“We need more investors, can you help?” is a request I hear daily from entrepreneurs and executives, co-investors and seasoned corporate finance experts. The obvious response is “yes, maybe or no”. Sometimes the obvious is not the most helpful to gain control of the conversation and kick start movement. Let’s frame the real “need”. Remove the irrelevant, focus on the relevant information. You will get dramatically quicker towards your goal.
- You’ve asked for capital raising assistance. Are you talking about your ability to attract follow-on investments from your current investors, new investments from your current investors, new investors for your current businesses or new investors for new businesses? What is it exactly?
- Then, I am curious where is your current marketing time and money being deployed? Is it being directed to all investors, or those within a specific geography, deal size, stage, investor type? There are 5 generic types of investor for you. Those that are apathetic, pretenders, aspirants, serial developers and leading-edge investors. The first three make up the majority of your audience and are the most price-sensitive, the final two are highly value-driven. Who exactly are you currently talking to? Would you recognise the differences (past relationships, capabilities, substance, style etc)? Let’s agree who you should be talking to?
- Then, what are the existing or anticipated needs or needs that you can create for your ideal investors that you are uniquely able to address? How is your investor better off or personally better supported after realising their investment with your help? (Financial, intellectual, social, cultural improvements)
- Then, who ideally has a need now or one that could be readily developed for that “return” on their investment? Who has the means and authority to approve the investment? Who can move quickly? Who is not overly prescriptive about the your “past”?
- How do you best reach those investors and they you? (referrals, networking, publishing, speaking, awards, media interviews etc)
- How do you create the ideal conditions? (eager to meet you, strong word-of-mouth)
- How do you create the ideal time? (no disruptions, no delays)
- How do you create the ideal location? (neutral, zero distractions)
- How do you create the strongest first impression? (impressive content, credibility, rapport)
- What competitive, distinctive or leading-edge offerings do you have to draw them in as a current or a future investor? (increasing investment, intimacy)
- Are there gaps where you need to add new offerings or to create greater differentiation (value) between existing investor offerings?
- What have you jointly agreed to do next? (exchange information, call, meeting)
You can see quickly here that framing your investor question, creates a dramatically sharper point on your arrow.
© James Berkeley 2017. All Rights Reserved.