“I want a secret advantage so I get funding when I pitch. What do you suggest, Tom?” an audience member asked me.
“Remember that you’re on before you get on stage. Even while you’re in your car, coming near the location where you’ll be pitching, you are ‘on stage,’” I said.
“How is that?”
“You’re revealing your personal brand the whole time,” I said.
Perhaps, you’ve heard about George who was running late for a job interview. He was stuck behind a slow-moving car. He beeped his horn—a lot. The driver in that car refused to go faster. Then, to George’s horror, the car pulled into the parking lot of the company where George was set to be interviewed. And…yes, the driver of that car proved to be the interviewer who did not offer George a job.
George was “doing his interview” before he even walked into the building.
A Key Advantage – Have Finesse in Meeting Investors Before You Go On Stage
What happens to investors before they hear pitches?
They get cornered by entrepreneurs looking for funding. A bunch of entrepreneurs spill out their ideas in a rush when they meet the person. In the restroom. At the door. Anywhere.
That’s not finesse.
Spilling out your ideas (and trying to impress the person) is similar to losing your lunch in front of the investor.
Here’s the Solution:
Engage the Potential Investor in a Real Conversation
Create a warm connection.
The vital action is to get the person talking and to demonstrate your trustworthiness. How? In your way of listening well.
Recently, I interacted with two entrepreneurs and a particular venture capitalist.
Both entrepreneurs had great ideas, but I felt uncomfortable about connecting them with the venture capitalist. Why? It was their people skills. One didn’t demonstrate the confidence and track record of guiding teams to completing projects. The other one was a … horrible listener. This person, in every conversation, was trying to prove how smart he was.
Both entrepreneurs would benefit from learning how to create warm connections. Also, they both need to have a personal brand that demonstrates that they are trustworthy, helpful, organized and respectful (with audiences I use the mnemonic device of T.H.O.R.).
When You First Interact with An Investor, Use “Gentle Questions”
Here are some “gentle questions”:
- I’m [Your name] and you are …?
- Are you looking forward to something in particular this evening?
- I’m curious. Are you looking for something in particular when you choose to invest in a company?
- What are you looking forward to?
I call these “gentle questions” because they’re easy to answer, and the other person often enjoys answering them.
Additionally, one does not use all of these questions in a conversation. You’ll note that there is some overlap. The point is people like those individuals who listen well. I advise my clients: “When you’re listening, you’re winning.”
Make Your Replies Relevant
You ask questions so that your replies are relevant to the person you’re talking with.
One of my favorite quotes is:
In truth, I am a verb. – Steve Chandler
Avoid trying to be “an impressive person” (a noun).
Instead, do a positive action: listen well.
Demonstrate That You’re Listening
Use what I call Reflective Replies:
- That sounds frustrating. What happened next?
- That sounds disappointing. What did you want to happen next?
- That’s sounds intense. It sounds like that was tough to endure.
My point is that you’re not just responding to the content of what the other person says. You are demonstrating compassion and that you’re hearing the feelings involved. You “reflect” the person’s feelings back to them. You say, “That sounds” – in that you do not tell another person what they’re feeling.
Realize the Truth – People Invest In You
Ross Perot said that he wasn’t really investing in Steve Jobs’ company or product. He was investing Steve Jobs. Things went well for Perot—when Steve Jobs maneuvered Apple to buy his company for $400 million—Perot had a big return on his investment.
In summary, use the secret advantage: Create a warm connection before you go on stage and deliver your pitch.
Spoken Word Strategist
Pitch Coach – Executive Coach
Speaker-author of 44 books
Get the Advantages to take your business to a higher level. Learn Leadership Advantages, Pitch Advantages, and Success Advantages. To Soar with Confidence, you learn and use principles for top level communication to board members, team members and the media.
