Mark Twain noted few souls are saved after the first 10 minutes of the sermon. Your pitch has, maybe, half that time.
1. Do some research.
2. Connect with your audience on a human level.
3. Tell a story they can relate to.
4. Share facts.
5. Be subtle -- don't give it all away.
6. Make them laugh.
7. Create a sense of urgency.
8. Make a bold statement.
9. Make your final words count.
Great post I would change the order and add a few. Here are my 10 Tips To Win Investor Hearts & Minds:
1. Slow DOWN, SMILE and be IN THE MOMENT.
2. Open with a BOLD statement.
3. Note any connection no matter how remote (based on research).
4. Tease with cliffhangers & Speak In Sound Bites.
5. Tell A Story relevant to them based on your research. Don't say "I want to tell a story" as that sounds like it will take too much time.
6. Do Research To Know What Is Relevant.
7. Use P&G Presentation Summary (see below).
8. Find URGENCY in your story and highlight it.
9. Weave facts INTO your story.
10. Close with a question that ties your story to their context and ask if they are in. Whatever they say check it back with them by summarizing and asking if you understand.
Want to emphasis 3 things: NOW, P&G & Closing.
This is YOUR meeting. The first thing they are going to want to do is be IN CONTROL and be the ALPHA dogs. Money needs ideas and ideas need money. YOU are an EQUAL even if you are sitting in Kleiner Perkins Caufield (which I would imagine is fairly intimidating).
Powerful RICH people respect people who don't need them. Whoops, let me amend that. "Appear" to not need them. Think of SnapChat turning down billions. Why? Because they KNOW they have something and its THEIRS. When someone makes the right offer for collaboration they will do the deal.
Go hat in hand to an investor meeting and you are dead before you start. THINK about anything OTHER than what is happening in that room in that time and you are dead. If the meeting feels unequal or uncomfortable check-in, ask a question and channel the moment.
NEVER project. Don't meet thinking the partnership and the money will magically complete you. It doesn't and can't, so release any thought of yesterday or tomorrow and be simply and completely in that room listening with every atom in your body.
P&G taught a helpful way to organize a sales presentation:
* Summarize The Situation (discuss the market, macro trends & threads that led you to start a company).
* State The Idea.
* Explain How It Works.
* Discuss Benefits.
Done right this format becomes a seamless story with threads and hooks. Hooks are cliffhanger you pay off in the next section. If you are meeting with sailors frame some of your analogies with sailing references. Careful NOT to presume too much. Stay TOPICAL with your relevant analogies so you don't appear to be challenging their expertise (in golf, sailing, cycling, cancer survival, ivy league schools, prep schools or whatever).
"Close early and often," is how P&G taught me to sell soap. You aren't selling soap, but respect buying signals. My boss said, "Marty learn to take YES for an answer". You should too.
Don't win by talking. You win MONEY and HEARTS by LISTENING more than you talk. Treat every question as if there is a hidden subtext - something they want to share. Don't NOT answer a question, but always check-in after you do. "Did I answer your question," is a simple check-in.
If you are speaking in short "sound bites" not Hamlet-like speeches your answers won't delay the subtext they want to share. The people across do deals daily, so they will be FAST. Fast is fine as long as you don't feel pressured or ill-at-ease.
If you feel EITHER fast or ill-at-east RUN don't walk away from the deal. Whatever feeling you have in the "invest in you meeting" only gets magnified once you take their money. SO if you aren't in love with them too RUN AWAY.
One thing the Big C taught me is DO WHAT YOU LOVE with THOSE YOU LOVE and no amount of money is worth losing the company you love. Make no mistake. There are many ways to lose your company. One way is if it feels like a JOB. You don't work for them. You are collaborating with them.
Money isn't as hard to find as them make it feel. Great partners you can love are RARE and very hard to find. Focus on the PEOPLE not the money and you may win VC hearts and minds.
Via Martin (Marty) Smith