I just wanted to share a story about a call I had early on in my search process. It wasn’t the best one yet but I still learned some!
Searchfunder has been a great community where I’ve learned so much, made wonderful connections, and read some great search-related stories. I’m ecstatic to have recently launched a traditional partnered fund, and we’ve officially started our search just weeks ago. Very excited!
Since this a great place to share not only the good but also the bad and the ugly, then please allow me to share the humor that was a recent call I had. It was one of the wildest, weirdest, cringiest introduction calls I’ve had in a very long time, this one with a business owner. Actually, it was his associate of no introduction, some###-###-#### years his junior, who apparently joined at the last minute to “hear what this is all about”. Apparently not a fan of private equity or any banking type of person, place, or thing, he started the video call (several mins late) with “ok, we don’t have much time, tell me how you choose your investments” before I got a chance to say hello.
When I began my introduction -- which usually avoids any mention of private equity or fund -- he cut me off with “you must have done your homework on us, so tell me, what’s our valuation?” He then, very annoyed, began to harass me to find out the names and net worths of our investors (multiple times). He kept probing and even asked at the end, “who are they, just a rich uncle? [condescending laughter]
About 20 mins followed of being constantly interrupted, hearing boasts about their numerous multi-million dollar businesses and getting talked down to about not having a track record and even about having gotten an MBA. He did, however, so considerately offer a “coaching session” as apparently many, many young business people reach out to him online for coaching.
I found this all almost refreshing, and I loved the experience of having such a call to learn a few things: a) be prepared for anything on these calls b) you won’t win them all c) don’t be afraid to politely say early on, “hey, it looks like this just won’t be the perfect match, let’s call it a day.”
I actually left that call with a huge smile, as it was a great reminder that I’m still getting to do something so unique, interesting, fun, and challenging. I’m enjoying this so far and grateful to have the backing of a great group. Onto the next!
Has anyone experienced anything similar? Intro call best practices/things to avoid? Please feel free to share any thoughts.