Getting in front of investors is the kickoff of your marketing phase. If you’ve hired an investment banker, they will manage this outreach on your behalf.
Despite what it may seem like, it is not difficult to get in front of the right investors for your business.
Investors are literally in the business of putting money to work. Without taking meetings with entrepreneurs, they can’t do that. The key is knowing how to get in front of investors. Here’s the right approach that works for most businesses:
- Directly reach out to any existing connections you have within your target list. These are folks you’ve met with in the past, so it should be easy to get a meeting/call.
- Get referrals from folks in your existing network who are connected to investors on your target list (existing investors, lawyers, advisors, consultants, board members, etc.) LinkedIn is a great tool to help with this. In creating your list you should have already asked your network for recommendations, so there should be some built-in intros here.
- Actively cultivate new relationships with individuals who have connections to the investor community and may be willing to connect you to investors. This includes other entrepreneurs, investors, angel investors, company executives. Get to networking.
- Get yourself some PR coverage for your business before launching a capital raise process. This could help spur folks reaching out to you and is a good momentum builder.
- Ask investors who pass on your deal for introductions. Investors and other professionals often refer potential opportunities to each other. Even if an investor isn’t a fit for your business, they may be able to direct you to other investors that could be a better fit.
- Use events and conferences. If there is a big event for your industry that you know a lot of investors attend, use this as an opportunity to reestablish existing connections and make new ones.
- If all else fails, cold call. If you cannot find a warm introduction to an investor, cold call/email the investor. You should typically start with an email. Keep your message short, to the point and request a brief introductory conversation. Get a direct email address for one individual at the firm (which you can usually find with a Google search or on the firm’s website). Don’t bother sending an email through a general submission inbox as these are typically cluttered with spam.
What to include in a cold call/email:
- Your name and role
- Your business’ name
- A max two sentence description of what your business does
- One sentence on the stage of your business and traction to-date
- The type of transaction you are pursuing
- Why you’re interested in talking with this particular investor and a request for a short introductory call
- Link to or attached summary materials
What not to do when getting introduced / cold-calling investors.
- Do not get a massive list of investors and spam all of them. This is a waste of time and effort.
- Don’t act like a dick if you get pushed to a junior-level employee at the firm. Junior level employees are often gatekeepers and the first step in developing a relationship with investment firms you don’t already know.
- Don’t email every person at the same firm at the same time.
- Don’t ask multiple people at the same time to make a connection to the investor.