5 reasons why investors feature creep your pitch

2 minute read

I’ve been in the position more than once. Raising money, meeting with investors pitching them on the technology. Their mind goes wild thinking of all the uses other than the excellent use i’ve chosen to apply the technology to. “Oh and we can do this!” “Oh and we can do that!” Getting off track and distracted or frustrated is the easiest thing to do. You don’t want to tell them no. Here are the things that have happened to me in hindsight.

Distracted by the shiny object
Yes, this has happened. Their energy and enthusiasm for the various application consumed me. I fully lost track of the original vision and leaped down the rabbit hole.

Frustrated and Stubborn
I’ve lost the deal because “they don’t see my vision”. I’d become angry or frustrated in the multiple directions they latch onto. I’d mentally check out of the whole deal and move on to the next investor or become depressed.

Have you ever experienced this? You are not alone my friend. What changed for me? How did I deal with this? Most importantly Why does this seem to happen with every investor?

Psychology of why

To understand new concepts our brain fires off our neural networks. Wrapping our minds around an idea to achieve understanding requires significant processing power. When I’m traveling some place new, lets say driving up to a cabin on the top of the mountain. The trip up seems to take forever the first time, incredibly slow. Then when coming back from the store later in the trip I seem to effortlessly zip up the mountain. This is because it’s not new, our mind isn’t working as hard to process new input.

Just like the initial mountain ascent, it takes a bit longer to first fully understand the idea. While going up the mountain for us my look like simply pressing on the accelerator of the car, this is exactly what happens to the individual. They are pushing on the accelerator of their mind, speeding up to understand. Just like a car the faster you go the more out of control you get.

I’ll bring it down to a lower level for a minute.

The investors are seeking and searching, out explore and learn. This is what all people will do to understand, everyone has slight variations of this, including you! Now we understand their idea generation and deviation is simply the dance they go through to achieve understanding of the idea. Let’s discuss how to direct their energy, and go through the process with them so that it doesn’t end in us being distracted by the conclusion they achieve understanding or frustration on our end.
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What changed for me

I realized the “why” stated above, then I learned how to get to the outcome I desired. Having the investor achieve understanding, hand over the money and agree to execute the original proven vision. After going through this process multiple times I’ve learned how to direct the conversation to the result that I desire. Here is how, step-by-step.

Questions to answer:

1. What to do during the neural net fireworks?
We know why this is happening, but what do we do while this is happening? Learn the 3 specific steps to take during their state of idea-overload.

2. How to keep the focus back on your original version?
At the end of the brain storm how do we direct back to the crystal clear vision we had before gray skies? You’ve gotten through the storm, understanding is obtained. Now it’s time to clear up the debris and start rebuilding from Hurricane Investor.

3. How to close the deal and get the investor to act.
When the conversation is exhausted how do we walk away with a “yes” instead of a “we’ll see” or worse, a “no”. The conversation is coming to a clear end, it’s been a rollercoaster of discovery, communication, brainstorming. It’s time to close, it’s not going to “just happen naturally”.  3 specific closing statements for you to make it happen.

What to do during the neural net fireworks?

We know why this is happening, but what do we do while this is happening?

1. Active listening
Listen, make them feel heard. Listening is not just being quiet. Listening is Active listening.

  1. Lean in to listen closer when they are “onto something”
  2. Look them in their eyes
  3. Nod when you understand
  4. Be aware of your face, don’t go “blank processing face”, move those facial muscles and be animated. Use the mirror first so you don’t creep them out if you know you have problems with this par.
  5. Ask questions to engage them in their train of thought. Be apart of their process versus a spectator impatiently waiting for them to “get it”
  6. Practice by calling friends and explaining to them what the idea is on the phone, look in the mirror with them on speaker phone and pay attention to your face. Alternatively record your face if you don’t have a mirror and see what the world seeing on your head canvas. (didn’t want to use the word face again, head canvas sounds cool)


2. Be optimistic

Nothing is worse than being excited with downers around.

