The Fund Manager… On The Road Again
As we enter the final quarter of 2018, some managers are on their last round of roadshows for the year, and others are just a few days / weeks away from embarking on theirs.
20 different cities over a 4-5 week period right up to end-Nov? It’s the reality for managers looking to reiterate their fund’s value proposition + investment opportunities to prospective investors and analysts around the world. For some, the thought of it makes a rash break out. For others, it’s a massive adrenaline rush that is welcomed.
Regardless of how one feels, there are two common truths:
Going on the road takes up a big chunk of the annual calendar for many; it’s a big ‘man-hours’ commitment in one’s capital raising efforts.
Most people want more meetings scheduled prior to the roadshow.
“Failing to plan… planning to fail?”
Definitely not a fair statement for any manager on a roadshow. But “failing to plan better?” - there’s always room for improvement and that starts many weeks prior to going on the road.
You should be able to key up a segment of your audience with the stroke of a few buttons. Rather than having to build onerous amounts of reports to pull up the right segments of people, and then find out later that a third of the names in there are no longer valid (i.e. retired, moved on to a new job, etc.). This allows you to quickly map out LPs that you want to target both prior to being on the road, and in event that you need it when traveling.
If you’ve been doing this right for a long enough time, you’ll have built up a solid sales pipeline that reminds you which LPs have demonstrated some interest in your core value proposition, and which ones warrant a direct email prior to your arrival.
Start your outreach 2-4 weeks in advance. Assuming that you’ve been communicating on a regular basis (be it with monthly updates or quarterlies), your golden window for setting up meetings starts around 2-4 weeks prior to a desired meeting. Using lead scoring, web tracking, and video/PDF tracking, people who you call will be more receptive to you, and more likely to agree to meet.
You should have automated sequences ready. For the few weeks that you’re going at Mach-2 between airports, meetings, and a hotel room, you don’t have time to be both putting new leads in your pipeline, and following-up with each LP as they engage with your material. Prepare follow-up emails, workflows, and alerts that help you to be engaged with all LPs as they flow through the sales cycle.
There are some things, however, that still can’t be fully automated. A personalized “thank you” to everyone you met (don’t forget about materials requested!), and an invite to connect on LinkedIn. Get ‘home base’ to help you out - they need to be pushing the right buttons for you as you’re moving around from meeting to meeting.
Roadshows - when done effectively - are a great way to develop new relationships, strengthen existing relationships, and ultimately raise capital. But they can also be an absolute waste of time if not approached correctly. One encounters friends and enemies when on the road… there are ways to make more friends.
By Alan Chu