In all my years of doing business, I’ve met with a lot of investors locally and internationally. They are mostly uber rich, good-mannered, easy to talk guy and they love to share their knowledge (not their money). They look like an average guy, but usually with a fancier suit. They are NOT SCARY AT ALL. They’re nice people.
But being nice is a problem as well. When I pitch to them, I rarely hear they say things like: “No, we don’t like the idea”, or “No, That will never work”. What happens is usually they listen for a minute or two and then find an excuse to go and say: “Ok that’s nice. good luck!” or “Ok, we’ll contact you later” and smile. This is troublesome. Imagine a person with a sucky idea, try to pitch to investors and all they say is that it’s nice. That person will keep thinking that his idea is not sucky and therefore waste more time developing the sucky idea into something that’s usually sucky-er. All the while keep calling the investors to for confirmation whether they would actually invest in that person or not, which usually end in emails un-replied and phone calls unanswered.
I know it’s rude to blatantly say “Dude hell no, your idea suck” but really if you do that, you’re actually being nice to the guy. If that person knew the idea suck, he/she will ask what’s wrong with it and you as an investor with your knowledge can tell him how to fix it, or tell him to just dump the idea. That would save a lot of that person’s time and your time as well.
From all of my pitching experiences, there’s only 2 Investors out of a dozen that actually said NO explicitly and in person. Here’s their exact words: “No, The deal is off”, and “No, I don’t believe this will work”. Those are harsh words but I accept it with open arms, they’ve found holes in my idea and thought that it won’t work with the current condition.Yes rejection hurts, but I learned my mistakes and move on to another pitching session after fixing all the holes they mentioned.
It’s hard to say no, I know. It might offend the person or worst, that person can get angry at you (yeah I’ve heard some news of that). But in the end the choice is clear: Do you want to be a nice guy at first and a jerk later on for wasting their time? Or do you want to offend that person now and let the person renew the idea. Who knows, maybe that new idea is exactly the one you’re looking for.