Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Its All In The Pitch

Writen by Laurelle Johnson

This is true no matter who you are or what you have invented. How you pitch your need for money will largely determine if you get funding.

Women use the "emotional" pitch. Men do not. Women appeal to the "feel good" needs of women; men go for the utilitarian use of their products. Women do not paint pictures that men can "see". Men do. Passion not withstanding, a good pitch appeals to the logical in an illogical situation.

On two recent episodes of American Inventor women were turned down left and right. Only two got passed to the next round after using the "verbal abuse" method.

One invented an item to make wig wearing more comfortable for women going through cancer and chemotherapy. She begged the men to give "women back their lives". An ex-school teacher invented disposable sheets for nursing homes and treated the men as errant schoolboys. Each used the "I'll-shame-you-into-it" approach. Not good.

Point in fact – MEN hear differently than women. They listen for facts, figures and Return on Investment. Especially when an invention is women-oriented and pitched by a woman.

At a recent "pitching" contest, a woman presented her web site idea (for women to become more efficient in clothes shopping) to a group of 12 men. It was BRILLIANT! All the women in the audience got it - immediately! NONE OF THE JUDGES GOT IT!

Women INVENT products for women. They understand the emotional appeal very well. Women have invented products and succeeded in gaining funding because they amended their "pitches" to be heard by men. Some of those are: Fat Burger, Pampered Chef, Donna Karen, and Martha Stewart. These women were funded because they were able to amend their "pitches" to be heard by men.

If you are a female in need of venture capital here are my suggestions for a successful pitch:

1) Show how big your marketplace is in terms of volume: i.e. the big picture
2) Current dollar amounts spent on products of similar nature.
3) Not-just-for-women applications of your product or service
4) Appeal to the need to be a HERO or the need for GLORY in men
5) Stay away from an emotional appeal – there is "no crying in baseball".


Do your research to understand the motivators in each of the venture capitalists in your audience. What are they looking for besides a high and quick rate of return? Glory? Fame?

Appeal to the numbers guy with numbers. Appeal to the notoriety guy with notoriety potential, create a hero to appeal to the heroes, include first-to-market cache for those who want to go down in history as the next innovator or mentor the greatest mousetrap ever invented.

Men will buy emotionally through the set of their own acceptable range of emotions that include the path to glory and riches.


Laurelle Johnson, Innerwealth Communications, provides Presentation and Coaching to craft and perfect your pitch that will get you the funding. Her past successes include the pitch and close of contracts from $15million to $75million.

Contact Laurelle at:

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