There are countless things that go into running a successful business, and one of the most important is being able to make a great first impression, whether that’s with customers, partners, investors or suppliers. If you’ve got a meeting with a potentially big investor on the horizon, and you want to hit the nail on the head, here are some of the most important things to bear in mind…
Impress Them Aesthetically
No matter how great the content of your pitch is, some of the investor’s final decision is going to come down to passive, visual cues. With this in mind, you need to be dressing your business up in a way that’s going to impress them. If you’re going to have the prospect look around your premises, this is a great place to start. Implement a clean desk policy for the week when they’re going to be visiting, and spruce the place up with some modern office furniture, art and pot plants. Make sure everyone is aware of the date and how important the outcome of the meeting is to the future of the business. Obviously, you should make sure you’re personally dressed to impress. You may love wearing Hawaiian shirts to work, but if you’re going to be pitching to someone who’s a little more conservative, a solid shirt and jacket are necessities!
Get a Hook in the First Five Minutes
The first five minutes of your pitch are going to be extremely important. Nailing your pitch in this initial window will earn you the right to delve into more detail in the rest of the meeting. Start off by showing what’s changed in the industry – some kind of shift, breakthrough, or the emergence of new technology that’s created an opportunity. Then, explain how you plan to capitalise on this shift in a clear, concise way. You should chase this up with some quick facts on when and how you founded your company, the stage you’re at in your business plan, and the amount of capital you need to raise. This will give the investor some context for the rest of the discussion. These three points are great for making your point quickly and clearly, but however you do it, you need to hook the prospect in as soon as possible.
Relate the Pitch to your Audience
One of the best ways to convince investors who are on the fence is to frame a specific problem or solution in a way that relates to the issues they experience in their personal lives. Let’s say that you were offering outsourced presentation design to other businesses. Ask about the investor’s experience with working on presentations. How long does it take them? Do they struggle with design aspects? How would they like to be able to list a few essential points, send it to someone else, and have them come back with a beautiful and professional presentation? Obviously, this can be harder depending on your business, but it’s still a hugely effective tactic to apply.