The art of selling your ideas to potential investors
The business presentation is an art full of subtleties. Speaking about your business, whether to people you know well or to those less familiar, is a daily mission for any entrepreneur. But selling your idea to a potential investor represents a very different challenge than doing so to a client, and calls for specific preparation. How do you make a good impression? What should you say to capture and hold the attention of potential investors? Discover what the experts have to say.
Making a good first impression
Do you know what an elevator pitch is? It’s what you would say if you bumped into a potential client in an elevator, and had 30 seconds to convince him to schedule a meeting. A successful pitch depends on your ability to sell your ideas within a short time frame. You may also have prepared a 60-second presentation to use in your networking activities. To immediately spark the interest of potential investors, you should combine these two approaches. Then, you’ll just have to develop arguments for your one-on-one meetings. “You need to capture investors’ attention in the first 90 seconds,” advises Manon Desmarais, Vice-President – File Selection and Investment Support at Anges Québec. “It’s a bit of a cliché, but you never get a second chance to make a good first impression.”
You could begin by saying something like this: “Hi, I’m [Name], founder of [Company]. I’ve often heard people around me complain about [problem], so I came up with an innovative solution. I did market research and obtained feedback to help me improve my prototype. Then, I developed and optimized a business model that enables me to estimate how much your stake would grow if you invest in my business.”
Forget about Dragon’s Den
Does the idea of speaking to a group of potential investors paralyze you? The better you know your subject, the less intimidated you’ll feel. Keep rehearsing your pitch to your family, friends and mentors. Welcome their feedback and advice with openness and humility. And forget what you’ve seen on Dragon’s Den! “It’s just a TV show,” states Louis-Pierre Charest, start-up advisor at SAJE. “In real life, meetings are generally pretty friendly.”
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