For UK and European businesses used to western business practices, pitching to Chinese or Asian investors can often be a very different experience. We talked to Sally Maier-Yip at 11K Consulting, one of the experts within the Crayfish.io network, to see how Chinese and Asian investors are different from their western counterparts and what are the DOs and DON’Ts when it comes to dealing with them.
Crayfish.io: How are Chinese/Asian investors different from their western counterparts?
Sally: The major difference is that Chinese/Asian investors are generally younger than those in the West. They may have inherited wealth from their parents in their 50s or 60s and are now managing the family wealth in their late 20s or 30s. As a result, the mentality of Chinese/Asian investors can be very different. Chinese/Asian investors are actually very forward-thinking and are always hunting for the next big thing to invest in. At the moment, anything relating to tech, well-being and education and healthcare are popular among Chinese/Asian investors.
Crayfish.io: What are some of the best ways to get in touch with Chinese/Asian investors?
Sally: They are usually very digital savvy. So, make sure that you’re reachable on WeChat and have an official WeChat channel to regularly communicate about your company and industry news to those well-educated investors from the Far East.
But above and beyond, you need to build that trust face to face. Go extra miles. Jump on a plane to visit them (without Covid restrictions) and make time to do lots of favours and show your sincerity to build long-term relationships with them. It’s all worth it.
Crayfish.io: What are the DOs and DON’Ts when communicating with Chinese/Asian investors?
Sally: DOs include:
- Be super knowledgeable about your topic
- Be professional and know your own boundaries (i.e. when to say no)
- Be responsive. They are super time-poor. Be as flexible as possible to meet their busy schedules
- Don’t ask, give first
- Don’t expect returns immediately. It’s a long-term relationship
- Don’t say yes when you don’t know the answers
Crayfish.io: How to pitch Chinese/Asian investors?
Sally: Ideally, you need a warm introduction from someone they already trust and this helps you win their trust a little bit faster. However, you still need to back up your pitch with solid data and clear ROIs. To be blunt, it’s still about business and making money in the end.
Crayfish.io: What challenges does it pose to have Chinese/Asian investors for UK/EU projects?
Sally: In the long term, I don’t see major challenges but right now it’s all about how to adapt and manage risks posed by Covid-19. Despite Brexit, Chinese/Asian investors still like to invest in the UK due to its sound infrastructure and track records. As for EU projects, they will also be open-minded as long as good ROIs can be proved.
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