Talking to investors can be daunting – be they potential buyers for your business, or shareholders poring over your annual figures.
It’s thought that for every thousand pitches that an investor hears, he or she will only fund a hundred of them. With those odds, it’s important to plan, craft, and practise a pitch that does you, your team and your business justice.
A recent study from Harvard looked at the factors that influence investors (Balachandra, 2017). The findings were clear: a compelling set of numbers is merely enough to get your foot through the door. A promising pitch-book soon becomes a non-starter if a potential investor doesn’t buy in to the person or team who put it together.
This means establishing trust in individuals and in the ability of a group to work well together. It also means demonstrating one’s ability to innovate, to be receptive to new ideas, to have a strong drive for excellence and a curiosity about the world.
You might not be asking to raise money or inviting a bid for your business – you might simply be updating shareholders on progress and why their investment is safe. Either way, the way that you and your team communicate the story will have a disproportionate effect on whether your stakeholders sustain their belief in you.