Raise your hand if you get bored easily. I know we can’t see if you have your hand in the air, but one thing is for sure: we definitely have our arms raised. And we’re confident you do too.
It doesn’t take a lot of deep reflection to understand how sick and tired people are of sitting in boring meetings or listening to cold pitches that follow the same dull routine. So, how do you stand out from the lifeless crowd?
To make sure your pitch doesn’t leave your audience feeling like Charlie Brown listening to his teacher (hearing “wah wah wah” and not much else), you’ve got to hook them in. And it all starts with a good ole story.
The 5 Key Components of a Compelling Pitch
Whether to gain a customer or an investor, your pitch needs to inspire and compel your audience to act. There are a few critical components, or “must-haves,” when crafting a compelling pitch story:
- Problem(s) you solve
- Who you help
- Why you’re the expert
- Stats and data highlighting value
- Goals and plans for growth
Now, take these five pieces of information and compare them to the five key components of a good story: setting, plot, a main character, conflict, and resolution. You can build the essential components of your pitch around the same narrative framework to take your target audience on their very own hero’s journey:
- Conflict: The problem your idea or product solves.
- Main Character: Your target customer.
- Setting: How you can help, when you can help, and why you’re the expert.
- Resolution: Your product and the data proving it will solve a customer’s problem.
- Plot: The connective tissue tying everything together and outlining what lies ahead.
There’s a reason most of us love getting lost in a story. Now, you can do the same for your customers and investors by keeping them engaged and moving them to act.
The Hero’s Journey:
A Plot for Effective Storytelling in Sales
A hero’s journey, or monomyth, is the template of a narrative in which the main character goes on an adventure, faces obstacles, overcomes a crisis, and returns home transformed.
To tell a compelling pitch story, you must guide your customer through their own hero’s journey.
Main Character’s Conflict: Target Your Ideal Customer & Their Pain Points
To tell a good story, you always need a hero. Ask yourself, who is your ideal client? How would you describe them? What challenges do they face? Through your storytelling, paint a picture of what it feels like to be up against the problems your hero (target customer) faces. Then, take a positive approach and lead to solutions that will transform their lives for the better.
Setting: Establish Trust & Define What Makes You the Expert
If you’re the character that steps into the story to help the hero face and overcome an obstacle, you must first establish trust. Lay out your credentials and achievements to position yourself as the ideal expert. Genuinely listen to what they have to say, research their background, so you know what makes them tick, and tailor your approach to who they are.
Resolution: Use Statistics & Data to Highlight Value
Okay, let’s set all the emotionally provocative storytelling components aside, and let’s get real for a moment. If you’re pitching something, you must also paint a clear picture of the numbers, stats, and other relevant data. Numbers don’t lie. Weave them into the story you’re telling and lay out the facts to position your solution as the best option.
Plot: Describe Where You’re Headed
You can solve your hero’s crisis with your product today, but any hero knows there are more challenges ahead. Define your goals, growth plans, and objectives. Help your customer (or hero) understand how they can continue along the journey. Have a conversation. Be honest. Make eye contact. Don’t throw all the information into your deck—only use it as a guide for your story to unfold.
Tying it All Together
Each of these critical components necessary for a compelling pitch story must tie together seamlessly. Each piece should flow together to paint a picture of your brand and product in your audience’s mind.
And eventually, all good stories must come to an end. It’s up to your audience to decide what they will do next. So, as your presentation ends, lay out an approachable call-to-action leading your audience to an easy decision. The pitch story is the beginning chapter potentially connecting you and your clients for years to come.