“Marcoux demonstrates how to “Prepare a Compelling Story that Moves Emotions.” He mentions techniques that he teaches clients for developing compelling Ted Talks.” – Dantalion Jones
Learn the vital skills of pitching your ideas and enrolling others into your vision. Get that “Big Yes” to funding your project. “This insightful book shows you how to zing a curveball right past the parts of the Hollywood exec’s brain that want to say no before you even make your pitch. You will learn what works when pitching, and more importantly, why, so you can get to YES much more often. Buy this book now. Consider it Spring Training before the big game.” – Danek Kaus
This invaluable guide, used by people in 15 countries and now in its second edition, will help you become immune to dark persuasion. Learn to use countermeasures to defend yourself against unethical persuasion and seduction tactics. Break any trance in which a salesperson is trying to get you to buy something not to your benefit. “Learn how to defend yourself against manipulation. Best book you’ll ever read to protect yourself, feel strong and move forward in your life. Highly recommended!” – Dr. JoAnn Dahlkoetter
Secrets of Awesome Dinner Guests: What Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King, Jr., Helen Keller, and John Lasseter Can Teach You About Success … (The Power of Your Personal Brand)
Imagine dining with Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King, Jr., Helen Keller, and John Lasseter. These seven people share one thing: They’re great communicators. So this book will help you become a great communicator. “Marcoux especially stresses the importance of personal branding, of coming across as trustworthy and dependable.” – Einar Masson
Learn how you can tap into your natural gifts and tendencies to radiate Three Types of Charisma. Discover how to influence people with your words. “Marcoux explodes this myth: Charismatic people always feel comfortable before and during an important event, such as public speaking, networking or some other social event. This book shows how you can feel discomfort but still come across as confident and charismatic.The secrets include ways to radiate all three forms of charisma Marcoux describes as Warm Trust Charisma, Natural Charm Charisma and Magnetic Charisma.” – Danek Kaus
You want wealth, abundance and enjoyment–yes? Wouldn’t it be great to learn the real strategies that the Rich use to create Sustainable Wealth? This book takes you behind-the-scenes to what really works. You’ll see a lot of myth-busting, and you’ll learn the strategies that get real results. “Tom Marcoux gives you an inside look on the psychology of what it takes to be successfully wealthy in life. It’s more than just taking advantage of opportunity, but also about taking care of yourself. This book discusses a number of strategies that we often overlook when it comes to leading a successful life that leads to wealth generation.” – Barry Adamson II
Would you like to Amaze yourself? This book helps you Get Stronger so you can Get It Done! You’ll learn how you can Get Credit for It! All three elements are crucial so you rise to a higher level of success and happiness. Think about it. If you get it done, but you’re a physical wreck—you lose. If you get things done, but you don’t Get Credit for It—you cannot get new clients. And, you’ll lose your current clients—if they don’t know, in their gut, how their lives are better because you’ve brought them significant benefits. Here’s a secret: You can unleash the Amazing You! Executive Coach Tom Marcoux helps you develop Extreme Confidence. “Tom Marcoux, once again, has written a book filled with practical insights and veteran business expertise that allows individuals to acquire the tools to balance personal and professional life. Tom’s wisdom possesses depth and the experience of someone who has ‘walked the walk.'” – Dr. Arthur Ciaramicoli
Are you needing more clients, but you’re failing to complete your marketing each week? Does standard selling turn you off, and you want to do something better? Here’s the good news: “Relax, You Don’t Have to Sell” introduces you to both The Process of Enrolling and Authentic Marketing. Rather than selling, you will learn the process of Enrolling. Develop Extreme Confidence in your communications and outreach activities. Use the essence of Enrolling which is “Don’t sell—Help.” Employ Supportive Listening so people resonate with what you offer. Develop actionable strategies and plans and Gain Clients Today! You Will Learn to: Develop Your Effective Marketing Message * Use powerful Video Marketing * Use Enrolling Methods for Your Website * Use Enrolling Methods for Blog/Enewsletter …. “Relax, You Don’t Have to Sell helps you get beyond traditional sales into the process of Enrolling. I love the fact that Enrolling really connects with the person’s challenge. You’re able to help the person and empower them at the same time. It doesn’t seem like selling; it’s an experience of serving.” – Christopher Salem, host of Sustainable Success Radio Show