In venture capital, the art of deal-making is often overshadowed by the numbers game.
However, the essence of a truly successful venture capital strategy lies in something more fundamental and human: building genuine relationships.
The mantra, “The best deals come from people you actually take the time to get to know and become friends with,” is not just a feel-good statement, it’s a pragmatic approach to business.
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In a field where trust and insight are paramount, the quality of your connections can make or break your success.
Viewing every interaction as merely transactional— a quid pro quo of deal-sharing—reduces these relationships to mere utilities.
This begs the question: If your interactions are purely transactional, why would anyone choose to send their best deals your way?
Getting to know people on a personal level opens doors to insights that are otherwise inaccessible.
When you invest time in understanding someone’s background, their business philosophy, and their aspirations, you’re not just building rapport, you’re also gaining a deeper understanding of their judgment and decision-making process.
This knowledge is invaluable in venture capital, where the subtleties of a founder’s vision or the nuances of a startup’s potential can be the difference between a mediocre investment and a home run.
Consider the story of a VC firm that landed a groundbreaking deal with a tech startup.
The key to this success was the personal bond that had been formed over years between the lead investor and the startup’s founder. They met at a tech conference and, instead of diving straight into business, they connected over shared interests.
This friendship allowed the investor to gain early insights into the founder’s vision and passion, which eventually led to a successful and profitable partnership.
Engage Beyond Business Topics: When meeting people, talk about interests outside of work. This could be anything from hobbies to favorite books. It helps in understanding the person behind the professional facade.
Follow Up and Follow Through: If someone mentions a personal milestone or a challenge during a conversation, make a note to follow up on it. This shows that you value them beyond their business utility.
Offer Help Without Immediate Expectation: If you come across an opportunity that can help someone you know, offer it without expecting an immediate return. This goodwill often comes back in unexpected and valuable ways.
In venture capital, the richness of your network is determined not just by the number of contacts you have, but by the depth of your relationships with them.
Moving beyond a transactional mindset to genuinely getting to know people can lead to not just better deals, but also a more fulfilling and respected career in the industry.
For more insights into venture capital strategies, don’t forget to check out the original article at confluence.vc/venture-capital-takeaways-2023.