THE PITCH A blog about the art of persuasion

Monday, March 11, 2013

A Few Basic Things Never to do at a Networking Event

networking1Aspiring entrepreneurs tend to have eager and confident personalities, which is essential for any startup trying to make it off the ground. However, there are always times when restraint is crucial. One of these times will be at an investor networking event. When you show up at a networking event with the goal of seeking funding from others, there are a few basic tips that should always be kept in mind.

You’ve worked hard to put a pitch deck presentation together for investors, and you want all of that hard work to pay off. Although it might be obvious to most, tip number one is to not show up in any way unprepared. Getting the pitch deck put together is merely the first step in the very long process that is an investor pitch. You want to anticipate any questions or objections and be ready with answers. Be over-prepared. Investors will ask hardball questions, and you need to be quick with intelligent replies.

Another valuable tip is to not flood your newly developed contacts with information about you and your company until you’re asked to do so. Do not start shoving pamphlets, flyers, white sheets, and business cards in to the hands of the investors at a networking event. This approach is akin to the pushy salesperson, and nobody enjoys that type of approach. If asked, however, you should absolutely have all of these materials readily available.

In regard to the pushy salesperson, be sure to keep your personality in check. Think of a networking opportunity as a business event and not a party. Appropriate decorum is also a must if you want to be taken seriously. Look professional, speak like a professional, and above all carry yourself like a professional.

It’s also a good idea to not approach potential investors after having had too much to eat, too much to drink (especially avoid having too much to drink), or with too much socializing in mind. Investor pitch decks are presented by and for competent professionals who know when it is time to take care of the business at hand. Preoccupation with a festive atmosphere can distract when focus on securing funds for their business is the primary need.

Lastly, do not do yourself, or your vision, the disservice of missing an opportunity when one is presented. Treat all networking opportunities with investors seriously and the odds for gaining your business’s much-needed funding increase accordingly. Professional and thoughtful encounters stand out over casual encounters every time.

Posted by Sol Marketing at 2:34 PM | Comments Off on A Few Basic Things Never to do at a Networking Event

Topics: Telling the Story