You have made the decision to attend the Web Summit in Lisbon and you have accepted the sacrifices of time, travel and expense. Why? because you believe that it could help get your business to the next level. Sound thinking, but going there isn’t enough. You need to set yourself up to succeed.
The facts are there will be over 50,000 attendees, more than 15,000 companies in the exhibit hall, it is so big it could make your head spin. To top it all off there will only be a few investors to cover the tens of thousands of companies exhibiting at the Wb Summit. That means that your chances of being noticed are slim to none! Therefore, I am going to give you some pointers in this article as well as in some subsequent articles that I intend on writing, which will boost your chances of being noticed and succeeding at the Web Summit this November.
If you dont do the appropriate ground work then dont bother showing up. You will fail! However, with hard work, perseverance and some luck you may get the attention of the right investor. Remember, you just need one angel or VC to like you or your product. Why? Because he will tell his friends and they will organize an investing round if they truly believe in your team and vision.
Set Up Meetings – You should try to establish meetings with people from your social media realm (linkedIn etc) whom you know will be there. Don’t be tentative to send out a message introducing yourself and ask for a time to have a cup of coffee. Additionally, there is the Web Summit app which can prove to be a useful tool. Invite potential prospects to your booth and make sure to research them prior so you will know the buzz words to use if and when they do show up. You should send out at least 100 personal invites to relevant investors, partners, users etc.
The Pitch – well actually, it’s not one pitch it is in fact a catch phrase and three distinct pitches. There is the elevator pitch, the five minute pitch and the ten minute pitch.
Here is what I mean. During the course of the day there will be thousands of random people walking by your booth. This is a numbers game. You need to speak to as many people as possible and in a matter of seconds filter out potential partners or investors from irrelevant prospects.
A cool free gadget is a great way to get someones attention for a moment. You offer the gadget to anyone who comes and then you simply ask “Can I show you how our app is able to organize your contact list? There is also a psychology behind the free gift. It is very hard for someone to say no to you once they have received a gift from you, no matter how inexpensive it is.
Once they agree you need to offer the elevator pitch.
The elevator pitch lasts no more than 60 seconds yet it is probably the roughest pitch to master. While creating a full fledged pitch deck is no easy task, revising that down to a mere sixty seconds is tough. Here are some helpful tips:
- After introducing yourself, immediately get to the value proposition your company has to offer. What is the issue out there that your company is addressing.
- Establish your credibilities and expertise while not divulging anything too sensitive. The elevator pitch is not to reveal everything about your company as quick as you can…the trick is to leave them wanting more.
- State your call to action. You are probably trying to raise money or find clients. Make your request clear.
Now, before moving to the next step you need to filter. Ask the prospect their credentials and quickly decide if they are a potential partner, investor or user. If they are then continue to the longer pitch, of they are not then respectfully pass them off to your colleague. “Thanks for your time, my buddy Tom over here is going to give you a demo of our revolutionary platform. Have a great day!
If they are a prospect, then continue on to the five minute pitch.
What is the five minute pitch? Great question! The five minute pitch allows you the opportunity to give a more defined view of your company. While five minutes is considerably more than sixty seconds, it is still limited and there remains the need for brevity. Here is the information of what needs to be in the pitch:
- Vision statement
- Brief description of what the company does (brief being the operative word here)
- The problem
- Your Solution
- About your product/service
- Business model (road map, revenue, pricing, marketing
- Team (brief bios of company leadership)
The ten minute sales pitch allows for a lot more detail and nuance. The ten minute sales pitch allows you to get into the intricacies of your business. Remember, your points should be encompassing and brief as possible. Here are the points that should be made succinctly in the 10 minute pitch:
- Tell the story of how you came to address the problem/opportunity that the market has presented.
- Discuss any successes or positive feedback you have gotten to date
- Define your target market
- Spell out how you will acquire customers, clients or users
- Describe your competition
- State revenue models and financials (with projections)
- Team (brief bios of company leadership)
- Make your funding requirements known
- Provide an exit strategy for the investor
To successfully make any pitch, you must be absolutely comfortable, confident and fluid. Practice as long as it takes. If you show discomfort or lack of clear thought, the conversation may be over before it starts.
Thats all for now. Stay tuned though as I will be writing some more articles on various topics which will help you and your company succeed at the Web Summit.
Be sure to email me with any questions or comment below. I am always happy to help.