Handling a meeting with a shark investor can be a tricky one. And this is even more so when you actually need that shark investors’ money. If you don’t approach a meeting with a shark investor the right way, you could end up figuratively being chewed up and spat back out. But being chewed up isn’t the problem. The problem is you’ve probably lost a one of a kind opportunity you might never be able to recapture.
So in order to avoid bungling your meeting with a shark investor, here’s what you need to do to prepare yourself so you can get that cash investment that your small business sorely needs before it can become your dream enterprise.
- Research the shark you are going to meet
This is essential. Sharks might look the same (intimidating) but they definitely have different characteristics. Discover what makes the shark you are going to pitch to different. What’s his/her background, what are his/her dislikes/likes, are there any quirks he/she possesses? Discover the answers to these questions and more and use them to your advantage. For example, handling a shark like Mark Cuban will be different from meeting Barbara Corcoran.
But while pitching, remember that you should be talking about yourself, not the shark. So don’t dwell on what you know about the shark, simply use it to mould your presentation and sway the shark in your favour.
- Rehearse your pitch
Rehearse not just in front of a mirror but also to a live audience. Rehearse your diction, your tone, your posture, and don’t forget to look the shark in the eye.It’s important.
- Your pitch should mirror your personality
Your pitch should say something about your character without directly spelling it out. Character traits and your strong points should all be discernible from your pitch. Keep in mind that the shark might have already come across a handful of pitches, so anything ordinary might not work for him/her. Therefore, you need to create something out of the blue that can attract his/her attention. One way of doing that is by including your character traits. However, if you are not sure how to go about it, then consider checking out the examples of the good, the bad, and the ugly pitches, which can be found at Crunchbase.
Keep in mind that these samples can help you understand the nitty-gritty of the process of creating a pitch and allow you to sound promising in front of your investor.
- Let the shark know that you know what you are talking about
While pitching to a shark, you cannot afford to sound unsure at any point. Facts and figures must come out eloquently and confidently and you must be able to stand by your words. The goal here is to convince the shark to believe in you and very few thing are as convincing as self-confidence. But while being confident, don’t be too cocky – The shark wants see that you know your stuff, not that you’re a know-it-all.
- Keep the pitch short
Shark investors are people too and they have a bunch of things swirling in their minds concerning their business, so don’t bore them. Hook them at the very beginning of your pitch and be sure to keep them hooked for the rest of your short pitch. All the above might seem like a lot to cram into a short pitch, but those who aren’t as good as you have done it before, so I’m sure you can do it better.
Remember to research the investor, you will be pitching to. If your target investor started his/her firm on the high street, consider how both the business and the shopping environment has evolved, and similar pertinent information can come in handy. But you won’t know till the time comes to use said information.