By: Pete Singh
You may be stuck at home, but the world still turns and you are going to have opportunities to present to prospective investors. Technology allows us to see and hear each other from a distance. Clearly communicating the value of your business and team will take more than a strong internet signal, though. You will have to take some extra steps to make the presentation lively and engaging. We have a venture financing video series that can help you prepare for pitches in-person, but here are six tips for pitching to investors remotely:
- Storytime. You want this to feel as much like a face-to-face conversation as possible, so focus on the “why” of what you do: when you first saw the problem your product or service solves; how others can relate; really what your business does differently or better than anyone else. Product-market fit is what matters most. You may be the brains of the operation or the engineer that finds joy in the inner workings or your creation, but don’t get caught detailing every feature and technical piece of the product.
- Do your homework. You should know who the angels, venture capital or private equity firms you are pitching to have invested in already. The investment portfolio can show you everything from the industries they typically invest in, to the stage of growth they’re comfortable with, to the size check they write. See how your company stacks up. You are pitching not only the product, but the market opportunity and ROI.
- Have questions. This is as much your interview of the investor as it is their interview of you. The right fit is important and goes both ways. Yes, you might need the money, especially in times like these, but you should frame the conversation to find out what other value the investor can bring.
- Keep it simple. Your pitch deck should be direct, digestible, and provide a level of detail that will give the investor a clear understanding of what you need and why it makes sense for them to trust you with their investment funds. “We’re asking for $2,000,000 so we can do X”. Show and tell the investor who you’re working with and what you’re working on. If you have any prototypes, models, or demonstrations, you can take time to walk through the experience as a customer or user. The market opportunity is about more than your company’s financial projections – it’s about how your product or service fits.
- Connect. Set the stage by making sure you’re presentable and removing clutter and distractions from the background. Work with the video conferencing platform of preference of the investor as a first resort. If they’re comfortable with the features and functions, they’ll be at ease instead of trying to figure those things out. You’ll want to do a few test runs with the technology and use a web conferencing platform that allows you to share your screen to talk through your pitch deck or whatever else you have to show them. Invite your team to join you if they can. You can also consider recording an on-demand webinar that anyone with a link can access any time and pick up the conversation live as a next step.
- Close. End the meeting with a call to action or asking for feedback. The old adage is true: if you need funding, ask for advice and you might get both. Be sure you know what the next steps are, and make sure you follow up. If the answer is no, or not yet, offer to keep them in the loop with updates. There are tons of success stories that stem from following up and following through after initial rejection.
Headquartered in the Research Triangle region of North Carolina, Fourscore Business Law serves entrepreneurs and businesses in the Triangle, the Southeast and the Bay Area. We also represent venture capital funds and other investors who invest in companies located in New York, Silicon Valley and everywhere between. The idea of delivering maximum impact in a simple and succinct manner is what we’re calling the Fourscore Principle. And that is what Fourscore Business Law is based on. Our clients operate in a broad range of industries including tech, IoT, consumer products, B2B services and more. Questions? Shoot us an email or give us a call at (919) 307-5356. Your first call is on us.