1. Explain how you will acquire customers.

Aquilino Peña notes that phrases like “I have such a good product that they buy it” are still heard. Even if you’ve discovered gunpowder, you still need to tell the world, so remember that “in the end, there’s a lot to invest in marketing and the cost of recruiting is always underestimated,” he adds.

Don’t overestimate your catching power. “Apparently creating a website with your product is already on everyone’s lips,” says the expert Edward Diaz. For Díaz, “it’s ideal if the investor asks the entrepreneur for a detailed marketing plan, so don’t wait for him to ask you for it.” Cabiedes insists that “it’s a mistake to just tell the marketing strategy. Tell me how you want to sell something you will do so some guy will open your wallet and give you money. What is missing is customer orientation. It’s about launching a product that people will buy. Tell me how you’re going to do it, we can call it marketing if you want, but it’s not about you telling me the strategy in the strictest sense.”

2. Trust your potential investor.

The confidentiality agreement, also known as the NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement), is not to be asked for lightly. Even if you invented Tippex, remember that if you ask an investor to trust your project, you can’t start distrusting them. As Guy Kawasaky reminded us, investors don’t want treasure maps, they want teams to find them. As Luis Rivera explains, “Investors analyze so many projects that when they sign non-disclosure agreements, they would keep denouncing them because sooner or later they would invest in a project that resembled something they read before.” As an entrepreneur Iván Pérez admits that he made this mistake in the beginning, “but then you realize that investors are investing, they don’t copy, and when they see that they haven’t been informed about their professionalism beforehand, they’re going to look very bad.” The business angel Cabiedes is clear: after sentences like “I can’t tell you that” or “That’s confidential”, he asks himself: “Then why did we come?” And he adds: “If you only give me a part of the information do you want me to give you just part of the money?Some entrepreneurs are very concerned that you are looking at the competition but they don’t realize that this really shows that I care for the G I’m interested.

3. Answer all questions.

Sometimes some entrepreneurs do not take some questions or objections very well. Remember they are not trying to distract from your business idea. As Cabiedes points out, “When an investor stops asking you questions, it means they’ve lost interest in the project. The best buy signal is when the investor asks you. What you cannot think is that you have solved all doubts. An entrepreneur should be enthusiastic about the questions an investor can ask him.”

Prepare all possible answers. Saying something as small as “I don’t know” can be deadly. You should never answer such a question. According to Iván Pérez, “You have to have all the questions and answers prepared. A good practice is to discuss your idea with a lot of people to play devil’s advocate. And if you really don’t know something, it’s as simple as saying, I could access that information, but I don’t have it yet.”

4. Don’t bluff to the investor.

Forget throwing lanterns at you with phrases like, “I already have several investors interested in the project.” It can be useful in poker, but in an investor forum, dropping names can cause you to lose your best hand . Novick points out that sometimes “to generate interest, some entrepreneurs start listing the names of different angel investors with the intention of being well connected and say things like ‘they are investing’ or even ‘they have invested’ already entered”. In this sense, Novick recommends “that people should be honest, since it is very likely that the different people you present the project to know each other and therefore it is very easy to check whether the truth is being told”. Luis Rivera recalls that “there are very few investors in Spain and we talk to each other very often”. As Cabiedes explains, “The worst that can happen is you get caught and the investor stops to call the other potential investor. In these phases we are all co-investors and we don’t compete, an investor never competes, in any case they co-invest.”

5. Focus your efforts.

Life isn’t always a sweepstakes. Discard the idea of ​​showing up with multiple projects under your arm to see which one fits best. As Iván Pérez acknowledges, “It happened to me on my first presentation to an investor. All entrepreneurs have thousands of ideas in their heads, but it is advisable to present only the ones that you have prepared the best and which you think are the most profitable, useful and investable. Help him discriminate against your own projects before he thinks you have too many birds in your head.”

Something more than an idea. We know your business idea is your pretty girl, but dazzling as it may be, what an investor needs to assess profitability is a well-cared for business plan. As Cabiedes points out, “Don’t tell me you have to pitch me an idea, if you have a 50-page plan, let’s talk.”

6. Know the price of your customers.

Cabiedes emphasizes, “There are four ways to get customers, and one of them is to buy them. If you don’t know what they’re going to cost you, we’re going wrong. The key question to ask yourself is how much it will cost you to get one and how much do you think you can benefit from over time.”

7. Skip the technical details.

Eduardo Díaz advises: “Put yourself in the shoes of someone who has no idea what you are talking about. Try to convey messages about the soundness (strong ideas) of your business technology, but the technical detail needs to be as minimal as possible. There has to be an explanation and a mention of the team, but you don’t have to talk too much about this technology to solidify your position against the competition. Sometimes, he continues, “it is usually taken for granted that the interlocutor knows what they are talking about and, for example, technical terms are used without explaining the concepts. Not everyone knows what an IP, CPD, or SaaS is, so try to avoid these terms in verbal presentations. It’s better to explain it with practical examples and metaphors,” recommends Joshua Novick.

8. Sell when you need to sell.

Unless you want to sound like an encyclopedia salesman, don’t confuse an investor with a customer. Cabiedes comments that “sometimes they insist on showing me the product,” but they forget that an investor won’t buy it from you. “Forget showing the product, something you should do to customers. As cute as what you invented is, it means nothing to me. And that’s a very common mistake. The sources of money are confused, the investor is not a source of money because you don’t get your customers,” he adds.

9. Try squaring your data.

We know it cost you to do your calculations, but we don’t want it to cost you the loss of a potential investor. So pay attention to the numbers. Faced with phrases like “our estimates are conservative,” an investor like Luis Rivera might reply “like those of nine out of ten startups that fail.” First of all: “It can never appear that a number has been included in a business plan without being fully justified. The business plans must use key figures based on data from the competition, the commercial register, prospectuses or financial statements of listed companies. The investor will be able to discuss the formula, but he needs to see that everything is considered and reasoned,” says Novick. On the other hand, it is also not good to “give exaggerated or inaccurate information. In a growth plan of visits to a website, if the graph contains values ​​​​such as “first month”, “second month”, etc., it means that the entrepreneur is in theoretical mode. Instead of talking about the first month, you can start talking about January 2011. And in the case of presenting a project that has not yet started, it is enough to offer data on a monthly basis. Since the next trial may be in a month, this allows for an after-the-fact verification of what was first said to be true. You must provide real dates and specific dates,” Derbaix stresses. Speaking of numbers, another mistake is rounding. Derbaix gives the typical example: “Our website has already had 100,000 visits”. “Well, it can’t be 100,000, it will be 92,000 or 103,000, but give me the exact figure, and without exaggerating, because rounded figures of 1,000 euros can have little credibility.”

10. Has a good education.

If you think it’s not a good time to pitch your project to an investor, it probably isn’t. Try to reach out to one of them when they are ready to listen to your idea and try to pick the right moment. Cabiedes knows this well after an enthusiastic entrepreneur tried to tell him about his business idea while he was ‘relieving himself’ in the bathroom. “Someone taught that if you meet Bill Gates in an elevator, you can tell him about his project in two minutes. If that happens, please don’t bother him. The only thing you will get is hostility towards you. What you have to do is be ready about what you want to tell when the investor tells you, “Tell me.” Don’t believe everything that is said in presentation classes. We’re talking about starting a business, not pitching. Everything is much simpler, you prepare a well-designed business project and when you have it, run to talk to an investor and tell him about it. 16 hours of learning to start a business would be recommended for every hour of learning to present,” concludes Cabiedes.

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