E3 Dealmakers Decoded — How to Build a Personal Connection in Long Sales Processes ft. Dan Giovacchini @ General Catalyst
“In an age of smartphones and social media, there is still nothing like building a personal connection. It may sound simple, but if you can get out of the office and meet in-person with key members of an account or deal, it can make all the difference when you approach the finish line.
In venture capital, deals can take months or even years to finally close. In the meantime, build personal connections with the stakeholders involved. Grab a coffee, go to a bar, catch a ballgame, meet up for a workout. While you’re there, just have fun. Instead of talking about how great you and your team are and why your business is the best, take a step back and simply have a conversation. Learn more about them. Be genuinely interested and curious. Keep the topic off of business and just be you. When it’s finally time to talk business, the conversation will be that much easier, and the level of trust you’ve built will be that much stronger.”
Dan Giovacchini started in investing at Accel Partners in Palo Alto before joining General Catalyst’s team in Cambridge. He tries to help founders think about turning products into platforms: What problems are solved for the customer? What additional services do customers use? How can their experience be improved?
Dan is a big believer in goal setting and fearless dreaming. He was born with moderate-severe hearing loss, but by setting sights high and embracing challenges, Dan became captain of the Brown University football team and graduated with a degree in Business Economics. Dan feels fortunate to share publicly his experiences with hearing impairment, sports, and overcoming obstacles in an effort to inspire others with physical disabilities.
While his days of blasting Phil Collins and Eminem in the locker room and tackling running backs are over, his big appetite and love for team competition remains. When not at General Catalyst, Dan can be found playing early morning pickup basketball, practicing on his guitar, or waterskiing at his family’s New Hampshire summer home on Lake Winnisquam.
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