The right approach definitely goes a long way in making a good impression.
BEAM14 Apr, 2017
Ever since we launched the BEAM App last year, it has an interesting journey witnessing the business community come together, especially across SouthEast Asia.
One of the things we noticed in particular was the large number of people joining the platform to connect with investors to raise funds for their businesses/startups.
If you're hoping to improve your success of connecting with these investors, here are 5 key takeaways that may help you be more effective when connecting with them on BEAM:
1) Start with a proper introduction
First impressions last a lifetime. Introduce yourself professionally.
In fact, first impressions start even before the conversation begins.
Things like ensuring your profile picture is clear and professional goes a long way.
People you reach out to will almost definitely visit your profile to understand you better prior to engaging in a conversation with you.
In short, ensure that your entire profile represents who you really are and what you're about. Provide sufficient information in your profile about what you do and provide clarity about what your business is about. This will save lots of time in the long run and make the conversation a lot more effective.
2) Connect, not just communicate.
Being effective in your conversation will definitely go a very long way.
When starting any conversation, the question investors will always be asking themselves would be, "why is this person contacting me?".
Your focus should be to provide as much information that is useful to them in the shortest & most transparent approach possible.
"Everyone communicates, few connect." - John C. Maxwell
The key is to focus on connecting with the other person about what matters to them.
Instead of a long introduction about your company's vision and the complex technology behind your product, focus on the information that investors would care about. Some of them include (but are not limited to):
You do not need to share every single piece of information, just the main ones. Sometimes investors will even ask you for them.
By providing a clear context to why you're reaching out to them makes it a lot easier to quickly gauge whether or not the conversation should be taken to the next level.
In short, investors are busy people. Do your best to respect their time.
3) Do your research and personalize your messages
As much as we understand that you've limited time on your hands, try your best to keep your messages personalized.
Nothing puts people off more than knowing that you just copied and pasted a generic message that's blasted all over the web.
At the end of the day, you're dealing with humans and not machines.
The little extra time you spend personalizing your messages can have a lasting impression on how much people think you value them.
Pay attention to details like what investors are looking out for or what they're currently investing in. Sometimes these information could have already been filled up on their profile page. Some investors even publicly disclose what stage and verticals they are investing in be it on their social network accounts or personal blogs/websites - Do some research before contacting them.
4) Meet Up
The best thing you can do after connecting with an investor online (or anyone on BEAM for that matter) is to seal an appointment quickly.
Avoid spending too much time trying to explain everything about your business and future plans online, and instead focus on doing so through a face-to-face conversation.
In fact, to speed up the process of appointments, our team has even built the Tap to Meet Up feature to quickly connect and introduce you to the other person so the conversation can be taken to the next stage quicker.
We'd also recommend doing some research on where investors are based and try to meet them closer to where they're working at. By making the meeting more convenient for them, the chances of it taking place will be a lot higher.
5) Be Prepared
If you've managed to schedule a meeting, we recommend emailing them a deck prior to meeting them so they're up to speed with your progress.
Just like approaching investors for the first time, keep your presentation materials simple, clear, and concise. As investors are very busy people, you want to ensure that the materials you send over to them can easily be understood without taking up too much time.
Also, be prepared to answer some tough questions they may throw at you. Some of these questions may include things related to your business's financials, traction, team, and more (most of these should already be in your deck).
We recommend watching a couple of episodes of Shark Tank to get a better idea of what to expect.
Investors are people too.
Although everyone is different, we are all very much alike in many ways.
The rule of thumb is simple - Put yourself in the shoes of investors and ask yourself "What would I do if I was in their place? Would I want to meet me? What would excite them to meet up with me and potentially invest in me?"
We hope this short article would be helpful in your fundraising journey, and develop into many new exciting relationships.