Great guest post by Andrew Keogh, who we interviewed here. See more about Andrew’s company here.

I listen to hundreds of pitches every year, so I would like to think I can quickly identify the key messages an entrepreneur would like to get across to a customer, or investor.

Over the last three weeks, I have coached FinTech start-ups, Female Entrepreneurs and Entrepreneurs in the 50+ age bracket, a broad spectrum, I think you’ll agree.

Let me tell you what I believe is the most common mistake all entrepreneurs make when pitching their business ideas!

The fundamental error that entrepreneurs make when pitching is spending too much time talking about their product. They are so enamoured by the product they have developed, they want to tell their audience about every feature.

They believe the question they must answer is:

What do they do?

But initially, nobody is interested in what you do!

The question that needs answering is:

How does your idea/product make your audience’s business or life better?

My number one challenge when working with business people, be they start-ups or an established business, is getting them to articulate clearly how their business idea benefits their prospective client.

When you answer this question clearly and simply, you are much more likely to succeed with engagement and win new business.

Here’s an analogy to explain my idea:

When you get into your car to drive to an important meeting, you do not need to know how the engine works. But you must be confident that the car will get you there.

Here is Aristo’s strap line:

“I capture your business story and give you the confidence to tell it or sell it”

(Note – there is no mention of how I do that).

In conversation with my prospective clients, I focus on how improved communication/pitching skills will win them the next big contract, or investor funding.

To conclude this article, here’s two questions you need to ask yourself before meeting the prospect.

1. Who are you meeting?

You cannot prepare a presentation/conversation for a faceless person.

(To edit an old cliché, “generic presentations are not worth the paper they are written on”).

2.How can you make this person better?

You may be pitching to a large organisation, but invariably it’s one or two key individuals who will have the final say.

Are you confident that you can clearly and simply demonstrate to these people how their business will be better as a result of engaging with you?

Clients of mine tell me they find my outside perspective on how they could better tell their story incredibly useful. It’s easy to forget that internal stories don’t always translate well outside the company.

If you feel you need help in delivering your message, why not get in touch and explore how I may be of assistance?

If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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