Make Investors Love You. How To Get Funded In 2017.
Funding is supposed to be harder to come by in 2017. So here are a few tricks from an FBI hostage situation negotiator on how to get what you want. Because sometimes they are both life and death situations, aren’t they?
According to the Behavioral Change Stairway Model by the FBI’s hostage negotiation unit, there are five steps to getting someone to change their point of view and at least agree that your view has some validity too. They are:
1. Active Listening 2. Empathy 3. Rapport 4. Influence 5. Behavioral Change
According to the experts, we get it wrong when we start with the 4th step, “Influence”, and expect an immediate reaction, 5th step, “Behavioral Change” from the other person.
Never try to convince an investor by saying something like, “I’m right because of reasons ABC and you’re wrong because of reasons XYZ”. It doesn’t work, Investors are human too. And unfortunately humans are oft found to be irrational.
But here are some tips to overcome that hurdle and walk away with a green light form the investor (Yay!).
1. Ask open-ended questions
Don’t aim for yes/no answers, but ask for responses that will elicit a longer answer.
2. Use effective pauses
Stop speaking at effective places while you’re pitching your idea and convincing the investors your idea will work. Also pause to listen to their point of view and answer their questions.
3. Minimal encouragers
Use the simple, yet very effective “mm,hmm”, to know that you’re listening to what they are saying. Do not interject with lengthy prompts. Let them do the talking.
Try repeating the last one or two words the one you’re having a conversation with to show that you’re on the same page as that person. It’s the simplest thing in the world. And will leave the investor thinking that you and he/she think alike.
Whatever they said, play it back in your own words. And that means you must listen closely to what they are saying too.
6. Emotional labelling
It’s not about saying you agree with their feelings. But it is about naming their feeling accurately so that they know you know how they feel and understand what they are feeling.