Once Upon a Time …
The Importance of Storytelling when Pitching Investors
Think back to one of your most memorable experiences. At its foundation was likely a great story. It may have been your own or it could have been someone else’s, but a connection was made. You probably remember how you felt, where you were, maybe even a scent or what you were wearing. That’s what stories do – they connect people in a way that facts and figures never can. Whether you’re in a classroom, boardroom, or a room full of investors, your story (and how you tell it) is what will make people remember you.
Remember – investors invest in people, not in businesses. So, what do you offer that would make others take their money and risk it on you? What attributes do you possess that will help ensure they will benefit financially from doing so? Ultimately, why should they take a chance on you? Often, all of those answers come down to the connections you establish. And those connections come from the story you tell.
What About the Numbers?
Personal anecdotes, combined with a unifying passion, is what will make your business stand out in a pitch. This is not to minimize the importance of the numbers, data, and metrics. To the contrary, a great story without that critical data will lead you only to neverland. No matter how compelling a story, it cannot be a substitute for basic business essentials – a strong business plan, financials, and a proven track record. But to set that data apart from all the others, you need a compelling story to take the investors on your business’s own unique journey with you. It comes down to providing that information in a more memorable context to help you stand out among the rest.
Top 5 Storytelling Tips
- Keep it Real. Authenticity is key in storytelling. An authentic story is what will set you apart from someone who is making a marketing, sales, or investor pitch for a specific business or solution. Through your story, and the way in which you tell it, investors can truly see the authentic you. And authenticity builds trust – a key component for any relationship.
- Connect with Emotion. According to Inc.com, 90% of decisions are made based on emotion. Then, people use logic to go back and justify the decision they’ve already made. Use a story that includes the positive emotions your product, services, or solutions can generate.
- Remember the Story Behind Your Why. Allow the investors to feel that same insight or pain that you felt when you developed your product or solution. You can only share your why effectively through storytelling. They will not only remember your message, but understand why it is so important.
- Connect to a Higher Purpose. Your personal why or story likely has a far larger impact (or you wouldn’t have been able to make a business out of it). Your story becomes that much more powerful when you remind others of your personal commitment to a certain cause or providing your solutions on a larger scale to help others.
- Share Another Story. Maybe the story isn’t yours. Maybe it’s from one of your clients or customers. How has your product or service improved their lives or businesses in some significant way? What have they shared with you? Focus on one particular person’s story. To be relatable, you want to be specific, and put the investors in the shoes of that person, not everyone overall.
Storytelling is not about performing as a comedian or an actor in a theatrical production. It means personalizing how you communicate your business. Storytelling builds relationships, which are at the foundation of all businesses – customers, clients, partnerships, and investors.
You want them invested more than financially … you want them invested emotionally. To capture their undivided attention during your pitch, tell them your story passionately and authentically. By creating connections, you will infuse passion and trust, leading to your own happy ending – the investment your business needs.
Barker Associates thrives in helping companies develop the right stories for their pitches. If you need assistance with yours, or have any other questions, we can help. Please click here to schedule a 30-minute consultation at a rate of $100.