As I meet with entrepreneurs in my newly defined “ex-VC” role, I find myself very often translating VC talk. It reminds me of a post Guy Kawasaki published over 2 years ago (“The top ten lies of Venture Capitalists”). Definitely still worth a read.
Many entrepreneurs meet with VC’s that are “very interested” in the company and report that a “meeting went very well”. I have a very specific question that I ask in response: “What is the next step?”. (Actually this is the same question that one would ask in the context of a customer meeting as well.) Not always is there a concrete answer.
It is absolutely OK to ask a venture capitalist at the end of a meeting what is the next step. In fact, it is necessary. You will be able to understand very much from this response, most importantly what was the real level of interest.
As often said, a quick “no” is the second best answer to “yes”. And… if the answer is “no”, take the time to discuss and question why. Not for the purpose of changing a mind, but for understanding the real reason. This feedback will be extremely helpful in addressing these concerns for the next meeting, as well as dealing with real issues. Good Luck!