How to Contact Angel Investors
I don’t always think finding angel investors is the Entrepreneurs problem; I think it’s more confusing about how to contact angel investors. The same goes for Venture Capitalists.
You find your potential investor and then you freeze: how do I contact them? So you’ve managed to get their number. But..now what? What do you say? Will they even pick up your call? And good luck getting past the assistant who screens all their calls.
Here are a few ways to “beef up” your introduction when you contact angel investors:
1. Always Try to Get an Introduction or Referral
Introductions and referrals from someone they trust are always the first preference. Linked In is a good way to do this. Maybe you have a connection that’s connected to an angel investor? Obviously though if you’re here, you probably can’t get that introduction, so lets look at some other alternatives.
2. Hire a Consultant
A fundraising consultant can help you contact angel investors. I’m no fan of the “talking consultant”, but serial Entrepreneurs that have retired make for the perfect consultant in this situation. Before you say “I don’t have the money to hire a consultant”, the right kind of consultant doesn’t ask for money upfront. He/she should work for equity, and/or take a small percentage of your salary if they are an ongoing consultant. Equity amounts typically range from 2%-5%.
3. Butter Up Their Assistant
The way to contact an angel investor is often through their assistant. Speak very politely to her, she could just make your day. To get a hold of their personal assistant, call the angels office and ask for her name and number. They’ll probably be more willing to give this out instead of the angel investor’s information.
4. Always Mention How You Found Them
Hopefully you found them in some respectable way, and were not stalking them :0 (hey, it does happen). Always include in your first line of introduction like so: “hi, my name is Bob Barker, I found your name on Linked In”.
5. First Impressions are Your Only Impression
Let’s put it this way (I’ll cut straight to the point here) the whole purpose on “one line pitches” is to grab someone’s attention. If you can’t grab an angel investors attention, you’ll loose it. Grab his attention right away. You’ll also have to figure out how to do this without attacking him.
6. Profile the Angel Investor
If you did your due diligence before you contacted that angel investor, you should have him perfectly matched to you and have the angel investor well profiled. Does he play golf? Invite him to swing some clubs. Find a common ground, much like you would if you were trying to ask that pretty girl out on a date.