Preparing Meetings Using Big Data
The first part explaining how to identify prospects was more about you and your expectations or goals, not your counterparts. Here, we now changing the perspective and are focusing on what you need to know about your meeting partners.
To have meaningful discussions about business relations in a meeting, it is key to understand the business and situation your partner is in. Patent data can help irrespective of whether you have a history with your meeting partners or not.
If you already have a relationship, you use the information from patent data sources to verify what you believe you know about your partner and how her/his business developed recently. When meeting new potential clients/partners, it is about getting an understanding what you counterpart might be looking for and trying to identify what’s on your partner’s mind.
Social media activity reveals general interests and opinions
Certainly, patent data are only one source. In addition, it might make sense to go to social media platforms like LinkedIn and connect with your counterpart. Her/his recent activity can tell you what he or she is interested in. The groups, the people and companies someone follows tell you what he or she cares about. Look for overlapping interests and keep this in mind during the meeting. There might come the occasion to bring something up which you have seen there.
Statistics and data can tell you more about the counterparts
Social media platforms are a good start, but they won’t tell you much a client base or relationships with partner and certainly not whether these relationships are mutually beneficial. Luckily, if you know how to read patent data publications, there is a lot of hidden information. Here is what you should look for:
Next, derive arguments from your analysis
Now that you have had a close look at your counterpart, it’s time for the interpretation. Your meeting partners will appreciate that you did your homework, but more importantly you need to come up with arguments that speak in your favor.
To find arguments, it can also help to look at your competitors who are now in business. However, make sure not to badmouth other market players, but rather think about points that show an advantage working with you.
With respect to the data, to name just a few, these could come from mutual clients, similarities in technical expertise, freedom of conflicts of interest or overlapping jurisdictions. There will certainly be further areas outside the data and in the end sympathy trumps everything. However, objective information derived from patent data can (and should) play an important role in your strategy.
Make your meeting performance measurable
Last but not least, how do you measure, if a meeting was successful? In part 1 of this article series, you set your goals for a successful business development. Now it’s time to consider what each meeting is meant to deliver to reach the goal(s).
To do so, break down your strategic goals into goals for the meeting. What are appropriate follow ups that lead to a next step? The counterpart agreeing on a follow-up visit? An intro to further partners of the firm? A concrete deal with respect to the exchange of cases or work taking over? A successful price discussion? You name it. Just make sure that it is in line with the goals you have set during the planning. And even more importantly, keep your goal in mind when going into the meeting.
In Part 3 we will now continue to look at executing meetings successfully. How can big data help you here to reach your goal?