Every week, on LinkedIn I receive dozens of pitch decks, PPMs, Offering Memorandums, cap tables, and links to videos, blogs, and About Us pages for a variety of different ventures and ‘characters‘.
Lately, it’s gotten so bad over the last year I’ve had to hand over the exciting task of managing my LinkedIn Inbox to a junior member of my team, Brian.
In other words: I now have an employee who gets paid to spend 2 hours each week on social media pressing the “delete” key. And Brian is very good at his job. But every now and then instead of hitting “delete”, he hits “forward” and the message gets passed up to a senior member of my team. And if it looks interesting to him the message makes its way to my assistant, who, finally, assigns it to me.
But 99.9% of these requests never even make it past Brian.
So what, exactly, is it about the vast majority of these messages that prompt him to send them straight to the trash heap without passing ‘go’ and without collecting $200? And, more importantly, what distinguishes those rare exceptions when a message actually makes it all the way to me?
Here’s an example of a message that came through last week. This particular one was deleted in a matter of seconds…
Subject: Exciting Investment Opportunity!
Body: I hope you’re doing well. Steve my business partner and I would like to share our pitch deck with you! We have an extremely exciting investment opportunity! Once you review our pitch deck, watch the videos, and go through our website, we can set up a conference call! Go to my calendar and schedule a call with me to discuss how you can invest with us!
He seems to expect me to spend considerable time reviewing his pitch deck, watching his videos, and browsing his website – then to schedule a call so I can listen to him pitch me for an hour.
Does that sound like a realistic response to a cold email in ANY industry?
Sure, I get it—startups aren’t just ‘any industry’. Startups are cool and sexy and everyone is convinced their little company is going to get bought out by Facebook or Google in 3 years for a few hundred million.
If you’re looking for investments from your uncle or your college roommate or a guy you met in line at Starbucks, maybe this approach could work. But accredited investors don’t buy into “Exciting Investment Opportunities”.
Moreso, they will not spend the time to review all your collateral without some relationship or nurturing period.
And let me help you out with this.
Step 1 is NOT reviewing your pitch deck…And it’s NOT scheduling a phone call…And it’s sending over investors to you or your venture.
This guy is trying to sell me an investment before he’s even determined if I’m interested. He’s moving too fast. That’s why his email was deleted by my LinkedIn ‘firewall’ team.
His inquiry could have had much greater success if he would STOP trying to pitch me the whole investment in one email and instead just focus on selling me the next step: which is responding to his message.
If your first email doesn’t get a response, nothing else matters. That is Step 1!
He could have tried:
Great profile picture and your track record is incredible. Quick question for you:
Do you have an interest in _______________?
or he could have asked…
What is your capacity for_________?
Or what about:
Your LinkedIn Profile is great but your website was intriguing. Nice work.
Are you currently investing? If so, what type of investments are you interested in?
Sell them on responding to you. No more.
Stop trying to sell the investment in one email or message. If you start the dialogue and maintain it over 5 messages, you’ll have a much better chance of selling them on you and the investment.
Can you think about what’s next?
Get them to respond and the sell the next step. Then the next step. Trying to sell in one step involves delivering an overwhelming amount of information results it getting it pushed aside.
If you follow this methodical process and not rush the process, you’ll raise more capital.