This seems like an obvious one but you’ll be surprised how many startups fail to get past the first meeting due to this issue.
In the eyes of the investor, if I am going to spend a lot of time with you but I don’t like you as a person, it’s just not going to happen: why would I choose to spend time with you if you make me feel uneasy?
But whilst you want a sexy pitch (think: the first 30 seconds on a date are crucial for making a good impression or not), you also need to be able to go into the nitty gritty details to back it up: monthly revenue growth and forecasts, your customer acquisition and operating costs and of course, your margins; make sure you understand what drives your cash flow!
Time is always your most valuable asset, so don’t waste it.
Just like when you decide to ask someone out for a date, it is (hopefully) because you have gathered enough information about this person to know that it is worth hanging out with him or her.
Do know when and how much you need and how and when you want to ask for it: be clear on your funding objectives.
Nothing is more annoying than asking the obsolete – in both, fundraising and in dating, it simply conveys you didn’t care or engage enough.
Your story needs to be sound – what problem in the market am I solving, how am I solving it and how will I grow and survive doing it: your raison d’être.