Discovering the ‘thumbscrews’ of investors is crucial to getting them to take action. In over a decade of dealing with global investors there are several elements that I’ve discovered to be universal truths about the mind of the private investor (angel investor, accredited investor).
When talking to an investor for the first time, it’s more important to listen than to speak. It’s more important to ask questions than answer them. It’s more important to discover their needs and wants than to exclaim your own. Your first conversation with an investor should be all about piercing the armor and finding the trigger points that prompt a reaction that gets to the center of their ‘childlike’ state.
What I mean by this is, investors, just like anyone else, has insecurities that are rooted in their childhood and what they are outwardly today, is typically a polar opposite of what they are on the inside. For example, an arrogant, chest beater seems proud and obnoxious on the outside but the reality is that they are over compensating for an insecurity that is rooted in an individual or collection of childhood incidents.
Maybe they were made fun of as a child, maybe they’re father was verbally abusive, maybe their teachers would single them out in class opening them up to playground mockery. When talking to these individuals it’s important to listen to their voice and intonation when the conversation topic changes. Take notes on their psychological adjustments to the conversation. After you feel you have discovered the triggers that induce the ‘pleasurable’ responses, end the call, and set your second phone appointment with them.
On that second call, you want to have your conversation ready to go using the triggers you found in the first conversation. Play off of those insecurities that you found, become their best friend without being chummy but it is your mission on this call to be the “guy that understand me” to the investor. You want the overall tone of this conversation to have the response from your target along the theme of, “wow, this guy gets me” , “I can see investing in this company”.
By using this method and not coming across as ‘fake’, you have become an investment opportunity and a shrink all rolled into one. You want to be the one person that this investor can lower his guard to because everything he says, you seem to be the one person who understands him at his deepest level. You seem to naturally be tuned into his insecurities, emotions, needs and wants. Sound strange? Try this out on the next investor you talk to, I guaranty you will be shocked with the results.