The Pitch: Do’s, Don’ts and Differentiators– August 12, 2020 by Jeff Kovacs

Our blog series shares the key lessons we have learned about developing and presenting effective investor pitches. Whether you’re a company seeking investment, an advisor helping companies create their pitches or investors attempting to find that perfect investment, we hope you find value in “The Pitch.”
Our final installment of The Pitch focuses on the elements you want in your pitch, those you don’t, and some differentiators to make your pitch stand out to investors.

1. The Dos

When preparing your pitch, there are multiple elements that are critical to convey to investors. DO:

  • Use straightforward, easy to understand language
  • Provide the appetizer — not the main course — you can provide details later
  • Tailor the pitch to the audience
  • Explain why the product/service is uniquely different
  • Explain why the product/service difference actually matters and solves big problems
  • Explain how the solutions provide results
  • Anticipate the tough questions
  • Communicate the path to customer acquisition
    • Who are the customers?
    • What efforts are necessary to reach them?
    • Will they buy what we are selling?
    • How much does it cost to acquire a customer?
    • How sticky is the relationship with our customers?
  • Instill a sense of urgency
  • Bring your passion and imagination
  • Be authentic

2. The Don’ts

Conversely, there are several elements to avoid when preparing and delivering your pitch to investors. DON’T:

  • Be overly technical — give them just enough to convey the concept and problems solved
  • Assume your audience is as technical as you
  • Use technical jargon, acronyms, etc.
  • Provide an over-abundance of information — this only jeopardizes clarity and may obscure your major points
  • Provide sweeping statements — find the sweet spot
  • Rely on PowerPoint presentations — storytelling is more powerful
  • Commit to the pitch without clear answers to the basic elements (as outlined in our prior blogs)
  • Forecast unprecedented growth without supporting evidence
  • Waste time explaining the obvious

3. The Differentiators

If you truly want your pitch to stand out to investors, focus on the following:

  • Tell a Story
    • Create a connection
    • Why should the investor care?
    • Why would a purchaser of the service or product care?
    • What is the emotion driving the reasons behind the company?
    • Share client experience, breakthroughs, those a-ha! moments
    • Stories differentiate and stick to memory
    • Decisions are made emotionally
  • Create the Headline/Get their Attention
    • What do we produce better/faster/more effectively/ innovatively/cheaper than anyone else?
    • How do we serve our customers better/faster/more effectively/innovatively/cheaper than anyone else?
  • Strong first lines are essential — they grab your audience’s attention
  • Convey why your company is truly unique
    • How well do you know your competition?
    • Can you compare and contrast with competitors?
  • Key = Distill an entire brand concept down to a few minutes
    • Need to encourage investors to want to hear more
    • Investor Interest = permission to tell them additional details

Please contact a member of your service team, or contact Jeff Kovacs at for further discussion and for assistance in crafting your most effective pitch.

Like what you read? Sign up to receive our latest tax, accounting and business blogs and podcasts.

Cohen & Company is not rendering legal, accounting or other professional advice. Information contained in this post is considered accurate as of the date of publishing. Any action taken based on information in this blog should be taken only after a detailed review of the specific facts, circumstances and current law.