The pitch: 3 questions to ask before leaving the room

Your pitch couldn’t have gone any absolutely nailed it.  Now what?  

Well, the answer to that is definitely, not…”sit back and wait.” 

If you ask the following three questions before walking out of the room, you should know exactly your next steps. 

1. What concerns do you still have that I didn’t adequately address?  

This is a presumptuous question.  And a somewhat negative one at that.  You are presuming that they have further concerns even though they have already asked questions.  Most people will tell you not to take a risk and ask that question.

Here’s why I disagree... 

The reality is – unless they tell you that a check is on its way, they have something to discuss (or they are not interested and have already moved on).

And when they do, they will bring up whatever concerns they have – but you won’t be in the room to address them. 

Be direct – but do it gracefully.  By admitting that you understand that there may be lingering concerns, they feel a bit more obligated to open up to you.  You are unlikely to get another opportunity.

2. What is your decision process?

You need to know what is required to obtain a commitment.

Everyone has a process.  Some are more formal and organized than others.  Understanding it is valuable so that you know where and when to push in order to expedite things. 

I can't tell you how many people have told me they are interested...and then made me regurgitate the story to 4 analysts (all of whom had their own decision processes).

3. May I call you next [insert date and time here] to follow-up?

By getting their consent in advance, you are effectively starting the clock on their process.  They are also more likely to take your call because it is expected (or more accurately – your call won’t come as a complete surprise). 

When you send a “thank you” email after the meeting, you can then cite this date as a more official action item.  This is also a good opportunity for a very short (like - three bullet points…tops) recap to keep things fresh. 

By JD David