Grow Your AUM (Without Giving Smarmy Salesperson Vibes)

“I want to be sales-y,” said no one ever.

If you are in the hedge fund or investment world trying to grow your AUM, you definitely need to be in compliance but let’s be real… you’re getting benched if you give off smarmy salesperson vibes. So how do you find your true fans and grow your business without being sales-y?

  1. Serve without expecting anything in return

  2. Meet your prospects where they are

  3. Hold better conversations with investors

Serve without expecting anything in return

It’s important to help your prospects without expecting anything in return. Give your thought leadership away; share your knowledge, processes, and best ideas. When you serve your ideal prospects in this way, they see that you could be the right guide for them. You are credible; you are a go-giver; you lob balls right over the plate. Is it a leap of faith? Yes. But it also takes the pressure off. You don’t have to sell. You just have to serve.

How should you give? In the form of content — blogs, social posts, podcasts, etc.

10 ideas on content you can share with your ideal prospects:

  • Why you started your firm
  • Advice you received from a mentor
  • What you wish you knew before you started
  • Industry do's and don'ts
  • Your process or workflow
  • Solutions to common problems
  • Unique ways you analyze investments
  • Areas of the market you like / don’t
  • Case studies
  • Answers to FAQ in your niche

Meet your prospects where they are

Your target investors hang out on social media; they read blogs and substacks, listen to podcasts, watch videos. They have a life outside of their 9 - 5, away from their desk. 

  • They are more than your next million in AUM and know when you are aiming at their wallets. 
  • They value qualitative as much as quantitative. 
  • They want to know the people behind the portfolio.
  • They have a heart and a mind (and the heart buys first).

And yet investment boutiques still aren't meeting them where they are (strike 1!), aren't talking about things important to them (strike 2!). Many still send out a PDF market commentary by bcc-ing investors into an Outlook email (strike 3!).

Investors are people; they’re your partners. Not dollar signs and commas. 


  • talk at them
  • sell to them
  • make yourself the hero

Hard pass on:

  • Stand & delivers
  • Dog & pony shows
  • 40 page decks with size 10 font overflowing with numbers, stats, and charts


  • Say hello to the people behind the portfolios
  • Step out from behind your Bloomberg
  • Meet prospects where they are
  • Show up where they hang out (we mean forums and social media, not stalking)
  • Show up as a person, not just a rep of a portfolio
  • Communicate authentically
  • Tell stories, create content

People do business with people. Even in the investment world.


How to hold better conversations with investors

Once you do score a meeting with an investor, use these four tips to ditch your pitch. 

Tip 1: Prepare for your meeting — the right way

Most portfolio managers and investment boutiques start prepping for their meeting by gathering performance data, collecting stats, and practicing sales techniques. But investors are human. They buy with their heart first. It’s your job to use this meeting to build trust, not sell them. 


Investor Meeting Playbook and Meeting Prep Template

Hit home runs when you meet with prospective investors

The Investor Meeting Playbook includes tips and tricks gathered from our years of experience helping portfolio managers and investment boutique founders close deals with investors.

Also included: Fully editable Meeting Prep Template, which includes everything you need to make note of before you come to the table and includes industry-specific advice.



Tip 2: Check your ego at the door.

Our founder used to work with a client who was a portfolio manager. Leaving investor meetings, the PM would walk out all pumped up like, “I am so much smarter than that guy. My lead PM would crush that dude.” She'd need to remind him, it’s not a competition, you're trying to find a partner. This is not a battlefield; it's a boardroom. You're trying to build a relationship with this investor.

Maybe that “us v them” school of thought works for some people, but it's never worked for us.

We go into a meeting as an advocate, a friend, not an adversary. We don't sit on opposite benches. We sit in the same dugout and let's be real — nobody is going to close a deal in the first meeting. That's not the freaking point. The point is to make a difference. To be a person. To see if there are opportunities to work together. To have some fun.

Pitching and winning doesn't need to be a battle. We’ve raised billions of dollars by being people.

Tip 3: Don't sell anything and they might eventually buy something.

Your first meeting should focus on getting to know one another. So be a person. Being a person is not the same as selling yourself. Get to know the investor. Ask them questions about their backstory, why they do what they do. What are they working on? What problems are they trying to solve? How are they solving them now? You want to put yourself in their shoes and you’ll need context.

Tip 4: Ask better questions.

Instead of talking about what you want to say, talk about what the investor wants to discuss. If you ask questions, you’ll find out what matters to them. This is 100% more important than what matters to you.

Salespeople are taught to deliver a pitch right into the catcher’s mitt. Sometimes ya speed it up. Sometimes even throw a little curve into it. But mostly, just pitch it like Coach taught. With fact sheets, canned scripts, and email templates. Coach meant well, but we’re going to have to ask you to leave it in the locker room.

Why leave the canned pitch behind? Because the secret to successful pitching is to stop and listen. Stop talking at investors and have a conversation with them. If investors wanted to hear you rail off numbers, they’d read your fact sheets. Instead, ditch the figures and check out these 5 questions you can ask in your next meeting.

Here's to better meetings.

Ditch your pitch.

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