Fine-Tuning Your Communication Strategy When Speaking with Investors

23 Jul

By Danielle Silva, VP of Business Development, LSN & Mimi Liu, Research Analyst, LSN 

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Life Science Nation is always looking for ways to improve in the ability to create a compelling dialogue with investors and life science executive alike.  We recently had the opportunity to attend a series of seminars teaching Dale Carnegie’s principles of communication, which are outlined in his book How to Win Friends and Influence People. When we shared the lessons learned about successful communication techniques with the other LSN staff, we all realized these principles and techniques can be applied to building a better rapport with investors. Here are our picks for the top four lessons and how to apply them to fundraising in the life sciences.

Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.

A good way to help investors open up is by asking them why they are interested in a particular area and what trends they see in the space. Ask them about their background and how it relates to the areas they are involved in now. Then when it’s time to talk about your technology, you’ll be able to highlight the attributes that fit the investors’ interests. Show genuine interest in investors and you will build strong relationships.

Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.

When speaking with potential investors, discuss how an investment in your company will not only help you (for example, by advancing from the preclinical to the clinical stage) but also how it will benefit them—how it will complement their portfolio. For example, perhaps your project would help diversify the investors’ portfolio or be an attractive add-on acquisition to one of their current investments.

Build a positive personal relationship

At the end of the day, no matter how compelling your technology is, if you can’t get along with investors, they won’t invest. Therefore, it is important to try and avoid sounding overly compassionate, strong headed, or not willing to listen. After all, investors are investing in you and your team as much your technology. Learn how to disagree in an agreeable manner and show respect for others’ opinions.

Make your idea stand out by telling a story

Investors read tons of business plans, watch hundreds of presentations, and speak with thousands of companies every year. When speaking with investors, your ideas need to be not only clear and concise but also well expressed. By creating a compelling narrative it will bring your ideas to life, engage your listeners, and allow the investor to connect on a personal level. This will also allow you to separate yourself from the crowd and ensure that you are grabbing your investors’ attention.

Although there are other Dale Carnegie principles that can be useful when communicating with investors, these four strategies are the most helpful when you’re trying to influence investors’ thoughts and decisions. We encourage you to try them out.

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