The night before was a cold one. I was sat alone at a warm and lively burger place in London, eating a fried chicken burger and drinking an ice-cold glass of beer.
I couldn’t taste a thing.
My mind was elsewhere, nervous for the day ahead. Tomorrow I would be pitching my invention Mobu (a cable clip which stops earphones tangling) to a live studio audience of 100 members of the public and 3 buyers from well know retailers. What’s more, it was being filmed. No matter how well (or how horrendously) things went, I knew it could be seen by as many as a millionpeople in the months ahead on the UK television show Buy It Now.
No wonder I was distracted.
I had a lot riding on tomorrow, the future of my business, my reputation, our brand… with my mind working overtime I decided to call it a day, passing on dessert.
An early night was followed by an early morning and a short walk later I was in the green room at the studios with the other participants.
It was in that moment I realised something miraculous. My nerves had gone! But where? Perhaps it was because I was here now and had rehearsed as much as I could? Perhaps subconsciously I knew being nervous wasn’t going to do me any favours? Who knows. Whatever the reason, I was thankful for it and didn’t ask too many questions. With no nerves holding me back I was free to stay focused on what was to come. The pitch.
Deep in thought, I was staring through a rain speckled window at the River Thames, listening to the distant drum-beat of a construction machine hammering pillars into the earth, when someone with an earpiece and clip board told me my time had come.
It was now or never.
Waiting to be revealed to the audience my heart was pounding out of my chest, not from nerves any more though, but from adrenaline. It had been a long road getting to this point. I had to make this count…
On cue, a curved studio divider began to revolve, painfully slowly, revealing an audience of 100 people, 3 retail buyers and countless TV cameras. All eyes were on me.
The moment me and Mobu were revealed to everyone.
A moment later my 90 second timer started and it was time to shine. With my props and Mobu product samples ready to go I dived straight into my pitch. Thankfully my endless rehearsals paid off and I got through the whole thing from start to finish without breaking out in the dreaded flop sweat,
or worse, freezing in fear.
In fact, the time passed so quickly that it was over before I knew it, I’d done it!
That was when I noticed that there were quite a few green lights in the audience, indicating people had liked Mobu enough to buy it. Brilliant!
This meant I got to speak to the panel of professional buyers. All had great questions.
First up was Ken Daly, the CEO of JML the retail giant, who was interested in knowing the origins of Mobu’s name. Next up was Fran Busby, MD of the shopping channel Ideal World. She wanted to know the scale of the problem that was tangled earphones and cable. Last up was Kristian Bromley, MD of the gift website Firebox. He was interested to know what impact wireless charging technology might have on the tangled cable problem, if any.
With all the buyers questions answered it was time for the next stage, for the buyers to decide whether they too wanted to “Buy It Now”.
First up was JML…
It was a pass. Ken said he really wrestled with this decision, but in the end thought the low retail price and the fact the product was something new and not obvious to the passing customer in store meant it wasn’t quite right for their business model.
Second up was Ideal World…
Another pass. Fran had a similar issue with Mobu’s price being so low that they would have to sell an unreasonably high number of units through their shows to make it work.
Last up was Firebox…
They bought! Kristian said he really liked the idea and experienced the problem himself, so they wanted to place a trial order of 500 units as a starting point.
Firebox went in with an initial trial order of 500 units.
Success! In total I left the stage with 511 orders for Mobu and a big smile plastered on my face.
Pitching Mobu on national television was an experience I will never forget. It was both nerve wracking and exhilarating in equal measure. Was this something I could have seen myself doing a few months or years earlier? Hell no. But you know what? I’m truly glad I took the leap and went for it anyway.
Find out more about the Mobu, brilliant little cable clip we pitched, here.
(Blog post via medium.com)