Venture capitalist Jeff Clavier has heard 10,000 pitches.
His firm receives 2,000 business plans a year. They meet with 300 of those. They work on ten companies a month. They dig deeply into five of them. And they do two deals.
“We say no 99.5 percent of the time,” Clavier told Business Insider.
So what can you do to give your best pitch?
Well, you have to get the meeting first. Do your homework on the people who are investing in both your industry and the stage of development that you’re at. Then, Clavier said, reach out to your network. Who do you know that can connect you to your desired investor? Find that person and craft an email for him or her to send to the investor.
“Of the 114 deals I’ve closed, exactly zero reached out to me in a cold email,” Clavier said.
Once you’ve got the meeting, tell the investor your story. Why are you there? Why do you believe in this idea? “Absolute persistent determination is what we want to try to feel,” he said.
Then follow up with what your persistent determination has resulted in so far. “We expect people to build the initial prototype and have initial users. It could be like 20 or 50 users. You can validate quite a few things by doing simple advertising.” While different investors look for different levels of development, cold hard facts can speak for themselves – so the more you are able to provide the better.
Yes, there is a sea of entrepreneurs out there. But understanding how to get in front of the right people, and what to say once you do, is the key to pitching your best game yet.
What has worked – or not – in your own pitches? Share below and check back for tips from others!