Be it investing in startups or in relationships – forming an initial connection with strangers can be difficult. Which is why for the busy, e27 has created a speed dating session, EC Connect, for folks attending Echelon Asia Summit this June. But for folks who are still nervous about wooing their targeted investors (c’mon, we know you have targets, let’s not pretend), we’ve given you some tips (or reminders for the experienced) on how to woo investors your way. Here are six simple tips:
Pose with power.
Ever heard of power poses? Consider taking on confident poses right before or during your speed date. A simple power pose you can do is standing straight, with your chest out and hands on your hips. High power poses after all, are open and relaxed as compared to low power poses that are closed. For example, consider opening up your arms as you sit across the investor versus folding them. Closing up your legs with a hunched back also is an example of a low power pose. If you’re mindful of the body language that you project, you’re much more likely to send a good impression to the investor albeit subconsciously.
Arrive on time.
No one likes a latecomer, especially when it comes to meetings of importance. And yet, arriving on time continues to be a challenge for some entrepreneurs. While small, arriving on time signifies that you’ve come prepared with your pitch and that you value your companion’s time; quite frankly, being punctual is more of an act of thoughtfulness rather than an act of discipline and order. Besides, if you can’t be trusted on small deadlines, what more big ones, eh?
Lean in closer.
Taking a page from Sheryl Sandberg, every entrepreneur can benefit from ‘leaning in.’ To that effect, you can ‘lean in closer’ by being more confident about communicating your future plans and goals to the investors you’ll be meeting. Investors need to trust entrepreneurs, and by learning to take charge of your startup’s strategy is a helpful way in initially building that – you only have a few minutes to make a confident impression after all.
Tease them with traction.
Having legitimate traction is the one of the most solid ways to an investor’s heart. Along with that comes sustainability and longevity. Having traction, be it in forms of annual revenue or customer reach can help build a strong case as to why you need a new check from the investor sitting in front of you. It makes your points a lot more concrete, so use your startup’s strengths to your advantage and win the attention of those investors!
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Don’t create one-sided conversations.
The difference between a startup pitching session and a speed dating investor is that you need to remember that the latter should be a conversation, not a monologue. You can definitely encourage conversation by preparing some questions you’d like to ask the investor, and also by telling an interesting startup story (for the TOP100, they already practiced through their TOP100 Tales!) This allows conversation to flow and for more personal, empathetic conversations.
And remember, K.I.S.S!
Y’know, KISS – keep it simple… startup! No one enjoys speaking to someone who uses buzzwords that don’t mean much, so if you’re going to explain that ‘complex algorithm’ to these investors, or your ‘impressive year on year growth,’ keep things clear and concise. If you’re having difficulty trying to shorten your ramblings, try enumerating the three most important points of your pitch in bullet points. If it helps, prepare your own Q&A – what are the most likely questions an investor would ask your startup? How would you answer them concisely?
The article 6 ways on how to woo that fine investor you’re speed dating first appeared on e27.
Bev Tan is a Senior Marketing Executive of e27.
（Top photo from Pixabay）