Note: LinkedIn to Lunch is now open for registration!
How often have you connected with somebody on LinkedIn and then just let them sit there without ever contacting them again?
If you have more than a hundred LinkedIn connections, I bet you have done this more than once.
What’s the point of connecting with an investor on LinkedIn and then never actually have a conversation with them?
I know what I’m talking about because I have made this mistake hundreds of times myself over the past ten years I used LinkedIn.
However, I have found a way to turn LinkedIn connections with CEOs and investors into meetings and calls with them. Almost instantly.
The Secret Starts Before Connecting
One of the things I have noticed over the years is that sometimes I see somebody on LinkedIn that I’m extremely excited about connecting with. And then, once they accept my invitation, I don’t feel like following up. Either I didn’t know what to say so that it feels authentic or the excitement about having a conversation with them was gone.
I especially noticed this with people who seem extremely successful in building businesses and having a high social status. They seemed very compelling to me at first but after the initial excitement, I couldn’t find anything about them that inspired me, except for the fact that they have built successful businesses. This was just not enough for me.
Initially, when I connected with them, I thought “I will worry about what to say in the follow up later” only to realize that I actually don’t want to follow up with them.
This has cost me so much time and energy over the years. I’m always looking for ways to get to my goals in the most effective way, so this was not working for me.
I decided to look at what I needed to know about somebody in order to feel excited, not just when connecting, but also when the time comes for following up. When I was able to finish the sentence “You inspire me because…”, I knew I was on the right track.
However, that was not enough. I needed some more meat, something we both could talk about for an hour over Skype or lunch.
That’s when I came up with what my mentoring and coaching clients now know as the “investor fact sheet”.
This one-page document dissects each investor they want to meet with (not literally of course) and extracts the investor’s vision and core values based on simple research about the investor.
Let’s Play “Matching Beliefs”
Let’s say you want to meet with an investor and you are the CEO of a startup in education.
Now, there is a certain belief that started your venture.
Maybe it’s that children are educated for yesterday’s world and not tomorrow’s. Or maybe it’s that the world needs more entrepreneurs and not more middle-managers. Or maybe it’s that children eat unhealthier than ever and that we need to change this through education and not pills.
At the end of the day, this belief is a major part of your vision. It’s your idea of a future we must create in order for the purpose of your venture to be fulfilled.
Whatever this belief is, there are investors out there who share your vision. Your job is to find exactly these investors because they are already pre-qualified to be as excited about your venture as much as you are, since they are walking in the same direction. And my job is to help you with this.
This is where the “investor fact sheet”, I talked about before, comes in. You need to do some research on the investors, to figure out what they stand for and what vision of the future they have.
The internet makes this easier than ever.
Read their LinkedIn articles, watch their talks or listen to an interview they have given. Pay close attention to what they say over and over again and to their opinion and perspective. Take notes and you will have a wealth of information to tap into.
What Will Get You Meetings and What Won’t
Once you have all this information in front of you, it’s not so hard anymore to get a meeting with an investor.
It’s no longer about “This is our venture and we are looking for investors. Want to talk?”.
Now it’s about “Here’s what we stand for and here’s what you stand for. I’d love to have a thought-provoking conversation about this topic.”
Do you see the difference?
My clients have been able to book lunch meetings with extremely hard-to-reach people like CEO’s and investors by using this approach because it’s so authentic and genuine.
It works like a charm, but only if you do your research and pinpoint the topic you want to discuss.
I recently shared this example where I booked a lunch meeting with a very successful CEO and investor in Switzerland.
In the message, I said, “I’d love to exchange some thoughts about solving unemployment through entrepreneurship and why jobs are at the edge of extinction the way we know them.” I could have said “I’d love to talk about solving unemployment” but I doubt that this would have gotten me a meeting with him.
How to Meet Investors & CEOs by Harnessing the Power of LinkedIn
In order to help you turn your investor & CEO connections into lunch meetings, I have created an online workshop called LinkedIn to Lunch.
This program will enable you to book meetings with investors without having to go to boring networking events or pitching feasts. You’ll be able to book these meetings with investors & CEOs from the seat you are currently sitting in.