191. The Purpose of the First Meeting

VC Minute
Just as the purpose of the deck is not to get a check, it's to get the first meeting. The purpose of the first meeting is...

VC Minute – quick advice to help startup founders fundraise better

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Eric Marcoullier:

The purpose of the first meeting is to get to the second meeting.

I have so many clients and so many people that they come to me with for fundraising advice, and they place such a huge burden on themselves. They want that first conversation with a VC to, I don’t know, somehow end with the VC whipping out their checkbook and saying, “So, that sounds great! How much do you want?”

We all know that that doesn’t happen. Getting a check, whether it’s a $25K check from an angel or whether it’s a $5 million check from a VC, doesn’t happen with one call. It happens with multiple calls.

You’ve already done, in many ways, the hardest possible thing: you’ve got a phone call with a VC. Your deck or your intro email, your warm intro—managed to get through the filter, and you’re having a first call. Give yourself a little bit of space and recognize that you’re not trying to convince the VC, in that moment, to give you money. You’re literally trying to convince them that you’re not an asshole and that you’re really smart about this market that you’re going after. And ultimately, you want to paint a huge opportunity.

Again, you’ve already done most of that work in that deck that you sent ahead. And so now all it is is reinforcing the opportunity, reinforcing that you’re somebody that they’d like to potentially work with.

So give yourself a little bit of space and don’t worry about anything else other than showing up as yourself and a great opportunity, and if you can get over that very low hurdle of, “I like this guy, I like this gal. I want to learn more,” then you’re likely to get another phone call. And that’s where you really start digging into the ins and outs of the execution. And that’s what leads to getting a check.

Rich Maloy:

Eric has such great advice. The one thing I would argue with from yesterday’s episode is that a VC’s job is not just to say no, a VC’s job is to socialize and say, no. But otherwise, that reframing of a VC’s job is very powerful and a great way to think about it.

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About Eric Marcoullier
Eric coaches first- and second-time tech CEOs, keeping their companies alive long enough to get lucky, figure out their business, find product/market fit and replace his ass with someone who knows how to scale companies beyond $5M in ARR. His work primarily involves challenging business assumptions, providing frameworks for new situations, and distilling complexity down to basic, actionable ideas. If you’d like to learn more about his coaching, visit www.marcoullier.com or www.linkedin.com/in/bpm140

About AVL Growth Partners
AVL Growth Partners, founded in 2009, is the leading fractional Finance and Accounting firm supporting organizations in pivoting from growth to scale. AVL brings an experienced team of CFOs, Controllers, and Accountants to your organization, delivering transparent, strategic actions for short and long-term success. Transform your financial approach affordably with AVL, supporting companies coast to coast – get to know AVL Growth Partners at avlgrowth.com. (Sponsored)

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