How to forward a pitch deck to an investor after the introduction? In other words, what’s the best way to send your pitch deck to investors after you’ve been introduced?
Introductions to investors remain one of the best ways to run an efficient and successful startup fundraising campaign. Getting those vital introductions can make all the difference in getting funding, putting it in the bank on time, and finding investors that fit your needs.
However, getting the introduction is still only a foundational step, and the beginning of the process. You still need a great pitch deck and supporting materials, as well as the ability to digitally and verbally present it well.
So, how should you forward your deck to investors after you’ve been introduced? What else might you want to include? How do you follow through and close the deal?
The Ultimate Guide To Pitch Decks
Getting Investor Introductions
Gaining investor introductions can make or break your fundraising efforts, and your company. So, how do you get them, who do you want to be introduced to, and why is an introduction so vital?
Why Investor Introductions Are So Important
Desirable startup investors are slammed with pitches every week. Today, they can be inundated with cold pitches from all over the world each day. No matter how great your pitch and outreach messages may be, it is almost impossible to stand out from the spam and noise.
Even if you get through, securing funding is still largely about personal relationships and trust. Which is something very hard to establish with a cold tweet or email.
If you are introduced to an investor by someone that they already know, like, and trust, you’ve won the majority of the funding battle. It’s the best fundraising hack that you can leverage.
You still have to have a great investment opportunity and pitch deck, but the hardest part has been cleared for you.
See How I Can Help You With Your Fundraising Efforts
See How I Can Help You With Your Fundraising Efforts
Sending a pitch deck to an investor after you’ve had the chance to connect with them is the easy part. But, what if you want to know how to send a pitch deck to investors you haven’t met? If you need more information on how to reach out to them and acquire funding, check out this video.
Who Should You Try To Get Introduced To?
Startup fundraising is not just about getting money. It is about securing the best-fitting investors that will bring the most value to your venture.
Your advisors and startup fundraising consultants can certainly help you figure out who these best-fitting investors are for your venture. As well as which of them are actively funding deals.
You should also be growing and tapping your network of other startup founders, your team, and mentors, to find out which investors are ripe for pitching for your company right now.
Of course, you should also be doing your own research. You should be very connected to what’s happening. Who are the investors in your space? Which are funding deals? Who has funded deals like yours recently? Which logos or individuals would you like to add to your website, board, and cap table? You may make a list of the 25-100 investors you’d most like to bring in.
Who Can Make Investor Introductions For You?
Aside from personal recommendations from your close network, family, and friends, you can also find out who in your network is connected to these investors on LinkedIn. Then ask for an introduction.
If you have already raised capital before, or know investors, they can often be some of the best referral sources for making introductions to your next round of potential investors.
If you have a strong team, they may have come from other startups that have been funded or have connections to those with capital. Just because they work for you, don’t underestimate their ability to bring this together for you. This certainly includes your cofounders, executives, marketing, and fundraising team. Though everyone in the company should be working towards this goal. At least if they want to keep their jobs, see the company grow, and their departments have a good budget.
Fundraising consultants will also prove to be incredibly powerful in getting strong, warm introductions to the right investors. You can use their assistance when working out how to forward a pitch deck to an investor after the introduction.
What’s Next After An Investor Introduction?
Introductions may be made by social media, email, or even text message. Or, more rarely, in person.
Depending on the introduction, the next step may be an informal coffee meeting to see what synergy you have, an introductory voice call, or more likely, the chance to forward these investors your pitch deck to preview.
After they’ve glanced at your deck, then you may win the opportunity to pitch them formally in an investor meeting. Which may be in person, or by video online.
Whatever you do, make sure you immediately take advantage of this introduction while it is hot, and get in touch with the investor.
How To Forward Your Pitch Deck To Investors After An Introduction
Depending on the communication channel that was opened up for you, you may be able to connect and share your pitch via social media messaging, text messaging, or email.
Why Not To Send Your Pitch Deck As An Attachment
Sending your pitch deck as an attached document is not a good idea.
For a start, it is much more likely that it will be blocked by spam filters, and your message will not even make it through to your intended recipients.
We’ve all also grown more wary of opening attachments. Especially from new and unknown contacts. Which is a second hurdle. Then file size, and memory space can make it even less likely your deck will be viewed. Investors are so busy and have so many investment opportunities that they really don’t have time to go back and forth with you to ask for you to send it another way.
