I have been working more on training entrepreneurs to pitch for capital. Here are 10 more behavioral tactics that present you as a winner worth the investors’ commitment.
1. Calm down. Slow down. The investors must come to trust you and depend on you.
2. Take a power position, without ego, bragging or attitude. You can be charming, or serious, or whatever mode is most authentic, but stay grounded. A power position means you do not need this capital from these investors (even if you really do need it), that you are simply offering these nice folks an opportunity to share in and support your mutual future success.
3. Be confident and assertive and show them your commitment to the success of this company in which they may partner, as well as your rational approach to the challenges you will share. This confidence does not have to be noisy.
4. Remember, do not rush when speaking, and get your essential information (name, company, unique value proposition, potential ROI and request for funding) completed as a overview in the first 3-6 minutes. This is an overview — decision makers want to have the whole picture before they consider if you can execute on your promises. Many of them do not really begin to listen until they understand the cost, so tell them upfront. You will dig more deeply into each part of your pitch after the first 6 minutes, either by presenting the details or by answering their questions.
5. Use positive calm language and attitude.
6. Do not apologize for your request for funding. Your position is that this opportunity will be a winner in their portfolio.
7. Be prepared for questions on every aspect of your venture.
8. Abandon your prepared presentation as soon as the prospects indicate they want to talk. Their engagement in getting to know and trust you is more important than your carefully crafted handout. They will look at your materials if you pass the talk-test.
9. When the questioning begins, slow down again, and calm down. Re-establish direct, confident eye contact. This is your moment to create an authentic connection with these potential investors, and to abandon any behavior that might make you look like a vendor trying to sell them something. Settle in and talk to them as if you are about to become their trusted partner for the long run (since you are).
10. Practice and experience build confidence, and confidence is the secret sauce to success. Everybody wants to get on your magic carpet ride, if you look like you will succeed.