5/3/2021 Tip: FBI Hostage Negotiator’s Tips for Raising Funding

Today’s Quote

“Every choice you make has an end result.”
~ Zig Ziglar


Today’s Tip

Looking for money for your business?

Well, you may want to take some advice from an FBI hostage negotiator.

That’s right. I recently read an article detailing the chronicles of a former FBI hostage negotiator, and noticed several parallels between hostage negotiations and raising money.

Here are the key lessons and parallels:

  1. Determine what is a negotiable situation and what is not
    In the infamous 1993 Waco, TX negotiations, it was determined that leader David Koresh would not negotiate and that the only way to save lives was via raiding the compound.

    When raising money, you’ll learn that some investors are interested in your venture, and others aren’t. You generally are going to have a really tough time changing the minds of investors who initially are not interested in you. So when this is the case, move on.

  1. Everyone on your team who communicates to the other side is a negotiator
    This is a really interesting point. If any FBI agent communicates with the other side (even if it’s not the leader of the FBI team), it is treated by the other side as an official communication. As you can imagine, lots can go wrong here.

    Likewise with raising money. If you have a team, investors will surely ask questions to the other team members. Make sure you are all on the same page and have the same vision and answers to key questions.

  1. What the other side sees is key
    In Waco, TX, the FBI agents said they wanted to peacefully negotiate. But when David Koresh looked out the window, he saw tanks. Clearly, this visual didn’t match the message the FBI was trying to send him.

    The same holds true when raising money, you need to match and support your claims. If you say that customers are going to love your solution, provide testimonials from prospective customers. If you say that you’re going to progress your company week after week, then make sure to follow up with investors every week after your initial meeting to keep them aware of your progress (and actually make real progress).


Today’s Resource

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Today’s Question: 19th century American businessman Aaron Montgomery Ward is credited with the invention of what type of business that would have made the postal service happy?

Previous Question: The name of which company was initially proposed as “Pequod,” but the idea was retracted when someone said “No one’s going to drink a cup of Pee-quod!”?

Answer: Starbucks.

Starbucks’ founders apparently had a thing for Moby Dick, as “Pequod” is the name of the main ship in the novel.

The original name idea was scrapped after someone close to the founders stated, “No one’s going to drink a cup of pee-quod!” They settled instead on the name Starbucks, after Captain Ahab’s first mate in the same book.

Make sure you spend time thinking about your company’s name and the names of your products and services. At the absolute minimum, make sure they are easy to say and spell. Ideally, your names are memorable and connote the precise image you are trying to portray.

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