Bear with me and go back to your childhood. Imagine you are a 10 year old once again. You go up on the stage, prepared with your speech. You couldn’t sleep last night. Your mind isn’t in the game as you go towards the mic. Trying to compose yourself, you breath. You can hear your heart beating…the pulse pounding…but you get over it.
Then, you look at the audience…judging, snickering, jealous…you panic
What if I fumble my speech and make a fool out of myself??
All of us have had this moment… the moment of stage fright and panic as a kid. Imagine being stuck in a similar situation…but the audience in this case is a batch of highly successful businessmen, and your entire career lies in the balance.
At that point you can’t afford to fumble your lines…or have a laid back attitude towards failure. When facing your investors….your pitch is what communicates your seriousness for entrepreneurship, your clarity of business model and your business acumen!
In the previous article I discussed who these Angel Investors are and how to find them…today I will discuss a much more important topic…how to impress them!
Tell Them A Story, Get Them Hooked…
My boss always told me that the way to sell a product successfully, is to make a pitch a story. Rather then getting to your pitch directly…got step by step…hook the audience in. Like I did up there…made you go back to your childhood…relive the past memories..and then got to my pitch.
Selling to customers is similar to presenting before investors. Improve your storytelling. Make your story towards your intended business an easy to follow interesting story. Without going into technical business jargon and complexities...try to make the investors emotionally invested in your efforts. Once this is done, half the battle is already won.
Research Your Investors…
Now, how to tell a good story? This takes years of practice…Seriously, storytelling is taught as a subject to aspiring business men. That you do by heavily researching your investors. What are their interests? What field have they invested in before? Questions like these will give a good idea of the thought process of the investor. You direct your story in such a manner that the investor gets hooked to it. Make him believe in the potential of your business model.
Get your facts straight, not only about the investors but also about your business. Do not exaggerate any detail of about your business. Remember, if you do research on your investors…the investor also does a background research of you. Do not make any claims which are contradictory or get you in trouble.
The relationship between a founder and the investor is an important one….make sure that it starts on a positive note!
Results First, Evidence Later…
Now here is tip which most people don’t know. Show the results first. Most of the startups out there after hooking in their investors tell them how they researched and finally tell them the expected numbers.
My personal tip… Show the result first. The mind of an investor is still in the “Interested” phase after you have told him your story. Showing the numbers just after that improves the impact it has on them. The investors are interested in the end result any way…so this is a way better strategy, show them the numbers first…be it funds required or customers acquired. Then follow it with proof.
Have An Exit Strategy…
Along with telling the investors about your business model…there is one more thing that entrepreneurs forget.
An Exit Strategy!
Being optimistic and confident of your business idea is important…but having a realistic attitude is what impresses the investors. Getting into a startup is a gamble…and since you are going into an unknown territory, make sure that you know how to make an exit out of it.
If you have a good exit strategy for your business, the investor would be confident that at least they won’t lose money if the venture fails.
Finally, Communicate Your Zeal…
Getting a startup up and running is a hectic task. There are so many failure and obstacles…if you aren’t 100% determined and passionate about your business, it will definitely fail.
An investor can observe this easily, in the pitch or the early few months of involvement.
This comes from within…the love for your work. You can read up on business models and make excellent plans for sustainability…but passion for your venture ultimately decides your success as an entrepreneur.