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Опубликовано: 22:57, 08 май 2021

The main goal of the investor at the first meeting with the founders

The main goal of the investor at the first meeting with the founders is to understand how strong the founders are motivated, what is the startup's development strategy and how great the chances of success are. 

главная цель инвестора

In other words, the investor is trying to understand the following:

  • Why did the founders choose this particular business?
  • How committed are founders to the idea of a startup?
  • What are the chances of success with this idea and how successful will founders be in life?
  • If all goes well, how big will the business be and what will the investor earn from it in the future? 

To clarify these nuances, the investor asks specific questions. For instance:

  1. What product are you working on?
  2. Why did you choose this product?
  3. Why is now the right time to work on your project?
  4. What is your unique advantage over your competitors?

Many experienced investors, after the first meeting, immediately decide whether they are interested in a startup or not. Remember, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. If you need help in preparing a presentation of a startup to investors, write to PM (link to contact at the end of the review). I'll be glad to help.

From a conversation with a startup founder with a B2B product (enterprise software).

The startup is targeting the US market, but is geographically located in Russia and Belarus. Average annual projected income from a client is from 20 to 50+ thousand dollars.

Founder said they are being aggressively offered their services by growth hacking specialists. They ensure that in a couple of weeks, the startup can reach its first customers in the US and build a successful sales funnel. Moreover, these specialists are also geographically located in the CIS.

I replied that it all sounds very fantastic, because in order for a startup to break through with an enterprise software product to the market and start selling, it needs to have smart sellers on the spot, in the USA, who are very well versed not only in the sales themselves, but also in the technical features of the product. And the sales cycle for such a product, even for very experienced sellers, clearly takes more than two weeks.

Nevertheless, if the founder really believes in the suggestions of "growth hacking" specialists, then you can offer them to work for a commission from sales. Although, in my opinion, this is also not the best option, tk. some "specialists" in the course of the sales process can achieve the fact that potential buyers will simply blacklist the startup and in the future it will be impossible to build normal relations with them.

Talking to the founders, I remembered the story that Peter Teale told in his book Zero to One. How they, then young founders of PayPal, recruited a super salesperson. Moreover, this specialist categorically refused options, premiums and commissions. The only super deal this seller closed was his $ 5,000 daily salary.

I advised the founder, among other things, to start making sales by himself, focusing on a very small group of potential clients, and at the same time looking for a mentor / advisor in the United States from among the top managers of retired specialized enterprises. And, of course, start developing your office in America, because Selling fairly expensive software products to enterprises in a highly competitive market while sitting in Tmutarakan is almost useless.

In a US B2B seller, previous industry experience and longstanding customer relationships are important. One familiar sales director with experience in medical equipment for 20+ years in Irvine shared that he was offered to become a partner in a Ukrainian IT company - he says he decided to start small - in the first year, no more than half a million dollars in sales. To my surprise, he replied that he knows everyone and has been friends in the market for 15 years.

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Text writer Valery Yalouskikh is a Silicon Valley startup consultant. Original text here 

Теги: startup
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