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The pre-pitch: 7 methods to construct relationships with VCs

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Founding father of Unicorn Capital and Minimal Capital, Evan Fisher‘s pitching and investor technique has helped startups increase greater than $2.5 billion.

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Most founders fall into a particularly widespread lure: Simply since you produced excellent outcomes for the final spherical of buyers doesn’t imply new buyers will consider you. This new cohort hasn’t seen that efficiency firsthand, they usually don’t have any purpose to belief you but.

As a founder approaching your subsequent spherical, it’s widespread to marvel, “How do I get this new group of buyers to belief that I’ll carry out?”

In our expertise, founders who fundraise efficiently are nice at constructing relationships, they usually normally ship what we name “the pre-pitch.” That is the “we truly aren’t in search of cash; we simply need to be mates for now” pitch that will get you on an investor’s radar in order that when it’s time to boost your subsequent spherical, they’ll be way more more likely to reply the telephone as a result of they really know who you might be.

However the idea of the pre-pitch goes deeper than simply having potential buyers pay attention to your existence. Constructing relationships with potential future buyers requires you to suppose much less like a founder and extra like a marketer — a lot of the connection heavy lifting comes lengthy earlier than it’s time to ask for a capital dedication.

If an investor has made a deal in your area, there’s an excellent likelihood they know an earlier-round investor who might doubtlessly be an excellent match for you at present.

There’s a number of benefits to the pre-pitch strategy:

  • Good apply: You’re not asking for cash. As an alternative, you’re providing a sneak peek. Since your relationship-builder pre-pitch doesn’t have thousands and thousands on the road, you’ll invariably be much less anxious, which ends up in higher relationships. Keep in mind: If it’s not an excellent match, who cares?
  • Candid suggestions: Whenever you’re not asking for cash, you’re extra more likely to obtain sincere suggestions that you just won’t get in a high-stakes surroundings.
  • Set the baseline: You must go over the place you’re at present at, why it’s truly not time to boost capital fairly but (the inverse of “Why Now”), and what you continue to have to perform till the time is true.
  • Efficiency-based belief: Put your efficiency the place your mouth is by displaying your potential investor the place you might be at present and what you anticipate to do within the brief time period. In a while, you’ll be able to show to them that you just achieved what you mentioned you’d.

Now you’re in all probability questioning, “What the heck do I say to construct an excellent relationship with that next-round investor?” Listed here are just a few notes on the way to strategy the pre-pitch:

Search the connection, not the cash

Acknowledge you’re early, however point out that you just suppose it might doubtlessly be an excellent match in a while. State it up entrance that you just’re searching for a relationship and need to discover out if you happen to might ultimately be an excellent match for each other. Don’t sneak in an ask; let the connection blossom organically.

Right here’s an instance: “We’re truly not elevating but, and we’re in all probability too early for you. However I feel that is one thing you may be very inquisitive about, and thought it made sense to succeed in out, open up a relationship and see if there may be a match.”

Don’t waste time

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