Meeting with an investor is one of the most critical instances in the life of a young entrepreneur, especially at the early stages of their endeavor.
But we’re here to walk you through the motions by providing you with a quick compilation of practical tips that can help you leave a favorable impression on potential investors.
1. Pitch the plan. Investors are not interested in your idea/product as much as they are interested in how you plan to go about it. You need to have a thoughtful and organized action plan that you are able to explain fluently and comprehensively in order to get your ideas through in a convincing/marketable fashion.
2. Know your audience. First and foremost, you need to research the person you’re about to meet with and develop an understanding of their professional/academic background and past projects in order for you to search for common ground and be prepared for any questions or situations that might come up in the course of your encounter.
3. Engage in active listening. It’s not just about doing the talking. Listening is almost as important if not more. Do not feel the need to fill up silence by talking and then talking some more but rather prepare yourself to listen attentively to whatever your potential investor has to say and pick up cues that you could capitalize on later in the meeting or just contemplate as a note for the future.
4. Do not over-promote yourself. Remember that it’s not about you and your groundbreaking life achievements but rather about the plan you’re selling and the latter is what you should direct your focus and discourse on. The last thing people want to hear are the chronicles of a walking, talking CV.
5. Put thought in your outfit. Needless to say, you need to dress for the occasion. This might be tricky given that dress codes are becoming more and more loose/blurred in today’s business world but you can always get inspired from the person you’re meeting when in doubt. And don’t forget to add a personal twist to whatever outfit you end up wearing.
6. Be clear yet concise. Yes, you need to explain your idea clearly and comprehensively. However, you cannot appropriate the luxury of going overboard with time and delving into unnecessary details. Formulate a short sentence explaining the essence of your pitch and take it from there.
7. Believe in your idea. Do not expect other people to buy into your idea if you do not buy into it (and into yourself) first. Do not surrender to self-doubt. And no matter what happens on the day of the meeting, walk in with confidence and discipline your body language in order to make your listener at ease (don’t forget to put on a smile!).