Editor’s note: “The Angel Connection” is a regular feature in WRAL Local Tech Wire. LTW asked consultant Bill Warner to share advice for entrepreneurs seeking angel investors and/or venture capital investment. He is chairman of the Triangle Accredited Capital Forum, an angel investor network with over 100 members throughout the Southeast.

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Having worked with hundreds of business owners to help them put together effective business presentations, the business owner often knows more about the product or service than about the business opportunity and how to realistically get it.

Missing the Essence of the Opportunity

A very common issue is that business owners are overly enthralled with their solution and wants to tell you every nuance of it. We sometimes find ourselves buried in details that are probably quite important, but don’t add a lot more information about the attractiveness of the business. We see this with technology and life sciences businesses whose founders are the founding scientists.

It’s important to explain the opportunity you are going after, in business terms and from the perspective of the buyer. All the information about the product or service should then simply demonstrate that the buyer’s need is addressed and that it will win against the competition. How it works is less important than how well it addresses the buyer’s need.

Lacking an Effective Marketing and Sales Plan

A critical mistake is the business owner who does a great job of explaining the opportunity, solution, market and competition, but falls way short of explaining how they are actually going to reach the buyer.

Most businesses that fail, fail because they do not reach their market segment. It is critically important to explain in objective and direct terms what marketing programs you are going to employ to achieve market awareness and generate qualified sales leads.

Don’t diminish the importance of marketing. It’s all about generating leads. There’s nothing stronger than being able to show how many leads you need to generate enough sales to meet your revenue objectives, and backing it up with a description of your pipeline with names and revenue numbers.

You also have to knock this subject out of the ball park with a crisp explanation of your sales process. Then bring it to life with real examples of sales situations you are working on along with recently closed deals. There’s nothing stronger than being able to show sales traction with customers who have written you checks.

About the author: Bill Warner is the managing partner of Paladin and Associates, a business consulting firm in the Research Triangle Park area of central North Carolina, and is the chairman of the Triangle Accredited Capital Forum, an angel investor network with over one hundred members throughout the southeast.