Pitching to investors – the most common mistakes made by hedge funds

June 3, 2010

Many hedge funds could be better at pitching to investors.

From our work, helping teams pitch and persuade more effectively, we have identified the five  most common investment pitching mistakes:

1. Not understanding the investor. Too many people go out with a generic presentation and expect it to work for everyone.  You should personalise for each investor.  For example, their attitude to risk, their history of investing and their mandate will all drive how they listen to you.  By  understanding what matters to that investor you can become very persuasive.

2. Over-reliance on Power Point. While written materials are important, an investor pitch meeting is all about the people.  Don’t let your document drive the meeting.

3.  Too much focus on you. A good investment pitch is about the investor, not about you.  Let them be the centre of attention. Make it a dialogue.

4. Not clear enough. The most persuasive pitches are the simplest.  If you can’t make it easy for the investor then nobody can.  If your pitch is complex, what will your reporting will be like?

5. Lack of rehearsal. Rehearsals are for wimps? Tell that to Tiger Woods, David Beckham, Barack Obama, David Cameron and Richard Branson.

To get a great pitch together is not easy. For most people, a fresh perspective and a systematic approach to the pitch process is what is needed.

That is what we do at Benjamin Ball Associates.  We work with funds pitching for money.  We help them come across persuasively by analysing their processes and current performance, focusing on their messages, re-structuring their presentations, and training people to perform better in document preparation and in pitch meetings.

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