How to Be a Closer, Not a Seller, When Looking for Investors
If you’ve got a new company that’s looking for investment capital, chances are, you’re hungry. You’re hungry for growth, hungry for the perfect opportunity, and hungry to take your product or service to the next level. And it’s all within your reach, if know how to make the right connections and promote yourself efficiently.
When it comes down to it, in order to get the right people to invest in you, you need to sell them on you, your future potential, and of course your company. You’re going to have to make a ton of pitches, and (most likely) accept a number of rejections before you find your perfect funding match. This is why, more than ever, it’s important to know how to close.
Communicate clearly, and don’t be pushy
Your product or service could be the greatest thing since sliced bread, but if you don’t know how to confidently close, you’ll never truly gain the confidence of your investors. The simplest way to do this is to be frank with them. Don’t be pushy. If they’re in the investment capital business, chances are this isn’t their first rodeo, and they’ve most likely seen hundreds of pitches from young CEOs in a variety of industries. To be frank with a potential investor, or investors, means you need to cut straight to the point. You have an objective. You have done your due diligence. And you have a product/service you believe in. If you communicate that correctly, people will want to get on board with you as much as you want to get on board with them.
Even though you’re selling them on an idea, you want to stay away from sounding “salesy” to potential investors. Avoid being pushy, but be confident. Always close your presentations with ample time for the investors to go over follow-up questions. And most importantly, know how to answer them. Be prepared to go off-script, so to speak, with your pitch, and be honest with the answers you give to the people you’re presenting to. Again, venture capitalists and investors in general have seen hundreds, if not thousands of pitches just like yours. If you’re adaptable, and accommodating with the information they want out of you, you build a greater level of trust and good rapport.
Close like a pro
When it comes to money, or contracts, don’t beat around the bush. If you want to close, you have to go in ready and willing to do it. Period. Have contracts, and various investment options already prepared, and set up to be signed on site. Your potential investors may not be ready to commit just yet, but if they are, you’re saving them time and money by being prepared. It also shows confidence, and efficiency, which are two things investors look for in the head of a company before making a significant, long-term investment. When you take some of the
easiest variables out of saying “no”, you have a much better chance of hearing “yes.”
Another, and probably the most important aspect of being a good closer, is to not get discouraged by rejection. A good closer may get great results, but that almost always comes with a little bit of rejection first. Don’t lose your confidence when confronted by failure to meet your objectives. Learn from them, instead. Stick to what you know, and keep adapting and improving your pitch until you find the investors that are right for you. Go out with confidence every time, even if you have to try and try again to get it right. As Wayne Gretzky once famously said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” So take a shot, and nail it.