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Simplifying your investor sales pitch

Written by Genevieve Norton

March 28, 2017

Being able to articulately and convincingly ‘sell your story’ to the investment market is a critical role of any listed-company executive, whether the objective is to support a potential or current capital raising, increase trading liquidity or to expand the share register.

To help executives build their sales pitch, Citadel-MAGNUS highlights the three critical questions listed company executives must be able to answer in order to get an investor across the line.

QUESTION 1: WHY SHOULD I INVEST IN YOUR COMPANY NOW (OR NOT SELL)?

The main objective of your sales pitch is to create some excitement and convince an investor to make an investment now. Investors expect to be provided with a compelling reason why the investment opportunity you’re selling is better than others they may be considering.

As such, the listed company executive must clearly explain the opportunities it sees to grow their business, whether it be by increasing sales/revenue, securing new contracts, making the next big discovery, or breaking into new markets.

You must be able to convince the investor that the market will revalue your stock once certain milestones have been achieved, and that by not investing now, investors may be missing out.

You must be able to answer:

  • What are the opportunities for growth?
  • Can you demonstrate to me a clear and actionable strategy to capture the opportunities?
  • What are the near term value creation milestones?
  • How will you deliver a return on my capital greater than the other investments I am considering?
  • Why can’t I wait to make an investment?
QUESTION 2: WHAT ARE THE RISKS?

Having painted the picture of the potential upside, investors will want to know what could go wrong and how the listed company intends to manage the various risks.

While there will always be unforeseen risks that nobody can predict, a listed company executive needs to be able to be frank, upfront and articulate the known risks to the growth plan.

Executives must be honest, transparent, and be careful not to mislead.

Critical questions to be prepared for include:

  • Does your board and management team have the necessary skills and experience to deliver on what you’ve promised? (and prove it to me)
  • Do you have sufficient capital, or is there a risk you’ll need to raise capital and dilute my shareholding?
  • How dependent are you on third parties/approvals/luck for contact wins/sales?
  • How real is the geographic/political risk of where you’re operating?
  • Are you or might you be exposed to any legal/regulatory issues?
  • How do you intend to address any macroeconomic headwinds?
QUESTION 3: WHY SHOULD I TRUST YOU WITH MY MONEY?

Finally, and most critically, it is important to remember that investors consider executives of listed companies to be custodians of their capital. They need to be convinced that the company will be honest, diligent and have the necessary skills, experience and industry connections to get the job done.

You must be able to answer:

  • Does the board and management have the necessary skills and experience?
  • Demonstrate how you’ve created value for shareholders in the past?
  • Who else is on the share register, and why are they invested?
  • Do you have adequate corporate governance and risk management procedures in place?
  • Does the board/management own stock in the company, and if so, how much?

Keeping the answers to these three questions in mind during investor meetings, and ensuring you can answer them, should lead to more productive meetings and better positioning of your story in the market.

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