Dear SaaStr: What Are You Supposed To Say — And Not Say — During a VC Intro Call?
Be wary of some of the advice you hear.
The goal is not to get a “coffee”, or just to “learn”.
A VC intro call is a sales call. Your job — if you want funding now, or later — is to move the opportunity down the pipeline. You’re in sales as a founder CEO. In stock sales.
Unless you have a very strong hand — do not play games.
So IMHE at least:
- Spit it out. Get to the point — fast. Make the VC want to invest in the first 120 seconds of the Zoom. That’s your goal. You’ve got maybe 5 minutes max to make a strong impression as a good investment candidate, and 20 minutes to get them deeply interested. That doesn’t mean be overly simplistic. It means make the pitch tight. And run it by a few friendlies. Ask them if, 5 minutes in, they’d likely invest? If not, get to the point faster.
- Lead with your best metrics — and/but speak with data. Share the metrics that matter. Don’t try to hide your ARR, or your growth rate, or when you were founded. But do lead with your best metrics by all means.
- Send over the deck ahead of time. The best investors will do their homework and read it before the call. Being coy here does not help, 9+ times out of 10. Saying “I prefer to send the deck after our call” will simply turn off a lot of investors that actually want to put in the work.
- Be clear on how much you want to raise. This helps investors quickly figure out if you are in their sweet spot or not.
- Ask what they’d like to learn more about. Get to the point, then ask what they’d like to dig in on.
Finally, ask for next steps. And if you can — take the next meeting in person. 50% of what a VC invests in is the founders and CEO in particular. It’s much harder to get a sense over a call.