch, and provide helpful tips to guide you.

Types of business pitching

Here are various types of business pitching you may encounter or develop in your professional career:

Pitching to customers and investors

If you work in marketing or for new businesses, you may commonly use pitches to attract investors or customers. Some pitches you can use in this situation are:

  • Sales pitch: A sales or elevator pitch is usually a brief message to attract the audience's attention, outlining the business plan or the company's products or services. This pitch aims to encourage the public to make a purchase or potential investors to invest in a company.

  • Interrogative pitch: In discussion with customers, you can ask questions to learn about common challenges and how to solve them. These questions aim to engage, pique curiosity, and inspire them to learn about the company's products and services.

  • Pitch deck: A pitch deck refers to a slide presentation that highlights a business plan to potential investors. This pitch typically includes product research, marketing plans, competition, and the company's finances.

Related: How to Make a Presentation in PowerPoint (With 8 Steps)

Pitching in the workplace

Workplace pitching incorporates some elements of pitches you might use for customers and investors, such as pitch decks and elevator pitches. For instance, if you have an idea for a new work initiative or project, you can outline your plan and highlight its potential benefits with a pitch deck. You might use a personal elevator pitch to emphasize your qualities and value as an employee when proposing a salary increase or promotion. This may help you advance your career.

You can use a job proposal to develop your career. When crafting a job proposal, you demonstrate the requirement for creating a role to benefit a team or company. Typically, you would present yourself as the candidate to fulfill the position. Consider highlighting the company's challenges and outline how the new role can address them. Include details of the job responsibilities and describe your relevant experience and qualifications that can help you perform successfully.

Pitching when networking

You can use an elevator pitch to present yourself to a new contact or potential investor when networking. You can briefly summarize your unique skills and qualifications that show you to be an asset. It's important to make a memorable impression to help you attract new opportunities. After making your pitch, consider offering a business card to reinforce your viability.

Related: What Are Job Fairs, and How Can You Use Them to Find Work?

How to create and deliver an effective pitch

Follow these steps to guide you through the business pitching process:

1. Conduct and gather research

It's important to provide accurate research and data to support any claims you might make during your pitch. Citing credible sources can help you gain an audience's trust and improve your credibility. You can conduct comprehensive research to help you prepare for any questions from an audience.

For instance, when making a pitch to a client about a company's product, it's useful to include relevant information about the product's benefits, features, and how it compares to similar items in the market. It may be beneficial to demonstrate the product's market performance by providing customer testimonials and sales data.

2. Understand your audience

In addition to conducting business research, it's a good idea to study your target audience. Consider learning about their individual interests and backgrounds to help you understand what inspires them. You can also use this information to create a bespoke pitch that directly appeals to them. This approach may serve as an effective motivation method by ensuring the pitch is relevant to the audience. It helps you highlight how the products or services may address their specific needs.

When meeting with a potential investor, it's advisable to research their other investments. For example, you might learn that they're typically interested in technical start-up companies. In this scenario, you can use your pitch to illustrate the key technical aspects of the products or services.

3. Build a pitch

After identifying the audience's needs and gathering relevant data to support your claims, you can begin building your pitch. It's advisable to choose an appropriate pitch for the situation. For example, consider using a pitch deck to provide a detailed overview of your ideas if you want to present a business plan to potential investors. Alternatively, you can create and practise an elevator pitch if you want to make contacts during a networking event.

Related: How to Give an Elevator Pitch (With Examples)

4. Keep it focused

It's important to approach the subject directly when making your pitch. Explain the main concept of the business, product, or service and highlight the benefits to the audience. They're likely to remain engaged for the duration of your pitch if they can follow and understand the purpose of your message. You may consider starting with an elevator pitch to provide a clear, brief summary to gain their attention.

You can streamline your pitch to provide only the most relevant details for the audience. Such information may vary depending on your pitch type. For example, when pitching to investors, it's important to include details about the amount you require as capital and an outline of how you intend to use it.

5. Share successes

Showing evidence of your previous successes can help you illustrate the value of a concept. For instance, sales and revenue demonstrate market value. These values show investors that a business has good potential for growth and self-sustainability, meaning they may get better returns on their investments.

You can also use elevator pitches to share your successes. For example, highlighting your performance and results in your previous jobs can show potential employers the value you can add to their organization. You can also use your achievements in your current role to show your employer why you deserve a salary increase or when seeking their approval of your ideas.

6. Answer questions

At the end of your pitch, you can allow the audience time to raise their concerns, offer feedback, or ask questions. It's important to keep a positive reputation by maintaining your professionalism when answering challenging questions. You can conduct further research on topics that may arise and report back retrospectively if necessary. The audience may appreciate your honesty and dedication to ensuring you provide them with correct information.

7. Follow your audience cues

After your presentation, you can assess the audience's physical and verbal cues to determine the next step. Their response may vary depending on the situation. They may decide to negotiate, express acceptance, or make an offer for the products or services. It's advisable to prepare yourself for any outcome to ensure you remain confident in these situations.

For instance, you can offer clients more time to consider your pitch before they commit. You can agree on a date for a follow-up meeting to discuss their decision. Negotiating a contract can happen when a client has approved a project or product.

Tips for pitching in business

Here are some tips to help you ensure your business pitch succeeds:

Use interactive and visual elements

Using graphs, infographics, and charts to display your data can help make your presentations more appealing. Encouraging the audience to interact during your presentation can further engage them. It can also help them understand the function of your ideas. Alternatively, you can create a video presentation as your business pitch.

Incorporate quantitative data

It's advisable to use figures to corroborate your claims. Using quantitative data from reliable sources shows evidence of the benefits and values you can provide. These figures may also make your claims more specific and compelling. For example, you can elaborate on stating that your previous project helped reduce costs by demonstrating that it led to a 30% increase in customers' annual savings.

Related: How to Write a Business Requirements Document Successfully

Differentiate from the competition

Prioritize informing customers and investors why you're a better choice than the competition. You can show your competitive value by providing information such as enhanced growth potential and more beneficial features. Similarly, when pitching for your career development, you can differentiate yourself from other employees by highlighting your unique accomplishments and skills.

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