There’s a common mistake entrepreneurs commit while building investor relations before pitching, which the following quote summarizes nicely:

“Ask for money and receive advice, ask for advice and receive money”

It’s a mistake to ask for cash in a first casual meeting with an investor. It can damage a relationship that needs careful cultivation, and often, you’ll get boilerplate advice like, “make sure you target a niche”, or, “refine your unique value proposition”. This feedback comes as a one off and rarely ends up in an investment.

When interacting with an investor, you should be asking for advice, but boilerplate advice is the kind of thing you can find on the internet, and doesn’t help you cultivate relationships with specific investors. If you want to compose useful questions to ask, these are some steps you can follow.

First, investigate and profile the investor. Learn what type of team and what type of product or service they invest in. You should analyse their twitter feed, blog, or website. Design your question to ignite their interest.

Second, try and compose a question that will result in a meeting. Asking broad questions is helpful as they result in broad answers. Avoid questions that can be answered with a yes or a no.

Whatever you ask, make sure it’s not about money in the first conversation, and that it’s tailored and broad. Remember the ABC rule: always be closing. Close to an email signup, close to a coffee meeting or close to a referral.




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How to conduct Gordian Validation

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