How investors think is a lot simpler than you might imagine

Despite all of the information out there about how investors make decisions, the bottom line is actually pretty simple. "Can you make me more money faster than any other opportunity I'm currently considering?" You could spend hours trying to add qualifiers to that statement, but if you do you're missing the point. Because if you have the data to show how your company can deliver that, then nothing else really matters.

Investors want to maximize their potential future return. They feel the best way to do that is if the company has a clear, concise path to rapid growth. Here's the problem. Rather than figure our how to communicate that, the entrepreneur's default is to overload people with detailed information about their business.

I hear 100's of pitches a year. Perhaps the most common mistake that entrepreneurs make when presenting is that they start by taking their CEO hat off, putting on a tweed jacket with elbow patches and delivering a lecture on everything that is wrong in the world. No investor cares about your perspective on how the world should operate. Stop lecturing and start focusing on how this business is taking off so fast it's not a question of whether you're going to make a boatload of money, but whether the investor wants in on it or not.

I know this may seem ridiculously obvious, but even some of the smartest and most experienced entrepreneurs I know fall into this trap. You are on the inside looking out while everyone else is on the outside looking in. Just like any other sale, pitching to an investor starts by creating empathy with the person across the table. What are they looking for that will demonstrate you can make them more money faster than any other opportunity they're currently considering? Answer the following 7 questions and you're off to a good start.

What problem/need are you solving and for who?Why is your solution so valuable to customers?Why is this a huge opportunity?How fast are you growing?How much faster will you grow with more money?Why are you the team to bet on?Why is now the time to buy in?

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James Shomar
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