A: It’s relationships, relationships, relationships. It’s really hard to get introduced to investors if you just jump on LinkedIn and start saying, “Hi! I’m Chris. I’m three relationships removed from you and I would like to talk to you about this exciting opportunity I have.” I would delete, delete, delete if I saw that in my LinkedIn inbox. On the other hand, if somebody says to me, “Hey I’ve got a friend that honestly, has a really good idea. Would you mind giving them 15 minutes? See if you’re interested in the deal or just steer them in the right direction if you’re not.” That often gets a meeting with me and it does with a lot of investors. There’s so many people out there who are willing to meet you if another trusted source gets you in the door.
The Old Fashioned Way
When I’m approaching people for investments, I typically don’t go straight to them if I don’t really know them. Let’s say I’ve got five potential investors I want to meet. I’m going to find ways to get in a relationship with those people. I’m going to find somebody I’m connected to, somebody personally, in business or in an affinity group – like we’re both really into dogs, cars or whatever. I’m going to make sure that we get to meet. If somebody puts my hand in their hand and says, “This is my friend, Chris. You guys need to talk. I think its worth 15 minutes of your time.” I will get that door open 99% of the time.
I engage investors that I’m trying to track down that way all of the time and people who are trying to track me down for investment advice or input track me down the same way. It works. Relationships work. Get referred to investors.
There are a lot of list out there supposedly containing contact info for wealthy investor types. I would hesitate before you buy those. People don’t want to be on those lists any more than you want to be on a list and get weird phone calls or mail, right? It’s just not cool. Many of those offers are just junking up your inbox. The fact that you are getting junk email means you are already on someone’s purchased list. Lucky you!
Go for real relationships. You’re going to be surprised who you know and who they know. You are a real person with a real idea that needs a real investor. Real relationships are the way to go!