[Fundraising for Startups] Lesson 16: How should you communicate with investors?

I'll keep this one quick and punchy.

  • Don't email your deck to someone that hasn't already spoken to you on the phone or in person. There's never been a time when a random pitch deck in an investor's inbox resulted in a meeting... or an investment. 80% of the deals we do came through a warm introduction. 80% of the pitches we get are cold. Think about that for a minute.
  • Don't meet them at their office. As a general rule of thumb, I recommend meeting on neutral ground (ie, coffee shops) or your office / coworking space. Get the investor out of their comfort zone and onto more equal footing with you.
  • Don't pitch them hard at a conference. Look, I get the appeal of the conference pitch -- this might be your one chance. But it's a waste. The investor probably won't remember you. And you're probably going to rush things so much that you'll suck.
  • Don't try to close the deal on the first meeting. I can understand why you want to hard sell your deal but it's incredibly rare for investors to "get to yes" on the first meeting. And this is not your lucky day. The goal of the first meeting is to get to the second meeting -- and that's it.
  • Don't let the first meeting or call go past 30 minutes. If you're doing most of the talking in the first 30 minutes, the deal's not happening. If both of you aren't nodding in agreement within the first 30 minutes, the deal's not happening. Again, the goal of the first meeting is to get the second meeting.

-P



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