Hi Jacob - congratulations on having success with your first pitches.
"Some kind of follow up" is, in general, a good idea. Your primary goal is
to build on the relationship(s) that you initiated with your pitch, which
is only going to happen if they meet with you again. Always try to gauge
interest in a follow up meeting while you are still at the first one. If
there's none, there's still no harm (and possibly some benefit) in doing
what I propose next, but you can focus your attention on other targets.
You should follow through on anything you've promised, do it in a way that
does not waste your correspondents' time, and demonstrate your business
acumen in process. How? I'm sure you have gotten a lot of great advice
already, but here is what I would suggest:
I would write a thank you note to the person who brought together the
people at the pitch, because there is no greater gift to an entrepreneur
than connecting him/her to the right audience. If you want to stand out,
send a real letter instead of an email. Write it by (legible) hand on
decent but not expensive stationery. Such a letter will not get lost in a
crowded inbox the way that email can.
Answer any questions that you couldn't answer during the pitch,
*especially* if you promised an answer in some specific time frame (e.g.,
"What are you doing about xyz issue?" "That's an interesting question. Let
me find out about that and get back to you next week." (as tempting as it
may be, never lie and never mislead - your integrity matters much more than
appearing to have all the answers)). To stand out, keep that answer short
and to the point. Answer only the question asked. Provide a link to
references, as appropriate, but don't make the recipient do the work of
reading through a bunch of information in order to draw the conclusion you
want. Respect their time.
I probably wouldn't bother with a summary of the points discussed - it was
their job to summarize the takeaways of the meeting at the time. If they
didn't get those points at the meeting, they weren't interested. Instead, I
might send an attachment (if via email) or a doc (if via snail mail) with
an executive summary (at most two sides of one page). The difference is
that this doc can be referenced as an easy reference about *your* company,
while your summary is a reference of *their* meeting. Also, your goal is to
get another meeting, so you don't want to provide all the info they could
want, just enough of it that they want to know more.
If you do the exec summary, it should NOT be 9 pt font crowding every
square inch on the page. It will never get read. Instead, reduce your
in-person pitch to a single page of minimal writing and include plenty of
graphics that are easy to understand and reasonably professional-looking
(do NOT forget to include contact info on this doc!!!). The idea is not to
educate with this doc but to pique interest. Sending it to the people at
your pitch will give them ready collateral to pique interest in their
colleagues. For all you know, the audience you had for the initial pitch
might not be interested, but they might know someone in their network who
would be. A great exec summary makes it easy for them to make a good
I use 10 questions to frame every pitch that I coach. Of these, I would
pick the top three to five for which you have the most robust answers and
include them in your executive summary (or elevator pitch, for that
matter). The three that I would *always* reference in any initial pitch,
short or long, written or verbal, are:
1. Who cares? Market pain, market size, customer.
2. What do you do? Your secret sauce, in language a layperson can
3. Why are you better? Competitive advantage in terms of benefits (not
The next seven questions are of varying importance depending on the stage
of your company, industry, and purpose of the pitch, but those three are
core to any value proposition.
I would also bear in mind that if you have to be very persistent in
following up with an investor, they aren't that interested and you'd be
better off finding someone whose investment goals align more closely with
the needs and opportunities of your startup. I.e., kick butt at the first
meeting and if they show no interest in a follow up meeting, follow up once
and then drop it if there's no real excitement on their part.
Hope that's helpful!