Being an entrepreneur, you might have already done 100s of pitches to your investors. But 99% of the time you fail to impress your investor in the first attempt. There is no love at first sight when it comes to Investor and Entrepreneur. It takes more than a good pitch to make your investor fall in love with you. From my experience of pitching to an investor and hearing entrepreneurs pitch, hereby summarized key takes on how to build relations with an investor.
1. Make a Beautiful Deck
When you want an investor to invest in you and your startup, you need to invest in your pitch deck. Pay and get it designed from a professional designer, work with an investment banker to create the content of your pitch deck. Use images which shows what you do, check for look and feel of your deck, fonts, colours, alignments etc. Your pitch deck is your first impression, and if it’s not attractive enough to get your investors attention, no matter what you do and say, you may fail. A good design signals high potential.
2. Do your Homework
You might be an expert in your domain, but also ensure you do research about the person you are going to meet. Every good investor will have LinkedIn or Twitter profiles, study them, and understand their interests. If they have a blog, read them. Check their past portfolios. While pitching if you can make your pitch personalized to them, quote them, speak about their past investments – Flattery might not make you win, but it sure will help you fasten a mile or two.
3. Have Clear Agenda
Before you start the meeting, define a clear agenda and manage your schedule effectively. This will make you look incredibly professional, and also saves your time and your investors time. Having a strict schedule might put in pressure on you, but preparation is the key. Do you know Steve Jobs invests days before he making 30min keynote speech – no wonder he is the best guy when it comes to delivering amazing speeches.
If you are just going to share information and not make it relatable your audience, then it’s just failure. Lead your pitch with a relatable story – how your customers are struggling with your product and how your product impacts their life etc. When you make people visualize what you say, they will remember your story forever. Even, if you are not getting investment, if you make an impact, it is going to help you some or other way.
5. Check-in Your Audience
Usually, when you are in the stage making your pitch, you would like to share as much as information possible. But unfortunately, you only get a short time, and in a short time, if you overburden the information, your audience may get lost. So constantly, keep a check on if your audience is following what you are communicating. If they face any issue, change your style of communication.
6. Never Be Afraid
Sometimes you will encounter questions like how big is your team or how much revenue you are making, how much sales you made etc. Even though the number is small, don’t be afraid to share the information. Transparency is the key factor for investor and entrepreneur relationship – this is the answer to your question on how to be on good terms with the investor.
7. Ask for Advice
If you know the investor is an expert in some area, ask them for advice. It will make you look smart and mature, and people always love to share knowledge once they know you are truly seeking for it.
If you ask for investment, you will get advice; if you ask for advice, you will get an investment.
8. Agree to Disagree
When you get any advice, don’t try to defend yourself. Make smart moves like – That’s a great idea, we had same idea, but didn’t process it enough, and we will look forward to work with on the same. Make a note of points in your notebook – if you make the person realize that you value their opinions, they will come forward to help you out.
9. Say If You Don’t Know
If you don’t know anything, don’t be afraid be confront it in public. If you are an early-stage entrepreneur, there might be times you might not have figured out everything, and that is okay. If you feel you are saying too many don’t know’s, change your answers like – we have a couple of options on that, and we would like to get your input. This shows you are open for good advice and you want to grow your business.
10. Follow Up
Start following up immediately after your meeting – send an email with key takeaways of meeting and next action points. Keep it as short as possible. If the investor feels you are serious about your business even before they come in, you will gain the upper hand.
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