One of the main missions of an entrepreneur is to impress potential investors in order to secure funding for their startup. This is leading priority for the CEO of every newly created yet fast-growing company and entrepreneurs must know how to increase their chances of getting noticed by the right people.
Meeting the investors is one of the most important events along the entrepreneurial path of startup owners. Even though you might attend many meetings of this nature, it is very likely most of them to be unsuccessful. It is normal to get many rejections before you find the right investor and entrepreneurs should not give up if they strongly believe in their company.
There are no specific rules to follow before, during or after a meeting with investors. However, there are some things that can help you make this experience count, even if you did not receive exactly what you were looking for.
When you get ready for a meeting with the investors, you should do your research and prepare your presentation according to the information you’ve collected for the people that you are meeting with: what are they searching for, how much time they usually spend on a meeting, what are their main priorities. During the meeting, don’t forget to make clear statement, to present your company in the right way, to be confident and memorable.
We have already talked about what investors are looking for in a startup, so here we will emphasize on the importance of following up. How you should proceed after the meeting? In the end of the meeting, don’t rush to leave. Make sure that you spend enough time to evaluate the meeting and receive feedback from the investors. Entrepreneurs must know the importance of receiving feedback and always look forward to hearing the investors’ opinions, advices and suggestions. Most of the investors are really good mentors and are always happy to provide advice.
Most of the investor meetings fail because of the poor following up between the sides. Now is the time to take the matter in your own hands. We all know that investors and venture capitalists are not great at following up and, as an entrepreneur you should feel confident enough to act before the time blurs the meeting’s effect.
Before you leave the meeting, ask how you will follow up. Make sure that you follow up through the right channels – yes, many people can be found on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, but never underestimate the relevance of email. You should know for sure who will be the right person you should be following up with. Address the email properly, write clear subject line and keep the email as short as possible. Long emails are never taken very well from investors. Entrepreneurs connect with the same investor many times for long period of time, before they actually establish strong and long-term relationship, so don’t give up fast.
After some time has passed and you still have no response from the investors, there is still no need to panic. Investors are very busy and often delay their replies. You should stay noticeable, be persistent, be patient and – whenever happens – accept the rejection.
So, the three key elements are:
Follow up with confidence, yet still be polite and not pushy.
Be persistent and provide updates about your startup. Being and staying noticeable is essential for the success of your company.
Accept the rejection, when you receive one, and learn to move on. Every rejection is painful, but it is normal and entrepreneurs should take rejections not as a defeat, but as a lesson.