Designing your business case is just one part of the game for creating a lasting product business. Getting management support and rallying the rest of the organization behind your new product or initiative is critical to the its business success. Connecting to your audience’s beliefs and helping them empathize with the problem your product solves, is very important. Here are 12-steps to delivering a killer presentation pitch your product or business case:
From going through the design process and the thinking like an investor, you have all the data about the problem, market, monetization model, costs and revenues. Your audience is not going to able to appreciate the data or your thinking if you do not tell them a story. That’s correct – you have to be able to narrate a story that persuades your audience to take action. Read more about what makes a good story.
The first step to pitch your product or business case is to start by setting the context. The problem or the challenge is the core around which you build a product. Express the problem from your target user’s perspective (refer to the personas you created and the customer segment you identified using the Lean Canvas in the design process earlier). When you state the problem, think of the target persona’s desires, needs, fears and concerns (D.N.F.C) that your product business addresses. What are their deepest desires and needs? What do they fear the most and what concerns them the most?
Now that you just defined the problem, it deems fit for your audience to understand how big of a problem this is for the target market. What will happen if this problem is not addressed? Do you have a story of someone in your target market to share? Can you use numbers to describe the magnitude of the problem? Expressing the loss in economic terms is one good way to amplify the problem.
This is when you present your product. Keep it short and simple. Offer to demonstrate your product (if you have some form of demonstrable increment to show). The key here is to tell your audience what exactly the product is going to be, and what stage it is currently in. Your audience is now very clear with the problem, and your product description brief should make them curious to know more. Keep this simple and short.
Now that you’ve told your audience that you indeed have this Back to the Future product to solve the problem, it’s time to tell them how. Make sure you clearly articulate how your Back to the Future car will address your target market’s deepest desires, needs, fears and concerns. At the end of this your audience is probably having a lot of questions. Take a moment to ask for questions.
If you have validated some hypotheses from the earlier design phase that’s worth mentioning, do it now. If your audience have been interested in the problem and the solution, they probably have a lot of questions related to a few really obvious validations. I recommend you shortlist one or two hypotheses and present them. This helps your audience develop trust in you. When they see you resonate with their thinking, it helps develop trust.
Having covered the problem and the product so far, you are now drawing your audience’s attention to the business of your product. How big is the market? How much of marketshare can we get? What is the opportunity window? You have done all of this work earlier. Just give your audience a brief overview of what you know. State the unknowns, if there are, and tell them how you plan to have answers to those unknowns.
Any investor is definitely going to be interested in knowing how the product will make money! It’s time you described your product’s monetization model. It’s pretty straight forward. Be prepared to take some questions around pricing.
Now that your audience understands that your product is indeed a business, it’s time you told them how you would reach your target market and customer segments. Talk about how you would market, how your target market would buy and use your product.
While it’s great to have no one to compete with, competition helps businesses thrive and stay relevant and innovative. It’s good to name your competitors, if possible. What your audience is also looking to know here are the competitive advantages of the product business you are proposing. In other words, how will you bulletproof yourself and succeed with the competitors you have?
If you’ve made it this far, great! Your audience is hopefully happy with what they’ve just heard from you! Do tell them what the plan of action is between now and the product launch. High level overview of activities is good enough. This gives your audience the confidence of having someone in the pilot’s seat who knows what he / she is doing.
What if you met the key member in your company’s board of directors in the elevator? Even better, what if he asked you what you were up to? Not talking about your business case is a lost opportunity! This is why you should have an elevator pitch ready always. But how do you prepare one? I have a simple 3-step formula:
Repeat the process multiple times, and even try pitching it to someone you know. Make sure it covers all the key points. Remember, the idea of an elevator pitch is not to convey everything you know! You want to reveal just enough to get you an opportunity to have a 20-30 minute meeting to present your business case.
Hope you found the article useful, and even more, I hope you do something with it. If you have an interesting way of pitching that you would like to share with other readers, do share them in the comments below.
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