Send Links To Your Pitch Deck Online
It is far better to send a link to your pitch deck hosted online instead of as an attachment.
This will have a far higher chance of success in getting your message through. As well as your pitch deck being viewed.
Hosting your deck online in Google Slides can be a great option. Though there may be others that provide even more functionality.
With your deck hosted online, you can enjoy many other advantages as well. Including tracking and measuring engagement. Such as how many investors have actually followed through to view your deck, who viewed it, and also to cut off access if you like.
This way, you are also able to update your pitch deck in real-time and ensure old decks, with outdated information are not hanging around out there.
Use A Strong Cover Letter
It is smart to craft (or get help crafting) a strong introduction and cover letter of your own.
This does not need to be lengthy. Though it can give investors a quick snapshot of your startup investment opportunity, help begin to build the relationship, and compel them to view the deck.
You may use this space to deliver a brief pitch deck summary in a few bullet points. This should also demonstrate that you’ve done your homework on them, that this is a fit for them, and valuable use of their time. Use these practical tips when you’re working out how to forward a pitch deck to an investor after the introduction.
Other Materials You May Want To Include With Your Pitch Deck
While the bulk of your supporting fundraising materials belong in your virtual data room, you may want to include some additional information with your deck.
This can show that you are a serious business, checking the boxes of gaining traction, attracting other investors, and helping educate them on your space in advance.
One of the best ways to convey this information and show investors that you are a startup to be interested in is through investor updates.
This can be a one-pager that details what’s new. Such as new investors coming in, hires you’ve made, new milestones achieved, the attention you received in the media, awards won, new partnerships secured, and supporting industry news.
Text content in various forms has continually proven to be one of the best tools available in helping startups get funded.
If you’ve been mentioned in notable publications, had press releases published, or been written about on a credible blog, or been featured somewhere, including these links may be very valuable.
Don’t Forget To Follow Up
99% of the success is in following up.
This is true of all types of sales, and fundraising and pitching investors is definitely a sales process.
If you are not following up, don’t expect to get funded. You have to sell, stay on top of their minds, and keep them engaged.
In fact, some investors may just be waiting to see which startup does the best at following up.
How Often Should You Follow Up With Investors?
It’s smart to add your potential investors to your CRM, organize them, and create an efficient follow-up system.
You may begin with a simple message or two in the first couple of weeks to touch base, and ensure they’ve received and viewed your pitch deck.
If they still haven’t acted, then you may let them know of appointment times you have available for a call or meeting to discuss your deck further.
You may continue to automate follow-up with your investor updates. If they don’t get in this round, they may be highly motivated to get into the next one, or even preempt it as they see your progress and develop a fear of missing out.
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.
What To Expect From Investor Meetings
The real goal of getting those investor introductions, and then getting them to view your pitch deck is to convert those contacts into real investor meetings.
This is when you’ll have the chance to deliver your full pitch and present verbally. Often in conjunction with your slides.
These pitching scenarios can vary widely. From being on stage, and pitching a room of investors, in an event with other startups vying for funding. Or it may be a private meeting with one or several partners of an investment firm at their offices. Today, it is also quite common to be pitching virtually through an online video meeting.
The goal of these meetings for you is to get them to offer you term sheets.
Though it is just as important that you use these investor meetings to screen, vet, and feel them out to ensure they are a good fit for your company now and will enable you to take it to where you want to go in the future.
Even if you think you may have a 30-60 minute time slot for your presentation, you should be able to deliver it in just 20 minutes, without rushing. This accounts for technical glitches, getting set up, introductions, interruptions, and leaving plenty of time to close them.
After your pitch, expect to have a Q&A period, where you will field their questions and concerns, and gain feedback. Collect all of these questions and feedback points, and work them into future pitches. You’ll get better and more effective each time you pitch.
Term sheets are essentially offers of funding. How much they are considering giving you, on what terms, and what due diligence you must pass in order to put that money in the bank.
Ideally, you will end up with several term sheets to compare, negotiate, and pick from.
Investor introductions are powerful for helping startups get funded. However, even after a warm introduction and referral, you still have to show up with a winning pitch deck, and know how to effectively get it in front of investors, get it viewed, and then follow through to putting that money in the bank. So, take the time to understand how to forward a pitch deck to an investor after the introduction.
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