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Element 20. Looking Good in the Lobby > Where to Find This Answer

Where to Find This Answer

Your appearance and manner are perhaps the first things you convey to a listener, and the first impression is a lasting one. Frankly, you will know in the first five minutes of your conversation with an investor how you are being perceived.[1] Do you look the part? And for what part are you the perfect candidate? CEO or Sr. VP Development, with a seat on the board of directors and a large portion of founder’s stock? Clues are certain to come your way; read them.

[1] How can you get your cues beforehand? Two pieces of commonly available equipment could do wonders for you. Borrow or purchase a small dictation recorder and practice your pitch as if speaking over the phone. Next, borrow or purchase a small video camera and record your pitch. Then look at yourself on the monitor. Practice, practice, practice. As for personal grooming and style of dress, circumstances play a role. Can you do well without combing your hair and while being a bit gamy? Sure, but only if you have been on a week-long sail with your investor candidate. A good rule? Keep yourself scrubbed up, no bad smells, neat hair, and a style of clothing “one notch above” (e.g., if they are in a sports shirt or blouse, you are in a blazer. If they are in a blazer and no tie or a skirt and blouse, you wear a tie or a dress. Normally you don’t have to wear the tux or gown if they are in a business suit). And never go in with bad shoes. Welcome to the world of sales.


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