Gui Costin, Founder, Dakota
Picture this: you’re leaving a meeting with an institutional investor after doing outreach for months, and planning for the meeting itself for hours. The pitch went well, and they seem interested, even if your strategy is not an immediate fit for them. You shake hands, plan to keep communication flowing, and part ways again.
For some, this might sound like a best-case scenario. And it can be, if you follow up properly after said meeting.
However, many people in the investment industry — even seasoned veterans — often forget to do so entirely, or do so in a quick, forgettable way that is almost guaranteed to put them right back at square one: doing outreach and wondering what went wrong after a meeting that went so well.
We’ve all been there.
At Dakota, we believe in having a killer follow up system. We’ve been fundraising since 2006, and have raised over $35 billion since then. How? By following up, and then following up again. (And, a lot of strong relationships and hard work along the way.)
The fact is that institutional investors get so many emails that if you follow up just once, attach a standard PDF, and then move on, they are most likely going to miss it.
Stop sending emails into the ether, and develop a killer follow up system of your own. In this article, we’ll cover three of our best tips for following up after a meeting. By the end of the article, you’ll be able to craft an email that hits the mark, and helps you close business faster.
The key to this one is sending the follow up email the same day as the meeting.
Don’t wait! Send this email while your pitch is still top of mind for the people you met with, creating an open line of communication between your firm and theirs.
This email can include marketing attachments, but they shouldn’t be doing all the work. And, what’s more, the world is moving away from things like static PDFs. Investors increasingly want something that allows them to quickly and conveniently access all the information on your strategy. You can do this by directing them to your website, a video series, or other interactive media that give them all the information they need in one place.
This initial outreach should also include additional details surrounding questions the allocators asked during your meeting, or expanding on answers given while you were doing your pitch. This not only shows that you’re really considering their needs, but lays the groundwork for the relationship going forward.
A CRM is absolutely vital for easy follow-up and tracking after a meeting. Be religious about logging all information related to your activities, conversations and interactions with buyers. This is the when, what, where, and how that will allow you to create follow-ups that address an allocator's specific needs and stage in the buying process. This keeps your team organized, without letting anything slip through the cracks without follow up.
You can also use your CRM to create custom drop down menus based on the characteristics of the accounts you’re meeting with. This allows you to easily categorize those accounts in reports, and break up the information so you can quickly and easily take action on next steps, whether that’s sending an email or booking your next meeting.
Finally, create an opportunity for each account you meet with so that you can create opportunity reports broken down by name, title, email, and phone columns. This helps with additional organization, and allows you to sort by status, title, etc. when planning follow up outreach.
Create a general pipeline report and multiple pipeline reports per channel (Bank/BD, Consultant, RIA, etc.), so you can see how you’re progressing by channel. This will help keep you on track, and allow you to prioritize outreach.
Additionally, start creating meetings and call reports. You can break these reports up into meetings held within the last fourteen, thirty, and ninety days. This will give you a clear overview of the meetings and calls held and when for easy follow-up.
The key to creating these activity reports is reviewing them regularly and taking action. They are great reminders that you need to continue to follow up. At Dakota, we call these reports “sales triggers.” By reviewing your past activity, it triggers you to take an action in moving that relationship forward.
Success in sales is highly correlated to how well organized you are. Putting systems in place to keep yourself on track and organized is the best way to do that.
We’re all busy juggling meetings and outreach and prospecting. It’s easy for things to slip through the cracks, but they don’t have to. Start small. Create a repository of all the information allocators might want to review. This way, you have everything in one place, and can take action on the first point in our list. Next, get into the habit of creating opportunities for every meeting you have. Once you do that, you can start creating those informational reports, and making your outreach as streamlined as possible.
Don’t let another opportunity slip away needlessly. Start small, get organized, and set yourself and your team up for continued sales success.