- Never use a ppt. Mail the ppt early. The moment you open a ppt to present, you become a salesman. Also, people start looking at the ppt instead of looking at you. You are the alpha in the room. All eyes should be on you. Be the alpha. Be the presentation. Control the room
- Sell yourself. Tell why you are a kickass founder, why you will win. Start with your story. WHo you are. Why are you special. Why do you want to do this insanely difficult thing. VCs want to back winners. Who will build a company against all odds. Sell yourself and your ability to build a big company
- Then sell the vision. It is your job to sell the vision and your team’s ability to execute the vision. Be insanely passionate about your vision. Not everyone will back your vision. But you need just one backer 🙂
- Team matters. Then the space. Then the execution(how have you done so far)
- Money is a commodity in today’s market. Treat it like that. Raise money but remember that it is a commodity. If not one fund, someone else will give you that. You always have the upper hand. You are creating value. They have a commodity.
- VCs chase deals they can’t get into. If you court them too much, they lose interest.
Be slightly aloof. Let them chase you. Keep them on the edge
- Never NEVER NEVER be defensive. Have a vision. Stick to that vision. If someone pushes you/ asks something that is not your favorite question / punches holes -> breathe, go to the Meta ? Macro ( let’s take a step back and ask what is the winning model ) And ask a question in retort (Why do you think we are doing this? We could do X or Y or Z. Why do you think we are doing this?
- Control the discussion. Know what you want to talk about. Know your strengths. Always make a presentation with the flow you want to go with. The story and the sequence you want to take. Try to stick to that. Every time the discussion meanders, try getting it back to your original script. HAVE A SCRIPT. MAKE A small ppt with the SCRIPT. Stick to the SCRIPT.
SCRIPTS will help you avoid being defensive
- Use screensharing. Not ppts. Use screensharing + call. Helps you control the discussion and the flow. And you talk about what you want, in the sequence you want
- Show growth. Go out to raise at a stage where you can show growth in some ( not all ) important numbers. VCs are hooked to growth. Just show growth. Growth is what sets their antennae buzzing. Just focus on growth. Go to them when you have a nice growth graph ( unless you are raising to concept)
- Avoid tele-calls/ skype. Insist on face to face. Helps you control the conversation. Helps you take cues when the other person is not following your line of thought.
- Always make sure the other person gets your point. Don’t move on unless you are sure everyone in the room gets THE POINT. Else it will keep coming back and break your flow.
If you are making a point, make sure everyone gets it. Else don’t move on. Stay. Repeat, give examples. Give data. Move on when everyone in the room understands what you are trying to say. They might agree or disagree. But they must know exactly what you are saying
- Never go out to raise till your product & experience is perfect. Product & UX matters more today than revenue. UX is hygiene. Make sure your UX & product is amazing before you raise. Be completely confident in letting someone use & play with your product. Don’t raise till you are ready
- Don’t mix numbers with Macro. First make sure everyone gets the macro. Make sure everyone is aligned awith the vision. Make sure there are no doubts there. Blow them away with your vision. Tell them why and how ill a big success be fashioned .Once that is clear, present what data you have ( preferably in the next meeting)
- There is always a way to present yourself better. Think about it and be a better sales guy.
You can always hsow how far you have come instead of obessing on numbers.( show a timeline view of what you have achieved in how little time) Even if your mobile app / adoption is low, show that you have a mobile focus by showing how it reflects in your actions. Show that you know that mobile is key and are working towards it, even if you don’t have the download numbers yet
- Have a vision. Think big. Don’t think incremental. Think of disruption. Think of domination. Think fo how new business models will turn the industry on its head