The other day I had a frank discussion with a client. Usually, when an investor does not believe you, she might ask a polite clarification question, leave some hints in her body language, but most of the times, probably move on.

When preparing the pitch, we can be more frank. The answers to the "I don't believe you" point were as follows.

  • Repeat the description of what the system can do one more time. But I understand that that is what the system is supposed to do, I just don't believe it can deliver.
  • Remind me of the credibility founder. Yes, the track record of the entrepreneur is very impressive, and no, I have not doubted a single second that there was an issue with the management team. I am just suspicious that the technology cannot deliver what it promises.
  • State that my question is really, really easy to address, but that I fail to understand the big questions that I should be asking: how to make money of this. (And then the second question is answered, not the first one).

Answer the investor's question, even if you think it is not a smart one, or the right one. If not answered, you will have had a nice meeting, but blocked the door to the next step in the due diligence process.

Text: "The Ghent Altarpiece - Singing Angels (detail)" by Jan van Eyck (circa 1390–1441)