You are at a private equity conference. It’s one of those events, like SuperReturn, that’s designed to help LPs and GPs meet. Assuming you get a meeting with an investor, how can you manage that encounter to increase your fundraising chances?
These techniques can help you pitch your private equity fund more effectively immediately:
#1: Tell stories
Stories are your secret weapon. They appeal directly to the brain and can be very memorable. You could tell a story about the origins of your fund or a story about a particular investment or a story about how you realised why your investment strategy was so successful. Most of the most successful fund raisers are great story tellers.
#2: Don’t turn the pages of a PowerPoint
Nobody (at least nobody I have ever met) wants to be taken through a presentation. Most investors will tell you that they want to have a discussion, they want to hear your top-line pitch and they want to understand what sort of people you are. Learn how to give a great pitch without PowerPoint.
#3: Ask questions first
Start your pitch meeting with questions. Show interest in the investor and learn what they are looking for. Then use what you learn to tailor your pitch for that investor. The more you help them understand how to fulfil their investment mandate, rather than pitch your fund, the more successful you will be.
#4: Have a great elevator pitch
If you can summarise your pitch in 20 seconds then you have a strong tool in your hands. Summarising an entire pitch in a few seconds is not easy – but it is one of the most effective ways of testing the power of your message.
#5: Test their interest early
A great pitch is interactive. You should be constantly checking back with the other party that they understand, that they like what they hear and that they are still interested. The better the feedback you receive, the more you can adjust your pitch to help address investor concerns.
#6: Finish with next steps
The end of your pitch is as important as the start. Psychologists talk about ‘recency’ – the last thing that is left in your mind when you part. Make sure that you leave on a positive note and you are all clear what happens next.
First published at Benjamin Ball Associates.