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Daily Nuggets: A For Impact Blog

The Irrational Investor


Not too long ago I was told on first visit with a prospect that we should not come back and see him until we had a folder ‘just like the one the boy scouts used on their campaign two years ago that was very successful’. On this same visit we were told we should then plan to visit with the prospect for about a year before we even thought about asking for money and that the way in which we illustrated return-on-investment (ie. impact) was not sufficient for him… we needed much more data.

He was what we call The Irrational Investor.

The Irrational Investor is the person that might ask for financials from seven years ago or some cost ratio that you (and nobody else) ever thought to compute.

The Irrational Investor prevents us from getting out and making visits because we keeping coming up with the next ‘but what if they ask this?’ question and answer. The WHAT IF’s quickly become irrational and never ending.

Here’s the thing. You WILL encounter The Irrational Investor. I can tell you I encounter the Irrational Investor about 1 out of every 40 visits. I can also tell you that you will never have enough information for the Irrational Investor so don’t worry about it. Stop preparing for the Irrational Investor and focus on getting to the other 39 that are going to be great.

Tip: The Irrational Investor is a lot easier to spot when you have 39 other visits for comparison.

When you DO come upon the Irrational Investor just smile… enjoy your thirty minutes and be polite. Enjoy it because you’re going to have a good story to tell… like the time that I met with this guy that wanted us to redo all materials (even though everyone else thought they were great) and do a lot more data crunching (which made no sense) and then keep courting him for a year.