I had written this article for YourStory, India’s leading website covering entrepreneurs.
As an entrepreneur, you have done all the hard work to start your venture, get a team around it, get customers to pay and investors are showing interest. But still there is that X-Factor which you need to close the deal – as they say, there is many a slip between the cup and the lip.
Listed below are top ten ways for entrepreneurs to close a deal:
- Talk to the investors directly – do not offload the task to your advisors or consultants. They are good for making the introductions, but after this its all about you and your team.
- Engage the investors – they are human beings too! Find their motivations, seek their help or advise and share the ongoings at your company honestly, it sure helps!
- Present the true picture – telling an investor “my product is half-ready” if you just have the specs will not work. What will work better is a working prototype.
- Avoid false statements – do not say you have personally invested 50 lakhs, if you cannot show it in your company’s bank account.
- Present the market scenario correctly – cold drinks is a huge market but you cannot claim to have only 2 competitors – can you match Coke or Pepsi?
- Listen to investors – VCs and investors speak to you because they are interested and also want to check if you are open to ideas.
- Keep your ego aside – no investor will like to deal with your ego, they want rationality in business.
- Get out of the syndrome of “I do not want you or your money” – be clear that this is the reason you are meeting the investors and do not want to burn the bridges for the future.
- Never say no to money – if investors want to put more money than you want, be 101% sure this is the last round of financing, else, take as much money as offered. Nobody has seen tomorrow.
- Know your competition – it is better that you tell the investors who the competitors are or likely to be rather than virginity claims of “we have no competition”. If investors know your competitor or discovers them, it can reduce your negotiating power or even kill the deal.