So, you've done the hard yards, and gotten the right introductions to the right investors, and now they've organised to meet you. Awesome!
But now what?
Here are my top tips on how the best strategies for your Investor meeting.
Investor Meeting Strategy - Before
- Practice your Pitch!
Practice in front of friends and family. Or, if there's no one around to listen, set up your camera or phone and record yourself. Play it back and see how you did, and make sure it's no longer than 15 minutes.
Less is more.
- Have your Executive Summary and Pitch Video ready
But never email your pitch prior to the meeting. At best, only ever send an executive summary.
Keep your investors intrigued.
- Print hard copies of your Investor documentation
Have it ready, complete and organise it neatly so you can find it quickly and easily.
- Do your research on the investor, their firm and their investments.
- Don't ask the investor to sign any binding documents
This includes an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) or Confidentiality Agreement, which could spook them, when you really want your investors to be as calm, relaxed and trusting as possible.
On the Day
- Arrive 15 minutes early and ask if you can set up.
Get a feel for the room, and be familiar with where everyone will be sitting, to keep your audience engaged.
- Pick your best team.
Who should go? The Co-founder (the CEO) + one other senior member.
Investors invest in teams and businesses not individuals.
- When one person speaks the other takes notes.
Make sure both members and parties are aware of what's been said, and can easily clarify any questions your potential investor may have.
- Both attendees should speak during the Pitch.
Remember to practice so it's natural!
During the Investor Meeting
- Never disagree in the meeting or talk over each other.
Like I said earlier, investors are placing their trust, time and money in not only your brilliant business idea, but your capabilities as a founder and leader of a team.
Undermining each other is NOT the way to go about it!
- Give a Perfect Pitch!
I know, I know, easier said than done, right? Not necessarily. Give your investors your Pitch Deck afterwards, but don't use it to Pitch. Use the Investor Presentation when presenting to potential investors.
- Be confident and polite, never cocky or arrogant.
Answer any questions briefly - don't waffle, be evasive, or present information you're not 100% sure is correct!
- Don't ask for money!
It is expected that you indicate what your target raise amount is, but your aim from the first meeting is to get feedback from experienced investors and spark their interest. This is done by giving them your Pitch Deck and scheduling a follow-up meeting. You will (almost) never get money from the first meeting, so don't be an amateur and ask for it.
- Ask what the next steps are?
Be assertive, and show your investors you're confident to follow up. This will reinforce their trust in you.
Post Investor Meetings
- Immediately say thank you!
Within 24 hours of your meeting, contact your potential investor and say thank you.
Be sure to cover any follow-ups agreed to in the meeting (such as delivering additional documentation, etc.)
- Provide Regular Traction Updates.
At least weekly, send a quick update to your investor, especially emphasising the good news. Remember, investors are extremely busy, and can be hopeless at following up, so a gentle good news reminder is perfect to touch base with them and remain in contact.
If a number of weeks have passed and nothing then finding a reason to meet again, such as a new release or big news may prompt them to follow up.
- Create urgency in your business.
You can do this by attracting multiple interested investors simultanously, and making it clear to indiviudal investors that they're not the only people in the race!
- If they decline to invest (and most will), be gracious and thankful.
Accept "no" as an answer that means "not yet". Never burn your bridges by being defensive or rude. Try and get feedback so you can improve your Pitch/offering.
So, those are my 21 hot tips on how to be investor ready for your meeting. Get all of the above right, and you'll maximise your chances of being on your way to having investors put capital into your Startup!