What politicians can teach you about investment pitches

The former Soviet leader ‘Nikita Krushchev’ had a great phrase:

‘Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river.’

Are you a keen observer of politics? Have you ever thought about political stump speeches being similar to investment pitches?


President Obama's State of the Union Address 2012

Whether you’ve been tracking the Republican primaries over recent months (or similar events, from time to time, in your own neck of the woods) – it’s hard to avoid 24/7 media scrutiny of the ebbs and flows in the fortunes of political candidates or parties.

Our respective media increasingly gorges upon (or is it ‘wallows in’?) endless series of debates, candidates’ investment pitches to voters, scandals and gaffes and numbing levels of analysis.

And at the end of the day, how much of what is said has real substance?

While the minutia of political campaigns may be grist to the mill for some, few voters have the time or the inclination to listen to more than headlines and occasional sound bites.

And they commonly make voting decisions based on just a few factors:

  • The jist of what they think candidates may stand for (or against), and
  • Whether they trusts one person more than the next

While not always obvious, there are some great lessons to be had from political campaigns that can help you to deliver better investment pitches.

#1. Focus on how you’ll fix problems people care about

Have you noticed that political candidates who focus on fringe issues or non issues are almost first in line to be ignored?

If you want investors to pay attention to you – forget all the ancillary stuff and speak to how you can solve problems that people care about.

And couch how your solutions can change or improve lives for your prospective customers in just a few short sentences.

Remember, as interesting as you may think nitty-gritty and detail may be, investors have limited attention spans and no shortage of suitors. And, like voters, if you can’t hook them quickly; you may never hook them at all.

#2. Demonstrate that you’re someone who can be trusted

Investors, like voters, pay as much attention to their sense of who you are and whether they find you credible as they do to what you promise.

Pay attention to providing reasons why others should place confidence in you when making investment pitches.

#3. Sell the sizzle to be more memorable

Demonstrating to your audience how things could be is always a better idea than telling’em what you’re thinking of doing.

Whether you’re a politician seeking votes or making investment pitches, track record counts.

If you can speak to what you’ve already done and the extent of  support you’ve already achieved for your ideas,  you’ll stand a much better chance of getting others to back you – as you will be perceived as ‘less of a risk’ or ‘more investable’.

Over to you

What politicians (past or present) have inspired you – through their ideas or their characters? 

Creative Commons License photo credit: KJGarbutt


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