How to Stay Calm Before That Big Investor Meeting
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When it comes to an investment opportunity, entrepreneurs are not ones to back down. Be it at an event or through recommendations, start-up founders are often looking at reaching out to the right investor. Sometimes it even takes months to track down an investor and fix a meeting with him/her.
Once the much-awaiting is fixed, the entrepreneur goes all out, prepares all the data and places his/her futuristic ideas on a presentation, and sets out to meet an investor. But what they often forget is to calm their nerves before that big investor meeting.
Entrepreneur India gives you tips on how to be calm before that big meeting
To stay calm during the meeting, it’s obviously important to prepare well before the meeting. Go through all your data and know it well to present it to the investor. Naren Krishna Madhurakavi, founder and CEO, Stockroom.io turned into an entrepreneur during his student days. And since then he has developed quite a few tricks to calm his nerves but he knows that data speaks. Madhurakavi believes that investors mean business and often their questions revolve around the numbers/growth.
“Over a period of time I have realised the best way to impress or gain confidence of a client or investor is by supporting ones answers with exact data/numbers. Having a good understanding about the data/numbers in the founder’s respective line of business is extremely important. This would give confidence to the investor and would help in taking the moving the discussion forward. It's not enough to just have data on their own growth metrics but also data on competitors performance, industry metrics etc.,” he said.
Devesh Nichani, Co-founder at Glassic too agrees. He believes that you learn to be calm only if you have prepared your pitch well enough and if you have practiced it enough times that you can pitch even in your sleep.
Put Yourself in the Investor’s Shoes
If you are afraid of the questions that an investor’s going to put forth, there’s a simple trick to solve that fear. Put yourself in the investor’s shoes says Nichani. He said that it’s important to think of the questions that he/she could ask and make sure you have answers to all of these questions. “The best way to do that is by pitching to your close friends/family and answering their questions about your business,” he said.
Nichani goes on to add that pitching to investors is like storytelling. The beauty is that the person pitching can control the pace and the direction the story takes. “Most likely Investors will ask follow up questions based on what you tell them in your pitch. The goal is to control this process and over time you will realize that you control the pitch and it almost never goes south,” he said.
Know More About the Investor
You have spent months to land that investor meeting, so don’t just prepare more about your company but also about who you are pitching to. Nichani said that an entrepreneur should study the background of the investor as most Funds/investors have certain theses and they invest in a specific kind of startups at a particular stage (seed, series A etc). “It is important you pitch to investors who match the stage & industry your startup is in otherwise you are just wasting your and their time,” he said.
Keep it Short
An investor’s time is precious so it’s best for an entrepreneur to prepare his/her pitch in the fastest possible way. Nichani says that an elevator pitch is a great test platform. “You should be able to describe your startup and what it does in one line. It is very important to capture the investor’s attention with the opening line of your pitch,” he said.