Key Steps to Attracting a Family Office
When it comes to nailing a pitch with a Family Office, you have to be both confident and calm. It may feel like you need to be perfect, but progress is a more achievable goal. You’ll want to have the entire interaction feel natural, plus allow the Family Office to feel in control the entire time, where they’re the decision-makers and you’re simply guiding them through the process.
With this in mind, here are the key steps to attracting a Family Office:
Step #1: Send a thoughtful connection email. Cold emails to a potential Family Office can still work, but what’s better is getting an introduction from a mutual colleague. Then, you can take a more human approach, mentioning your mutual connection and a time to talk. Note: This is not the moment to make a hard sell. Your only goal is to get a phone or in-person meeting where you can lay out your offering.
Step #2: Do your research before the meeting. You’ve probably already done some of your research before the initial email, but once you have the actual meeting, you’ll want to drill down to what this Family Office is about: Where have they made their fortunes, what business principles they practice, and what are their core values? To best prepare for questions, make sure you understand your competition and what you are doing in relation to others in your field. It’s crucial to convey what makes your opportunity unique and valuable in a way that’s relevant to their background and interests. In addition, knowing their personal and professional belief systems and pain points will help you better pitch your potential partnership.
Step #3: Be unique. Family Offices receive exorbitant deal flow, so try to stand out in a way that really connects with the specific type of investor you’re trying to attract. Find methods to stay ahead of the trends and present opportunities in a new light. Your ability to summarize your position in the marketplace, unique value and benefits as to why someone should work with you into a single sentence is an indicator of your value and intention in your space.
Step #4: Build trust before, during and after the meeting. If the Family Office wants to be an investor, then walk them through the steps of that option. If they want to be more involved and have a seat on the board, illustrate what that would look like through examples and data. Be thorough and transparent with each road, and be as helpful as you can. Once trust is established, solidify your relationship with a solid private placement memorandum (PPM) that discloses the legal liabilities, explains the risk of losses and details the investment opportunity. These disclosure documents will show you’re serious and have nothing to hide.
Step #5: Remember to keep confident and cool. While it can feel like there’s a lot on the line in your meeting with a Family Office, thinking that way will not guarantee you’ll close with them; in fact, it can make you feel nervous and even appear desperate, which can transfer onto the Family Office representative you’re meeting with. Nothing kills a potential business relationship more than sensing desperation in the air. Preparing a clear pitch deck can keep you focused and on target. The pitch deck should include visual elements such as marketing slides, financial predictions and elaboration on who makes up your team. Having visual cues will help organize your presentation and keep you on target.
Step #6: After the meeting, follow up with the appropriate next steps. Stay in the driver’s seat with this potential transaction by being proactive. If you weren’t able to close at the meeting or at least get on track to closing, consider the objections in your way and how you can overcome them. This may include providing more data, being available by phone for questions at certain hours and introductions to experts on your team. Always be willing and available to travel, with face-to-face meetings acting as a crucial element of high-level transactions. There’s a good deal of back and forth in closing a deal, which takes persistence, so don’t get frustrated if the timeline goes slower than anticipated.
Building successful relationships with Family Offices takes time and persistence. Remain open to different approaches and don’t get discouraged if you don’t get an immediate response. The right relationship will come from your efforts, as long as you follow these guidelines.