How do I achieve an 85% closing rate with investment groups? I do. Ask for what you need not what you want.

Chris Knight
Aug 6 · 6 min read

A surprising statistic people discover with me is I am usually 8 out of 10 with investment groups. Sound impossible? It’s not impossible. I hear these statements like “You have to be said no to 100 times before 1 says yes.’’ Or “Thomas Edison failed 1,000 times before he made the light bulb.”

True prospective is what Thomas Edison actually said, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.” (Source: KYU)

Thomas Edison didn’t fail 1,000 times. Thomas discovered 1,000 steps to lead to one success. A failure would have been rolling out the light bulb to houses only to discover the light bulb overheats and burns houses down. Therefore there are no light bulbs in use due to their faulty designs.

If you are failing 100 times in a row or even 10 times in a row…you need to change what you’re doing. If you fail to adjust properly you might need to find someone to 1) teach you how to do it properly or 2) admit that you need help.

I play odds.

Telling someone that you have a 10% chance is not good. Telling someone you cannot even quantify your success in percentage (i.e. being said no to 100 times) is terrible. Increasing your odds to close starts with simple approaches that I touch on below.

PSYCHOLOGY

A good capital raiser understands human psychology. No person will do a deal because it is a great deal on paper.

Passive investors utilize financial managers to worry about something they do not understand. Active investors look to find people they “believe” in. Prudent investors look to identify people who are knowledgeable and deserve their trust. Aggressive investors look to see if they can enter an inner circle to capitalize where others are not included. Wealthy investors look to determine the highest possible chance of success. Wealthy investors are more interested in high success chances than astronomical returns. People who manage money are typically motivated by either 1) reputation or 2) greed. Money managers are very simple and straight forward people despite the 1000s of books out there on them.

Each person has their own frame of thinking.

Each person will have their quirks, personality traits and dynamics. The most important thing to recognize is what a good man named Greg Cardone says, “People do business with people they know and like.”

The latter being emphasized only when a person knows you.

WHAT YOU WANT

What you want is to be king or queen of the world. What you want is to have a 10% market share. What you want is to have a full staff to support your every wish. What you want is unlimited funding to test things out, quantify data, and adjust.

What you want is to be successful.

What you need is completely different.

People lose at capital raises because they do things like 1) put in a budget for a personal salary, 2) focus on personal financial stability instead of business stability, 3) fail to correlate dollars spent to dollars earned, 4) lack easy to understand revenue models, and 5) focus too much time on intangibles.

Intangibles are things like: 1) we will be the next big thing, 2) we will create a brand new market, 3) we are the first to do this, and 4) we will invent something never done before.

INTANGIBLES

Intangibles are real things. The issue is intangibles require a lot of money and resources. Intangibles are extremely risky.

To go to market with a brand new idea you need massive resources. You need supply chain relationships, a great existing reputation (usually), vendor partnerships, a good track record and some infrastructure in place (i.e. soft costs).

Funding is typically co funded by the founder and some key partners. Elon Musk started his rocket company by selling his tech company. The CEO of Waller Marine (company I am managing with HESCO) made his floating barge technology (never done before) by spending 190mm USD of his personal money. Jeff Bezos is launching his rocket company by selling 1bn of personal Amazon stock per year.

Are you tracking how these things actually get done?

Look anything is possible. There is an exception to every rule. Somewhere out there is that one person who defied the odds and made it. The issue is…that’s not the song I like singing. For every one person that made it a million drowned trying to make it. I play odds. Those are very unfavorable odds.

WHAT YOU NEED

What you need to do is be practical. Focus on the opposite of intangible. Focus on tangible items with measurable goals. It’s okay to add an intangible (so you have some excitement to your plan) but don’t stress it as the central point of your goal.

People need to think what they are doing is a good idea. People only think about something good when they feel good. You cannot make someone feel good by sporting a 1% chance of success.

If you are playing an odds game less than the chance of a coin flip you’re investor is better off gambling in Las Vegas. Never put your opportunity’s success chance in the same category of late night strippers, alcohol & gambling.

What you need to do is focus on 1) Asset Acquisitions, 2) Guaranteed Contracts for Services or Goods, 3) Intrinsic Value (the materials themselves can be salvaged), 4) personal compensation tied to profits (not your investor bank account), and 5) patents (if you are inventing something).

ODDS AT CLOSING DOES NOT EQUAL ODDS AT SUCCESS

A number of factors come into play to make a business successful. Full disclosure my success rates for business is not 85%. My personal business ventures are 7–5–1. I have won seven times out of thirteen. I have lost five times out of thirteen and tied once (i.e. I broke even neither gaining nor losing).

So I am far from perfect in my choices but do sport a winning record (at least). My win loss ratio is good too. One of my losses personally bankrupted me. The average millionaire goes bankrupt 3.5 times (Source: Millionaire Next Door) so I’m ahead of the game. I win way more than I lose (by about 4:1). With my recent involvement as manager for a new fund (and its support for a public private partnership) I am confident I will bump my record to 9–5–1. I am planning on logging a victory for the fund and one for the project I am actively involved in as Chief of Staff (HESCO GLOBAL).

Business is an animal that can never be tamed. You may believe it is domesticated but then it randomly attacks your family member to eat them.

When dealing with business ventures you must always be cognizant their nature is unpredictable. If you cannot dynamically adjust, change course with little preparation and create an entirely new plan (on the drop of a dime) you have high likelihood for failure.

To put things in prospective for every massive success, like Sequoia Capital’s investment in WhatsApp, there are four times as many deals that lead to massive loss.

The Kauffman Foundation has invested in VC firms for over 20 years. In 2012, Kauffman looked at the returns to discover firms returned only 1.31 times what was invested. If a few exceptional performers are stripped out, the return rate is reduced to far less. According to the Wall Street Journal 3 out of 4 startup businesses fail.

Remember closing an investor is not the same as making a successful business. The issue you face is you have no business without an investor. Give yourself a fighting chance by increasing your odds.

Focus on what you need what you want.

Hopefully this newfound knowledge will take you to a profitable future. Follow me on Medium or subscribe to my newsletter to learn more insightful advice.

To your knowledge success!

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About Christopher: Christopher Knight Lopez is a Professional Entrepreneur. Christopher has opened over 7 businesses in his 14-year career. Christopher’s purpose is to take advantage of various market-driven opportunities. Christopher is a certified Master Project Manager (MPM), Master Financial Planner (MFP) and Accredited Financial Analyst (AFA). Christopher previously held his Series 65 securities license. Christopher also has his General Lines — Life, Accident, Health & HMO. Christopher has managed a combined 286mm USD in reported Assets Under Management & Assets Under Advisement. Christopher has work experience in 29 countries, raised over 50mm USD for various businesses, and grossed over 7.5mm in his personal career. Christopher worked in the highly technical industries of: biotechnology, finance, securities, manufacturing, real estate, and residential mortgages. Christopher is a United States Air Force Veteran. Christopher has a passion for family, competitive sports, fishing, martial arts and advocacy for entrepreneurs. Christopher provides self-help classes for up-and-coming entrepreneurs. Christopher’s passion to mentor comes from belief that entrepreneurs need guidance. The world is full of conflicting information about entrepreneur identity. See more at www.christopherklopez.com.

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Chris Knight

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Christopher is a Professional Entrepreneur with over 13 years of experience, a Master Project Manager, Financial Analyst, & Master Financial Planner

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