Networking events like The Real Estate Investors Summit, which is coming up on March 26 & 27, offer a great opportunity to get face-to-face with buyers, funders and investors in a more informal environment. However, with limited time and lots of competition for attention, how can you be sure that you stand out?
Prepare an Elevator Pitch
An elevator pitch is the hook with which you can reel in a little more interest from a prospective investor. Attention spans are short, and if it takes you more than 20 seconds to convey your concept, the attention of an investor is likely to drift.
A strong elevator pitch is scalable. That means you get the idea across in your first sentence. Then, if you have the time and/or are invited to expand further, you have a second and third sentence ready.
An example of a scalable, 20-second elevator pitch could be: “We’re the mecca of investor events and conferences. Attending our events, investors can learn from industry experts and vendors can build their networks. Our summits are where opportunity meets capital.”
Open with a question
To persuade an investor that your business is a good fit, you need to know what his or her interest is. So, ask questions first to discover whether there is likely to be genuine mutual interest.
If there is a good fit, use what you have learned to tailor what you talk about. Focus on the areas of interest to that investor and show how YOUR business will help THEM fulfill their investment mandate. This changes the dynamic of your conversation, as your approach is now about helping the investor, rather than selling to them.
Convey Your Key Message with Stories
Stories can be your secret weapon. Dry facts and data connect with the logical and judgmental part of our brains, while stories connect with the emotional decision-making center. Because we buy into them emotionally, stories are more memorable, persuasive, and interesting.
So, use stories to weave in the key messages you want to convey. Instead of explaining your business, tell the story of the impact your product has had on a customer. Use a story to explain how your product found a niche in the market. Or introduce an underserved segment of the market using a story about a person in that segment.
Build Rapport with Warmth and Competence
People commonly assume that investors will judge them primarily on competence. However, research has shown that warmth is equally important as competence when it comes to investment decisions.
Warmth is not enough to impress investors on its own. But if investors find you too cold – if they do not like you – they will not invest. There are simple habits you can practice to evoke warmth. For example, open your body language by avoiding having your arms crossed or holding objects in front of you. Smile more, ask more questions, and maintain eye contact for longer.
Next Steps Then Recap
One of the most important parts of your interaction with an investor is your finish. Psychologists have noted a ‘recency effect’, which means that our memory of an interaction is weighted towards the last piece of information we receive.
If your conversation with the investor has gone well then you will probably have gone into some details in response to his or her questions. Before parting, agree on next steps so both of you are clear on how you will follow up with one another.
Then, highlight your key message again so it is the last thing that is left in the investor’s mind. This repetition also helps cement it into their memory.
Practice Makes Better Pitches
Now that you have worked out the flow to your pitch, practice it! Come participate at Investor Events “The Real Estate Investors Summit” on March 26 & 27, 2021!