How to Sell like a Startup Founder with Jeremy Diamond
The Sales Conversation
This episode features Jeremy Diamond, founder of the blog Startup Deck Review, which is dedicated to studying startup pitch decks. He has a rich media background and is an MBA graduate from the University of Washington Foster School of Business. In this episode we will be covering 3 key factors in a winning pitch, how to communicate your “Grit”, and advice for sellers in how to improve their selling conversations.
[1:27] How Jeremy Got Focused on Helping Startups Master Their Pitch
- Originally worked in TV production for Discovery and Animal Planet.
- Decided to move to Seattle, get an MBA at the UW, and wanted to work for a tech company.
- Worked for a startup that wanted someone who could think through things from a business perspective.
- How he got into helping companies fundraise.
[3:55] 3 Key Factors in Driving a Winning Pitch
- Their strong understanding of the customer problem that the founder has a mission to solve.
- Their passion to solve the problem. Jeremy talks about their “marrying the problem”
- Their grit. What any investor would be looking at in a founder of a startup:
- What problem solving “grit” they have to bring to the market.
- Investors want to know what they are investing in.
[9:58] “Grit” – the 3rd Factor
- Grit is a subjective thing.
- When investors are entering into a long relationship with people, they want to know that those people are going to be worthy of the money that they’re investing.
- More unique to Venture Capital.
[11:09] Story on How a Founder Communicated “Grit”
- Airbnb pitch deck
- Founders sold commemorative cereal boxes during the 2008 election
- Saw a desire path:
- Recognized that certain data was not being understood by existing hospitality/lodging.
- As an investor you’re asking these types of questions:
- What was their character during that challenging time?
- What sorts of actions did they take?
- Were they creative in how they marketed and solved the problem?
- Were they creative in how they operated their business?
[12:17] Communicating to your customer that you have the “Grit”
- Making sure that the customers investment in you (your company/your solution) will be money well-spent.
- Paul Smith: Story Telling for Sales
- Different stories you can tell as a seller.
[13:33] Advice for Sellers
- Social Proof.
- Bring in traction:
- Investors will argue.
- Illustrate why your solution is better than the competition and how you’re going to compete.
- Get and incorporate feedback into your pitch:
- People like to help as long as they like to give constructive criticism and as long as you like to receive constructive criticism.
- “Cold” Communication.
If you have a pitch deck that you would like to suggest Jeremy to review, feel free to reach out!
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