You finally have a potential investor who is willing to talk to you. So now what?
Many people believe that this first conversation is about creating an official pitch presentation. While it is always good to be prepared, most people are not interested in hearing your official pitch. Instead, they seek an informal conversation where they learn about you, your team, your passion, and how long you have been at this venture.
You want to be prepared to come in polished answering the following questions:
- Who are you? What did you do prior to your venture?
- How did you decide to pursue this venture?
- Why are you and your team the right people to pursue your venture?
These simple questions are important to even stand a chance to have this contact interested in you. You want to work on “telling your story” over and over. No one wants to hear that you were looking for something to start and landed on this idea, because that means you lack the passion for what you are doing. This may not seem like a big deal to you, but it is to them, because angels know that starting a company is far from easy. So their question is will you throw in the towel once they’ve committed to funding you.
Once this has been established, only then is it important to get an understanding for your company and the market it plays in. Here, it is important to know the following:
- What is that you do (in 30 seconds or less)?
- What is the problem you are trying to solve?
- What is the market size for the problem? (This can be a difficult answer to find, but it is up to you to find out what the answer is)
- Who are the competitors in your market/ What are your potential customers using now? (Note: Don’t simply say there are no competitors.
- How are you different/better than your competitors?
Finally, make sure you clearly state what it is you are hoping to get from the connection. For example, how much are you looking to raise and why? Or, what connections can they make to help you pursue your business development further? Or is there a key person on your team you would like help adding? Think through what can be most beneficial before your meeting.
Next Up, Keeping in Contact with Your Investors