It’s a no-brainer that advice from Vijay Anand can immensely help your startup. He’s one of the best startup gurus to get in touch with if you want to set yourself up for success with your new startup.
But, Anand gets tons of pitches everyday. So, you need to convince him to offer you his advice or assistance.
That’s not too difficult, unless you make pitching blunders that’ll piss him off in addition to every other investor or mentor.
The best part is that Anand himself has shared what he doesn’t like in pitches on several of his LinkedIn posts and articles. And, knowing about these mistakes and designing your pitch or questions accordingly might help you hit the bull’s eye.
To help you further, we’ve compiled most of them in this article so you need not scour his LinkedIn posts. So, read on. And, don’t skimp on the conclusion; it offers the best advice.
#1: Don’t Send Him a Template Pitch
Your should customize your pitch and make it easy-to-read. Don’t send him a templated pitch; he finds that rude and even barbaric.
But, what should your pitch entail?
Anand shared in a LinkedIn post that he only wants entrepreneurs to pitch him a solution if they strictly qualify for one of these two scenarios:
- He openly asked for help and suggestions about addressing a need and you have solutions or inputs for that need .
- You know what Anand does and identified something he is obviously missing and you have a near sure affirmation that your solution is in his best interest.
If neither of the above two scenarios are fulfilled and you’re blatantly pitching, you’re a Neanderthal in the modern world. Evolve, fast.
#2: Don’t Pitch Him without Doing Your Homework
According to Anand, every entrepreneur should get their priorities right: business first and capital second.
He does not want to be asked questions for which you could have find the answers yourself. For example, “How do I raise funding?” That’s a red flag and Anand will simply put your pitch aside.
Anand looks for mentorship characteristics in entrepreneurs to ensure they are worth receiving his advice.
You can discuss your startup and how it can transform the industry in which you operate or can change people’s lives for however long you want, but none of that will make sense to Anand if you can’t reply to the questions he asks you.
And, don’t say (or even believe) that you’ll figure it out later. That never happens in reality.
#3: Don’t Creep for Free Advice
All good things come at a cost. This also holds true for Anand. He charges for his time to give feedback on your new startup idea or to give advice about something related to your business.
You might be wondering: If he offered 100% free advice for the last 12 years, why has he suddenly moved to a paid approach?
Well, Anand indicated in one of his articles on LinkedIn that he had come across a lot of aspiring entrepreneurs who are all talk and no action. They had wasted Anand’s time, discussing ideas without any plans to execute until a couple of years later. That pissed him off.
However, he still offers free advice for 15 minutes. If you require more time to discuss your startup via a phone call or in person (i.e., you require his attention in real time), you need to book a slot.
In such cases, make sure you send Anand an overview of your startup so that he can do his own research. In this way, he’ll be able to back up his opinions with reports and numbers to make the session even more effective.
Remember, time is money. Value your time as well as his.
#4: Don’t Contact Him if Your Sole Purpose is Raising Funds
Don’t make the mistake of asking Anand, “How can you help me with funding?”
He simply won’t help with funding if your sole purpose is to raise funds. This is a mistake many entrepreneurs make.
However, if you want his help in building your business and along the way you require capital, then he might help.
But, in his LinkedIn article, Anand says that more than anything you need to learn to respect capital. The key to raising capital is to present an opportunity. The opportunity should consist of a plan, make business sense, and have some sense of exclusivity.
The tips shared by Anand is not only applicable to pitching your startup to him, but also to all investors or mentors. Here’s a quick checklist that you can follow while pitching to him:
- Do your homework so that you can answer most (if not all) of Anand’s questions.
- Seek his advice for building your startup and don’t just ask him for assistance with raising funds.
- Book a slot and be ready to pay for it, if you want his attention for more than 15 minutes.
- Send him a customized pitch that shows him your startup is in his best interest.
And, as promised at the beginning, here’s the best advice: Be so brilliant that Anand can learn from you and he would help you without you even having to ask for help.
That does not mean you have to be an IITian or IIMian. Just don’t be parasitic in nature and chase a fad.
So, are you planning to pitch Vijay Anand or have you done so already? Do you have any questions or insights to add? Please feel free to leave your comments below; we would love to hear from you.