Treat your investors as mentors

Tip for founders who are starting to build or nurturing relationships with potential investors: frame the conversation as if the investor was your mentor and ask for advice, being extremely open-minded, curious and ready to learn. Take notes and summarize the take-aways before closing the meeting.

Don’t expect straight-forward feedback as most investors won’t do it. Start the relationship-building process well ahead of fundraising and make the investor feel that she/he is adding so much value through the mentoring process that they’re willing to keep doing it. At the end of the first meeting, appreciate the insights and lessons learned and ask deliberately if she/he is willing to mentor you and meet again in the next 4-6 weeks.

As a founder, you want potential investors to be feel like partners who build together, not like critics who are distant and hands off.

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