3. Analysis paralysis
Do NOT analyse their ideas for merit. As enticing as it may be to tell them why their gut reaction will not work and show off that you too thought of that, avoid this education opportunity. As engineers we want to be exact but this part of the process is about flexibility and allowing them to come to their own conclusions. Let them explore without being shot down and they will have the opportunity to bond with your idea and you.

How to keep the focus back on your original version?

At the end of the brain storm how do we direct back to the crystal clear vision we had before gray skies? You’ve gotten through the storm, understanding is obtained. Now it’s time to clear up the debris and start rebuilding from Hurricane Investor.

1. Begin the transition
Start with associating the idea they landed on back to the original one.

2. Be positive
Speak positively when talking about how their idea is like the original one, and don’t use the term “original one” when referring to the original idea.

3. It’s their baby
Remember the idea they landed on is one they are holding as their own. Do not insult the idea, even if it’s absurd to you.  

4. Show the map
Show them there is a path that has already been forged and they will be joining you on this adventure. It relieves pressure to know there is already people involved and this is real and happening right now.

5. Show the momentum
Discuss the progress you’ve made engaging with the market on this idea, the relationships and momentum you’ve built.

How to close the deal.

When the conversation is exhausted how do we walk away with a “yes” instead of a “we’ll see” or worse, a “no”.

The conversation is coming to a clear end, it’s been a rollercoaster of discovery, communication, brainstorming. It’s time to close, it’s not going to “just happen naturally”.  You must have a vision of you how want to close with closing statements to back it up. One closing statement is not enough, here are 3 statements you can use to close the deal.

1. Let’s do this close
I’m excited, this is going to be fantastic. It makes sense, the market is there we know what we need to get from where we are today to a profitable state. We know the steps to take, let’s do this together. — Stick your hand out, make eye contact and shut up. Do not retract your hand it will feel like a year, the other person is just processing what is happening.

2. Amazon close
I really liked your idea of X, it’s a fantastic contribution. Building our team with people like you is the reason why we are going to be profitable and bring value to the market successfully. We’ll hire people on like amazon does, making sure each individual is better than the last. Here are the sub-docs, that explain everything we discussed. {point out each item briefly and clearly, then the signature lines} When getting to the signature lines that will be your last point and you’ll say “Sign here and here”. Not to be pushy but to direct the person so they understand what is going on. They are adults and they would stop you as you are going through the bullet points of the sub docs if they weren’t interested.

3. The path is clear close
This has been fantastic, we have a plan, we know where we want to go and how to get there. Is there any reason why we can’t work together? — Here you’ll get to an object they might have so that you can solve it. If you don’t flush out the objection you won’t know what to do. You won’t know what is holding them back and you’ll have no way to address the objection. If they do issue the objection you can close over it by “I understand” or “I agree” then outline why this is different and use close A or B. This is why we have multiple closes so we can solve an issue then get back into the close.

Big meeting coming up?

If you have an investor pitch coming up, run it by me first. It’ll be great practice and i’ll help you see a different perspective. I’ll give you feedback on your presentation and materials. Reach out, tell me what is going on so I can help. Click this link to reach out.
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Joel Beasley

Joel began writing code at age 13 selling his first technology by age 18 for one million dollars. In his first three transactions, he developed key relationships and began working with Investors and Chief Technology Officers collaborating and building products in Real Estate, Law, Finance, and Fitness.

Today, Joel is a Chief Technologist volgging the process of building a company LeaderBits.io. Joel is an author of the book Modern CTO a #1 New Release on Amazon and a #1 Technology Podcast with 70k active listeners. Joel has a clear vision and passion for modern technology, placing him as one of the most exciting Chief Technology Officers to watch out for.

Joel is the President of BeasleyFoundation.org a charity that designs STEM related children’s books Back to the Moon and Princess Physicist. These books are then donated to orphanages, homeless pregnant woman and in-need children. Beasley Foundation was formed in February 2017 after Joel, Mitch and Valerie lost their Mother to Leukemia after being diagnosed 6 weeks earlier. Joel and his siblings wanted to do something unique with her life insurance money and the Beasley Foundation was formed.

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