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10 telltale signs of an investor’s “No"

Plus: A guide on how to handle common sales objections

Welcome back to another edition of Tech Creator!

This week, we’re looking at decoding investors’ rejections, HiBob, how to handle common objections in sales, and a cool tech throwback on Oppenheimer. 💣

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Learning the secret “No-s” of investors

As a startup, securing investors is something that is very, very important.

But of course, securing an investor is no easy feat. It takes a lot when it comes to investors, including knowing when they’re saying something else, but actually meaning “No”. 

1. No Pushback or Hard Questions

It’s simple, really. If someone is interested in something, you can tell by the questions they ask, and if they ask NONE at all.

If an investor is not interested, they won’t be bothered with learning more about your startup. 

2. No Introductions to Their Network

Investors will often want to make sure they’re making the right decision. This involves them asking for experts or people they know for their opinion.

They will often introduce you to their network, so if they don’t, it might be a “no”. 

3. No Feedback

An important sign to show that an investor cares about your company and is heavily invested.

If they don’t offer constructive feedback, then they are most likely not interested. 

4. Not Selling You Their Firm

If they are interested, they will definitely take a few minutes out of the call or meeting to brag about their firm.

They are interested in offering and they want you to know what they can offer. 

5. No Blind Reference Checks

This is very similar to not introducing them to their networks.

Investors often like to talk to people who know you, about you and your startup. They will want to hear from people they know (often not the references you’ve given) because they trust these sources.

If you’ve heard that they’ve been asking around about you, there is a good sign that they are interested. 

6. You’re Stuck With Junior Partners

You can’t seem to get to the GP. This probably means:

  • They have mentioned you and the GP isn’t interested

  • They’ve mentioned you but they’ve done a poor job of selling your startup

  • They did not mention you because they think the GP may not be interested

7. Valuation Becomes A Big Deal

If they are truly interested, valuation would not be their main issue or focus, because if your startup happens, every party will be happy.  

8. Silence After A Meeting

Most firms have an SOP in place for what to do after a call, and investors who are interested in you will definitely call.

If you don’t hear from them, there is no update on what the next steps are or if their answer is vague when you follow up, there is a chance you may not hear from them at all. 

9. They Ask For Information .. Too Much

Asking for questions is a good sign, but asking too much without any indication that they will be moving forward might just be a case of an investor fishing for information.

Of course, there is a chance that they might be interested after all, but be sure to know when to share too much and too little. 

10. They Weren’t Prepared For The Call

If you’ve sent a deck and they haven’t read it, and they seem to be clueless during the call, then they are most likely not interested.

If someone is interested, they would at the very least, read your deck and will most definitely come to the call packed with questions for you. 

So, there you have it.

Ways to know how an investor is not interested, even if they don’t directly tell you “No”. Knowing when a deal isn’t going to work out can help you follow-up better, or save you from wasting precious time. 

Good luck with your startup!


HiBob launches new ATS product

HiBob just launched Bob Hiring this week!

The Scoop

HiBob, a modern HR management platform that provides HR tools and services for onboarding, compensation management, workflows, performance management, and payroll, just introduced Bob Hiring, their new applicant tracking system (ATS) that connects hiring and recruiting to their HiBob platform earlier this week. 

According to the company, the new Bob ATS prioritizes candidate experiences and links recruiting and hiring efforts to insights from the Bob Workforce planning solution.

For example, target-versus-actual hires, sourcing of hire, and sourcing channel spend.

What Does Bob Hiring Do?

HiBob co-founder and CEO Ronni Zehavi said; “Having the right people to grow any business is crucial, and with a bounty of job opportunities available, it is becoming more and more difficult to attract, hire, and retain.”

Bob Hiring is able to use real-time insights to help Talent Acquisition (TA) teams connect to overall workplace planning and unravel how hiring impacts other people-related business outcomes. 

It also helps HiBob erase the need for single-point solutions for the variety of different areas of HR.

Bob Hiring, according to HiBob, is also highly customizable to allow HR personnel to self-configure their tracking preferences.

The Plan

HiBob is seriously focused on streamlining HR solutions and aims to be an all-in-one solution. They are hoping to deliver a “consumer experience” for both recruiters and applicants on the front end of the platform.

For example, apart from introducing Bob Hiring, just earlier this year, the company acquired a UK-based payroll platform called Pento for $40 million in order to be able to offer payroll services. 

Ronni Zehavi concludes the idea behind their aim perfectly in a press release on Bob Hiring’s launch:

“Today’s competitive landscape demands a holistic approach to planning, talent acquisition, and human capital management.”


Handling commonly heard objections

As a sales representative, you will be facing objections almost every single day, if not every day. 

Knowing how to face an objection is crucial, but its even more important to know how to handle an objection. 

Knowing how to handle an objection may just turn another “no” into a solid, winning “yes”.

There are four types of rejection you must know how to handle:

  1. “Not A Priority”

Whenever a prospect says “not a priority”, there might be a few influencing factors: 

  • They are not the right person with decision-making authority

  • They are swamped with work and cannot pay attention to other things

  • They are unsure if they are cleared to take on new initiatives 

Suggested way to tackle: Check if the prospect sees value in the future. This acknowledges their busy schedule and gauges future interest.

  1. “I Was Just Researching”

Whenever a client comes back with this line, there might be a few reasons why:

  • They were actually researching

  • They don’t remember that they reached out

In this situation, what can you do as a sales rep? You must make sure to know about the marketing content’s subject matter and the reason why a client may be interested in the topic. 

This way, the following follow-ups could be implemented

  • What motivated you to research [topic]?

  • Identify common problems and see if they resonate.

  • Ask about their current approach if the content relates to a common challenge.

  1. “I’m Not The Right Person”

Sometimes, they really aren’t the right person, but sometimes they are. 

“When you say you’re not the right person, is that because you’re not involved in [the process your solution would touch] or because someone else at the organization would be a better person to reach out to?”

Now, there can be two answers. If they say they are not involved, you can ask them for the right person to reach out to. If they say they are but that there is a better person to deal with, ask them either one of the following two questions: 

  • “What’s your involvement with that process?” or 

  • “How are you involved in that process?” 

The key is to keep the conversation going till you get the answers you’re looking for. 

  1. “Take Me Off Your List”

Here are a few reasons why they could be saying this: 

  • They’re not the right person or they are not decision-makers

  • They are the right person, but they don’t want to be disturbed

  • They are the right person, but they are not empowered

  • They’re not involved and they have no influence

While this seems like a dead end, it is not the time to give up!

Suggested way to tackle: Confirm removal reason (not involved, not interested) while removing them from the contact list.

Again, this approach can help a sales rep: 

  • Accept the objection

  • Keep the conversation going

  • Gauge the situation better and possibly help lower the client’s defences by showing them that they are heard

Objections, objections

As a sales leader, it is important to equip your team with the right tools, especially against tackling a situation that they may face every day as a sales rep. 

Sometimes they’ve already got the skills to close a deal, and helping them navigate a simple “no” could go a long way. 

Latest tech news

Tech Throwback: April 22, 1904

We’re sure everyone knows him by now. 

On April 22, 1904, world renowned American theoretical physicist and science administrator J. Robert Oppenheimer, was born. 

He is best known as the “father of atomic bombs” and served as the director of the Manhattan Project's Los Alamos Laboratory (1943–45) during the development of the atomic bomb.

The work at the Los Alamos Laboratory plays a pivotal role in bringing an end to World War II. 

That’s all for Tech Creator this week. See you next week! 👋