Expert Panel: Nine Pitching Tips To Make You Appear More Trustworthy And Credible

1. Get the timing right.

One thing a lot of companies don't factor in sufficiently when raising money is timing. Even if you don't immediately need the capital, raise money when things are going well. You're going to be more confident and you'll portray that confidence to investors. You're also going to be more excited, and excitement is contagious. Additionally, you'll be able to be completely honest about everything with the business. Even if you've hit some speed bumps in the past, it's much easier to discuss them when you're looking back on them and the road ahead looks bright. A huge part of raising money and building a business is yourpersonal confidence in what you're doing. Don't raise money without it, and always be transparent with investors -- many tend to invest more than once. - Carlo CiscoSELECT

2. Provide concrete examples of real results with real data.

We go over the top in our pitches to include case studies relevant to the prospective client, based on their specific cohort criteria like industry, size, scope and campaign goals. We then take it further by providing links to many more case studies. The goal is not to be overwhelming but to demonstrate our capabilities and expertise through results. One of the most effective things we do to build trust and confidence is recommend that prospects get in touch with current and past clients to speak to them personally. The fact that past clients are happy to speak to their experience with us goes a long way to show the kinds of partnerships we seek out with clients and how we manage those relationships. - Nick EubanksFrom The Future

3. Be vulnerable and honest.

Both at work and in life, coming across as trustworthy means being your vulnerable, honest self. Vulnerability can mean talking through your weaker points or areas where you need help and being honest about your struggles and successes. Authenticity is key in winning people over, and they are much more likely to trust someone who is human and acknowledges their shortcomings than someone who is overly confident or "perfect." We don't trust perfection because it doesn't exist. - Rachel BeiderMassage Outpost

4. Acknowledge that you're not always the perfect fit.

Even though our company has developed an automated and scalable solution to address a huge problem, I also recognize an automated process isn't ideal for all clinical scenarios. When I acknowledge this point to potential customers or investors, I visibly see their guards come down. By being transparent about the limitations of automation in healthcare, our time can be spent determining the possibility of a viable partnership. Inviting discussion about the areas we can't appropriately address clearly demonstrates our commitment to excellence. I want to build a company that provides optimal solutions for the long term, not just a quick fix. Lasting partnerships require a high-level of trust and respect that only comes when you put your partner's best interests before your own. - Amanda ElmsMetis Genetics, LLC

5. Share the mistakes with the successes.

Honesty is a core value for our company. One method to demonstrate this is by sharing our mistakes with the successes. Mistakes get a bad rap, as we are trained to avoid them at all costs, but in business they are used to hone the approach to reach a customer. We want to understand what doesn't work just as much as we want to know what does work. Creating a series of experiments, including some you actually think will fail, is a healthy approach to test your assumptions. You are going to learn something new while validating those core assumptions. Sharing any pitch is loaded with assumptions. Your job is to help them understand how you reached those assumptions so they can agree with your conclusions, and explaining the messy road through testing is the perfect way to do it. - Charles NickThird Wave Water

6. Pay attention to your body language.

Your body language plays a vital role in how others perceive you. For instance, an easy way to appear more trustworthy is by making eye contact with people when you talk. However, don’t end up staring relentlessly as it indicates hostility. Facing people you’re interacting with is imperative, as it gives them the impression that you’re interested in them and that they have your attention. Looking away or turning your body to the side, on the other hand, might be indicative of you having something to hide. Crossing your arms or legs while talking gets a big "no," as this can also come off as you wanting to hide something. If you use your hands while you speak, continue doing so. Gesturing and nodding help others feel that you’re listening, which in turn helps build trustworthiness. - Derek RobinsonTop Notch Dezigns

7. Show that you care about them as an individual.

Genuinely care for the person you're speaking to. Care more about them as an individual than them as a customer. This may mean opening up and being vulnerable if it enables you to relate to them better. It may mean sharing a personal story that might challenge or encourage them. When meeting with potential clients, I sometimes find myself coaching them through different problems they're facing with their business. Because it's a sales meeting, I know I'm not going to get paid for that time. I'm doing it because I care about people and don't want to miss an opportunity to add value to someone's life. If what I share enables them to be more successful, that means they'll be able to make a bigger impact on their family, employees and community. That's what matters, even if they don't buy. - Bryan CitrinChiropractic Advertising

8. Just be human.

Sales tactics make us all nauseous. Stick to your humanity and the basics: Be good, be brief and be gone. While you are pitching, focus on what is in it for your audience. This is where you show how youropportunity can solve not simply a problem, but their problem. You do this by talking like a human, not a robot. Practice how'd you explain this to your mom, your grandma or someone on the street until the language flows just like a "hello" would. Lastly, people trust people they like, so share that personality of yours. If you say "y'all" in life, say it in the pitch. If you love sports, weave that in. Make the pitch natural to you, so it will be natural to them. Show who you are -- people just may like you.  - Codie

9. Trust yourself.

Two things investors and potential customers are looking for are confidence and extensive knowledge of your product. Luckily those often come hand in hand, so preparation is key. Like they always say on Shark Tank, you need to know your numbers. If you have an amazing and innovative product, it can speak for itself; however, you need to put it in a position to do so. Sometimes even more than the product, investors invest in people. If you are the person who is very passionate about solving XYZ and know where you are going, you could still potentially receive an investment even if your current product isn’t perfect. So let your passion and persistence shine through and show that you are ready to tackle consumers’ biggest problems. - Zohar Steinbergtoken payments