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Investment Pitching Tips From The World Of Dating

Helen Chorley, investor and former investment banker, comments

He was actually quite tall. Taller than I remember thinking he would be. And very much nicer-looking than his photos. Ok he was hot. There’s always that moment when you first see someone in person and you think, did I actually look at their dating profile properly?! And if I did, were they telling the truth? It has to be said that most men (sorry guys) seem to lie about their height on their profiles because statistically, how can that proportion of people be over 6ft? Anyway when he walked in, I was keenly surprised, and not just at the height I must add. This feeling however was quickly replaced by the stomach-curdling devastation that I hadn’t made more of an effort myself! For some reason, to my mind, I had already sort of written him off before meeting him for the first date. I can’t remember why. And therefore, consciously or unconsciously, I looked as such. Very little effort had been made; no make-up, just casual clothes. I began to wonder if I had even brushed my hair.

You might think well, good for you! Best not to seem too keen! And for some people I’m sure that no-sell is absolutely a dating strategy. Attraction by alienation. Dating by detachment. However, since it’s not generally an approach I take in either business or life, I was even more uncomfortable to be seeming to be doing that now.

He approached with a great smile. Oh for goodness sake! Had I even checked the profile properly? When you’re putting yourself out there for ‘investment,’ you need to go through lots of profiles. It’s just the name of the game, fatiguing as that is. Could I be forgiven for overlooking this clearly very promising deal? I should have at the very least customised my look on this occasion. Well anyway, such thoughts would not alter events now. However, they certainly got me thinking how similar dating is to pitching for investment.

According to ‘science’ (ok a dating-site-sponsored blog that claimed to know the secret to it all) there are five stages of dating: attraction, reality, commitment, intimacy, and engagement. Makes sense. In investing, I’ve been shown time and again that not only do these five stages exist, but crucially for both parties, key steps are either missed, blundered, or their existence denied altogether. The result? The relationship becomes nothing more than a dating story in a Valentine’s PIN article by Helen Chorley.

How many times have we not gotten further than stage one? Or seen someone do a runner in stage four? Let’s take a closer look how this plays out in property. The first is obvious, attraction. I think of their shiny, beautiful investment pack. They knew that was good. They knew that would work on me! Me with my passion for a good deal with a good story, put together beautifully between those sheets! It’s a great start and I’m excited. Not a bad return. Could be better, but not a bad start on the face of it.

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