Getting the Second Meeting
Remember, the goals of a first meeting with a prospective investor are:
- Have the meeting go significantly over the 1-hour time allocated for it (indicating there is interest)
- Generate enough interest to get invited back for a second meeting
Do a Debrief
Learn from the meeting; do a debrief session with the members of your team that attended the meeting. What worked well? What didn’t? How can you improve your presentation next time? Do you need to follow-up with an email to explain anything that the VC didn’t quite “get”? Did you have action items from the meeting?
Get Back-Channel Feedback
Learn even more by getting “back channel” feedback. In other words, find someone who knows the prospective investor (perhaps the person who gave you the introduction) and ask them to call up the prospective investor and get feedback. VCs often give much less filtered feedback to a third party they already know than they will to you.
Follow up promptly. Send a thank you note.
If you don’t hear back from someone at the VC firm in the timeframe they said you would, follow up again. Ask for the next step. (In any sales process, it is important to “ask for the order”!)
Did you have Action Items? Act on any action items you took away from the meeting.
If you Don’t Get a Second Meeting
- If the answer from the VC is “thanks but no thanks”, ask for feedback (use it as a learning opportunity).
- Ask if the VC knows of other investors for whom your opportunity would be a better fit.
- Remember, you’ll get lots of “no” answers. Your challenge is to find the investors who are the right fit.