Imagine, after weeks of hard work you finally have a meeting with a prospective investor who is interested in one of your real estate opportunities. You have the perfect presentation prepared. You’ve rehearsed your lines and you’ve dressed the part. You walk into the meeting confident and excited. You walk up and shake hands with the person and sit down across from them. You’re ready to take control and get started when the other person abruptly says “So what have you got? Tell me about the property.”
“Crap!” you think … I didn’t prepare for that. You try to recover and say something like “I’m so glad you asked – I am excited to tell you about that. First let me tell you a bit about what we do and who we are.”
Now firmly back in control you launch into your presentation and because you’ve stayed on the script you think you did a good job. The person, however, says “Sounds interesting. I’ve got a coworker who invests in real estate so I am going to run it by her. I’ll get back to you.”
Weeks go by. You’ve lost the deal and you’ve never heard from the other person again despite emailing, texting and calling them. What happened?
Only about 100 things went wrong here but there are three key things that could have changed the entire scenario.
#1 – Thinking you can follow a script to raise money is an enormous mistake.
That doesn’t mean you should not prepare but following a script only works for actors who are in a production together with other actors working off the same script. There is no magic script that raises money – there are things you should say and should not say to increase your chances of getting a positive result – but it’s absolutely not a script.
#2 – The more you talk the less likely you are to get the money.
When I was a young sales rep working for Kimberly Clark Canada selling diapers, tissues and towels, I didn’t know much about the businesses I was selling to and I barely knew anything about my own products, yet I won sales contest after sales contest. My secret was simply that I didn’t do much talking at all. My Dad always used to joke that it was better to keep your mouth shut and have people wonder if you knew what you were doing than it was to open your mouth and remove all doubt. People tend to think they have to talk a lot to get the deals when in fact the absolute best thing you can do is engage the other person and learn all about them. Ask great questions, be interested in the answers and let that lead the conversation, not your script.
#3 – A focus on the information versus the relationship.
I could interchange a lot of words with information … money, deal, script. The point is that the person was not focused on the most important thing and that is developing a relationship and figuring out if there is a fit to work together. That’s the most important step for you creating a business you like AND in paving the way to many more “yes” responses than “I’ll get back to you’s”.
The good news is that it’s actually pretty simple to raise money if you like to talk with people and get to know them. The bad news is that it’s a lot more complicated that preparing and executing a perfect presentation.