What to Do When an Investor Says No!

Pitch Deck. Check! Financials. Check! Investor Profile. Check! Pitch Q&A with the other cofounder. Check! All Check! Repeat. The big day is just around the corner and you have your shot with an investor!

And finally the D-day has arrived and you will be meeting the potential investor. You finally get the opportunity and you present your uber idea …….. in the end all you hear is a polite NO. What next?

Does a good pitch deck good enough for fundraising? Well to some extent yes but you need to be sure that your pitch deck is clear and succinct, your financial statements are assembled and finally you are passionate about your idea/business! You should know what you are talking! But as I earlier said having all this may still lead to a no from the potential investor.

As an entrepreneur, one of the smartest things to do is when meeting an investor you’re not going to work with—either because you’re not right for them or they’re not right for you—is to understand their objections and concerns.  ― Josh Hannah, Matrix Partners

There could be multiple reasons why the potential investor may say no! There could be a possibility that your offering may not align with their investment philosophy or they don’t see the growth potential or it could just be that they don’t believe in your idea!

Things happen! You don’t have to panic. Rather be prepared for this very scenario. Take these thoughts into account before you get into your big meeting!

There’s nothing personal

You have put your heart and soul into what you are passionate about. How on earth anyone can say no to your passion? Well that’s not the case. It’s ok if you experience some shocks when someone says that they are not interested. Please don’t start questioning the investors’ intention! Try and ask meaningful questions. There may be insights and learning’s for you. Don’t show exasperation! There’s no point burning bridges! Don’t take it to heart. It’s not the end of the world. Remember there’s nothing personal.

Ask Right Questions

You have a no. What next. Well be prepared to ask some questions to get some further insights about why they passed on your uber idea. It will be a good idea to be prepared with few such questions even before you get into the meeting. Be sure to dive into any points that the potential investor is offering that are not clear to you. Be ready with important questions, get clarity that can help you going forward.

Referrals are Awesome

Just because your offering was not ideal for one investor doesn’t necessarily mean that others won’t be interested as well? The venture community is a close one. Be brave to ask if the investor can introduce to another potential investor who could possibly be interested in your idea. A warm introduction may help after all it’s a small world.

You are still alive and that’s a wonderful thing

Wake up! Nothing has happened! Don’t stay down for long. Get back to the drawing board and remember that nothing stops you! See how you can work around the feedback shared by them. One caution – sometimes you don’t have to take the feedback seriously. Just ignore it and move on. Being a sales guy I have always viewed fundraising as a sales process only. After all you are trying to sell a part of your company to the potential investor. “No’s” are very much part of a salesman’s life! It’s ok!

As an entrepreneur I would say that rejections are the best thing that can ever happen with you. You have an opportunity to introspect and refine your idea. It’s no end of the long road to fundraising.  Investors hear ideas all the time. May be you think that your idea is revolutionary and the market demand is colossal. Give time to understand their prospective as well. Take feedback, take nothing personally and tell yourself to move inwards and upwards.

When you’re following your inner voice, doors tend to eventually open for you, even if they mostly slam at first. ― Kelly Cutrone

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I'm a self confessed foodie, king of the kitchen, wannabe anthropologist, technology evangelist , curious, inquisitive & experimental entrepreneur at @DigiLands and an adrenaline junkie. Love spending time with my wife & two young children and faulty KitKats that consist purely of solid chocolate.