Few days back I met an interesting entrepreneur who shared his journey with me. When he was looking out for angel investment (he runs a retail business which needed cash to start off), he approached pretty much all of his friends/angel investors and they all said
This idea isn’t going to fly. You shouldn’t waste your time on this.
The way he approached them was via statements like
I am planning to start this business. Would you be interested in investing?
While everybody starts evaluating your product and gives away feedback for free , this frustrated (and agitated) entrepreneur changed the track and said
Look. I am starting this business on <this> month/day. Will you be interested in funding a small amount? We need that for <xyz>. Our first store will be at <place>.
That changed the equation. Those who were giving away ideas for free, started asking relevant questions (what’s your working capital requirement like? how many stores in 4 months?). Within a few weeks, the company was able to raise a good amount of seed fund.
While this sounds like a commonsensical approach, most of us (specially entrepreneurs) do not follow it. Definitive statements send a strong signal that you are on the move – you have already decided, while wandering statements are open for (timepass) debates, which do not go anywhere.
Ofcourse, definitive statements call for planning, clarity and decision, i.e. homework you need to do before you approach others.
So next time you have a call-to-action, listen to what you are saying.