One thing all entrepreneurs have in common, regardless of background or industry, is that at one time or another, they gave a spectacularly bad pitch. As unpleasant as it may feel in the moment, rejection is a necessary step along the path to lasting success. Here are three things you should keep in mind after making a failed pitch to a venture capitalist.
Not getting a yes doesn’t mean the answer is no
As this Entrepreneur piece points out, most venture capitalists don’t invest as quickly as the panel on Shark Tank. If you don’t get a financial commitment in the room, it doesn’t mean that the people you’re meeting with aren’t interested. You may need to take several meetings with the same VC firm over an agonizingly long period of time before you get a yes. It’s important to keep in mind that you wouldn’t be invited back for a second meeting if the people on the other side of the table didn’t think you have potential.
The power of listening
Unless the pitch you just made was actively insulting, the VCs you met with will be happy to give you feedback. It may come in the form of a critique about your presentation style or a more substantive criticism of your business model. Either way, you should try to record what you’re being told because you won’t be in any shape to remember everything that’s being said. Even if you don’t get funding, you may get a crucial piece of advice that will inform the way you do business going forward.
Getting up off the mat
In an essay that will likely be cringe-inducing for anyone who has ever made a pitch, O’Reilly Alphatech Ventures co-founder Bryce Roberts describes the worst pitch he’s ever given in excruciating detail. More importantly, he explains how he was able to recover from such a devastating failure, and how he was able to develop a strategy that secured him funding from the same people he once embarrassed himself in front of so thoroughly. While not every entrepreneur has access to the resources Roberts was able to call upon, his story serves as an object lesson in the one quality anyone hoping to succeed in business needs to possess — resilience in the face of adversity.
This article was written by Mario McKellop for Small Business Pulse