One of the hardest things about raising money from venture capitalists is getting in to see them. Business plans arrive on their doorsteps hourly, and with the market for new issues deader than John Travolta's career, they're not all that eager for deals.
"You can't call them daily -- they don't want to deal with a pest. Yet you want to stay on their agendas," says Michael M. Nightingale, president and CEO of GMIS Inc., in Malvern, Pa., who has discovered a way to do just that.
Nightingale, whose company makes software for the health-care industry, keeps a file of every venture capitalist who has ever expressed even the vaguest interest in GMIS. "Whenever there's new information, we do a mailing," he says. Sending the letters makes it easier to get his calls returned, he says. It must be working: so far the com-pany has raised more than $6 million.