Writing а business plan is the foundation for any enterprise, but it doesn’t stop there. The next step is to present it, and present it well. While we also offer the service of presenting it for our clients, you may want to present it yourself. For this, we have prepared this list of things that will help you make your presentation strong, impressive and convincing. This means you need to employ a careful, systematic approach, not unlike that of an expert chess player.
Best Practices for Making the Best Impression
1. Prepare a List of Leads, with names and addresses of the investors you are targeting. Ask people you know and network as much as possible to obtain those contacts.
2. Conduct Research on Every Investor. Find out as much as possible – how much money they have to put into your enterprise, what industries they take interest in and so on.
3. Prepare a Strong Pitch. Send an introductory letter by letter mail or email first, to let the investor know that you have a plan they might want to review. Never send an uninvited business plan, as those usually get rejected offhand. The introduction letter should be your way of getting their attention and curiosity. Explain why you are addressing them specifically and provide a brief overview of what you have to offer.
4. Mention your Referral. If you got their info from a referral, it is good to mention who gave you their contact as early in the pitch as possible – in the first sentence, or soon after. It is a strong way to get your foot at the door and will likely garner you more attention than a cover letter without one.
5. Add Terms to the Letter of Introduction. Such things as you not submitting the plan to any other investors may give you more weight in their eyes and should also be mentioned. If there is a deadline by which they need to respond to your plan, or if the plan is confidential and you expect them to return it, it is also important to mention it in the introduction letter.
6. Follow Up. If you don’t hear from them in a week or so, send a follow up email. If you still don’t hear from them, send another in two more weeks. They may be out of town or dealing with lots of work, so it’s your job not to let them forget about your offer.
7. Meet in Person whenever you can. In our busy world, governed by texts and email, it is still important to meet your prospect face to face. You need the investor to commit to a serious deal where they entrust a significant sum of money to you. It is hard to nearly impossible to achieve by email. Skype may work as a last resort, but meeting in person is best for a major financial commitment.
8. Prepare to Counter Objections. You may feel like your plan answers every possible questions, but in reality there is always more that simply can’t be included. Anticipate and prepare a list of potential questions and objections and rehearse your responses to them.
9. Go for the Commitment. To go for the close, you need to be assertive. Prepare to finish the presentation with a clear offer. Having answered all the questions, prepare to offer a last concession – such as a representative on the board – and offer to go for it today.