How to build trust before sending a pitch deck? How can startup entrepreneurs build trust with investors before sending out their pitch decks?
Building trust is one of the most important and valuable things you must do before attempting to fundraise as a startup entrepreneur. If you are already sending your pitch deck out through cold spam marketing then you are already behind in the process.
If you want to raise a round of capital smoothly, swiftly, and on the optimal terms for your company, from your ideal investors, then start with building trust. Perhaps even well before you even begin working on slides or have clarified your startup idea.
The Value Of Building Trust, Before Asking For Money
If a stranger walks up to you in the street asking for a loan, how much are you likely to give them? If you receive a spam email from someone asking for money, how much are you likely to give them, and on what terms?
Contrast that with your best and most trusted friend or family member or child asking for support with their own business, after you’ve seen them applying themselves diligently for years. You want them to do it. You want them to succeed. They are the people you believe in. You want to make it easy for them, right?
This perfectly sums up the difference between cold emailing your pitch or trying to mob Mark Cuban at a Mavericks game with your pitch deck in hand after jumping over the fence, versus building trust and personal relationships with investors first.
Without this trust built first, there’s a 99% chance it’s a scam from their perspective.
The level of trust you have built with investors in advance of pitching is not only going to make the difference in getting yeses, but how much you can raise, the terms of the deal, and getting that all-important first lead investor to step up too.
Understand these factors when you’re working out how to build trust before sending a pitch deck.
Keep in mind that in fundraising storytelling is everything. In this regard for a winning pitch deck to help you here, take a look at the template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash.
Remember to unlock the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.
Connect Regularly & Hang Out
There are many ways to meet potential investors. It can be attending events and networking or simply hanging out where investors hang out. It may even start out online.
Don’t just collect names, numbers, and handles and put them in your contacts database. Then wait until your pitch deck is polished and you are just days away from bankruptcy and giving up before reaching out with your ask.
Trust is proven over time, through repeated interactions in different formats. This can happen in a pure formal business and professional capacity. Though it is even better when you add targets who know you and like you to trust you, to achieve the magic trifecta to every sale.
So, if possible you’ll be doing coffee, getting together for dinner or breakfast, watching sporting events together, walking, and more. At some point, funding you and partnering on something is just the next logical step in this relationship.
The details of what it is, may not matter near as much as that you are doing it together. You know that you’ve nailed it when you hear “whatever you are working on next, I want in.”
Just be authentic with it. After all, you don’t want to go through this with investors you don’t know, like and trust either. It works in both directions. Find them, vet them, build on that connection.
These nurturing and casual encounters also provide a chance to talk about things openly that you don’t really want to put in your deck. Also, remember that you are up against competitors they know or are introduced to.
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