3 Reasons Why Your Pitch Failed
Whether you are pitching internally (an idea to your team, boss or board), or pitching externally (to win a contract or investment), your audiences’ brain will prevent them from saying “YES”, unless they feel your conclusion makes them feel safe to act.
Here are 3 reasons why your pitch failed:
1. You were not clear about WHY exactly this is a problem you are looking to solve.
The most basic part of the human brain (amygdala) makes people feel threatened when you are proposing to solve (to their minds) a non-existent problem.
This may be because you were not clear what the problem is or the way you explained the problem made it not important enough to solve.
When you pitch, be very clear from the outset, in the simplest terms, what the problem is and why it needs to be solved.
2. You did not explain HOW you (or the client) is struggling because of this problem,HOW alternatives failed to solve it and HOW you reached the upcoming conclusion.
The limbic (emotional) brain needs to be engaged in order to reach an agreement.
HOW do you engage the limbic brain?
Explain the problem, then tell the story how it is making things worse, how it is affecting you/the client and how past attempts to solve this problem (or the competition’s attempts) failed and how/why they failed. This will build up empathy as well as understanding as to how you came up with this solution, or how you reached the conclusion you need this much investment.
3. You were too abstract or complex about WHAT your solution is, WHAT it will do and WHAT you want from them.
The neocortex, the logical and third part of the brain, does not make decisions. It simply justifies the decisions it made in the first two layers of the brain.
Bring back the issues you described in the pitch and show how it solves each of them. WHAT your solution is must have a direct correlation to HOW it solves existing problems and WHY it is worth solving.
If you explained the WHY and the HOW well, by the time you get to your solution/ask (this is the “WHAT”) they will understand you and agree to give you what you want.
Adelina Chalmers helps organisations deliver successful pitches both internally (to colleagues, bosses and boards within) as well as externally (to customers and investors to win contracts or investment).
Adelina’s clients include ARM, Taylor Vinters, Agritech East, British Society for Plant Breeders, NIAB, as well as Cambridge University, helping scientists from across the world learn how to launch their innovative technology by partnering with industry. One of Adelina's key skills that her clients love is that she can pitch to them their own pitch, on the spot, unrehearsed, and give them huge insights into their own project.