How Do I Make a Perfect First Impression with an Investor?
Meeting an investor for the first time can be intimidating. You've sunk your money, time and dreams into your business. Now you're meeting a person that has already been successful, and attempting to convince that person to come around to your way of thinking. The old adage is true - you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Here are some tips and tricks to help your initial meeting go smoothly. Some might seem obvious, but in the heat of the moment, it never hurts to have a checklist:
- Know your audience. Research the investor and their background. It gives you an easy icebreaker, and showing them that you've taken the time to do your research, also shows them that you take your business seriously.
- Perfect your handshake. Firm but not too firm. Two pumps. Look them in the eye. It might seem ridiculous, but a study by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that how you shake hands does indeed alter peoples' impression of you.
- Know your business plan inside and out. Know where the obstacles are going to be, and how you plan to overcome them.
- Be adaptable. Remember - you're asking someone for their hard earned money to pursue your dream. They may want to put their own touch on it. Hey - more often than not, they've succeeded at least once. Hear them out.
- Roll with the punches. There are a million reasons not to invest with you. It doesn't matter if you have a sure-thing business plan, a perfect team, and all the answers, there are always more reasons to say no. So when it happens, don't burn that bridge. Maybe your business isn't right for that investor - they can still be a good connection to have in the future.
Good luck out there!