TFF #013: Remind investors why they love youFeb 15, 2023
This week's tip: how to remind investors that they love you.
Imagine you are an investor who recently met a founder fundraising. And you love what they were doing. You were amazed at their innovation, business model, intellect, enthusiasm, leadership traits, background — everything.
The founder probably left the meeting dreaming about money!
You on the other hand, left the meeting and had to attend a 3-hour board meeting where two founders have been fighting and each want the other one fired.
After the board meeting you had to take part in a hiring process for a new CFO for another portfolio company.
At night you had an event to attend before rushing back to meet the family and put the kids to bed. Then you did an hour of admin work tackling the 100+ emails you still haven’t read today.
Unfortunately it’s still only Tuesday. Tomorrow you’ve got to:
- Attend an investment comittee for a company
- Attend and prep for another 3-hour board meeting
- Meet 2 companies coming in to pitch to your team
Now imagine you rinse and repeating this for the whole week. You’re wondering when you will have time to look at the new companies that you are interested in.
A couple weeks have slipped by. You’ve exchanged some emails with that founder but haven't had the time to properly dig deeper. You jump on a call with them two weeks after that initial meeting and think:
“Who were you again?”
You’ve forgotten why you were so excited by this company. Was it their go-to-market? Their background? Was this the founder who we spoke about fishing together? Or was that another founder I met?
You ask yourself:
“Why am I excited by this company again?”
You then decide you weren't excited enough and reject the company via an email exchange. You didn't quite have that conviction...
Unfortunately the above is very common as an investor. The investor life is not new deals all the time: life and other career busy-ness can get in the way.
So whilst as a founder, you have a unitary focus on getting funding for your company. It's not the same for your investors.
That’s why you have to make sure you remind them constantly of why they should love you.
To put it simply: fundraising is about a series of engagements where both of you are getting comfortable with each other. So your focus should be on finding ways to get that next meeting every single week of your fundraise.
Where I see a lot of you fail is because you don’t keep interested investors excited throughout the process.
So 2+ weeks go by and they slowly stop falling in love with you. They drop off.
In current times most would say zoom is fine. But I disagree. You should be trying to get as many in-person meetings as you can.
As it's so much more powerful then just jumping onto a zoom call.
So how do you actually remind investors that they love you?
There are a few ways in which you can do this. Here they are:
1. New content
At the end of a fundraising meeting, an investor will have 2-3 points they want to research more about you. It may be your cohort retention, your sales channels, your hiring plan, or even your product development.
Whatever it is, you need to find out what those major points are. Then you should focus on actually making new content on how you are going to solve them.
Once you do this, you can then create an opportunity to get back to speak to your investor in person.
You could say something like:
“In our last meeting you asked me about how we target and measure our sales channels. I worked on a new model and I’d really love to show it to you in person.”
Not only does this get you another conversation, but it also shows your execution ability.
2. Meeting new team members
I always say that your first few meeting should just be the CEO.
This is mainly because you can build a rapport better when you are by yourself.
But it also gives you an opportunity to introduce other members of the team to investors in a meeting.
Especially when you think an investor may be falling off.
E.g., you could say:
“Last time we met I didn’t have my CTO with me. He was one of the lead engineers at Stripe. I think you’d really enjoy meeting him. Would it be alright if I brought her by your offices for a super quick coffee?”
3. Events or help
Events or giving value to an investor can be extremely powerful ways to show your domain expertise and network.
Examples can include:
- Helping them answer other questions around your industry
- Connecting them with interesting people
- Entrepreneur dinners
- Industry events
- Start-up events
The list can go on. But hopefully you understand the types of ways to make investors carry on speaking to you.
I always say that fundraising is a sales process. And that you are selling equity in your company.
But that's not true. You are actually:
- You will deliver on your promises
- You will be a pleasure to work with
- You will communicate when needed
- You will carry on in the good and the bad times
That is fundamentally what fundraising comes down to.
If you didn’t have chemistry on the first meeting it may not be able to be salvaged. Sometimes there just isn’t a fit.
But if you had a cracking meeting and know that they loved you? Don’t take that love for granted.
Get back in front of them and remind them why they loved you in the first place. Again and again and again until the cash is in the bank.
That's how you successfully fundraise.
Want to learn more from me? Check out how we can work together👇
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