Prior to SinglePlatform, one of my biggest business development mistakes was failing to include a measure within my hitlist that allowed me to prioritize opportunities.
For those foreign to the concept, a hitlist (or pipeline) comprises of all of the companies that you could potentially partner with, sell to etc. It’s essentially a list of targets.
Inevitably there are going to be some target deals that move the needle for your company more than others. Doing a deal with Google, will probably make your company more valuable than doing a deal with a startup that may not be around in a year. Thus, as you build out your hitlist it’s important to be able to quantify how much value opportunities might drive …
I’ve written hundreds of cold emails over the past year and come to a few conclusions about how to elicit a positive response. I’ve also received a few myself and consistently see people use strategies that just haven’t worked for me. Here’s my two cents on how to cold email prospects effectively.
Keep it 4 sentences or less (ideally 3).
When you send someone you don’t know a novel to read, you’re making them work. Busy people have too much on their plate to dedicate time to a speculative narrative – so they don’t read them diligently (this may not apply if your email domain rhymes with moogle or hicrosoft).
Most long, cold emails I receive are from JV sales people that rarely …
I’ve soft-launched two startups in the past year…and I’m the only one that knows about it.
Many aspiring founders build a minimum viable product without a minimum viable audience. This is bad.
In order to truly understand market demand, there needs to be a feedback loop. For consumer web products, that feedback loop is people or an audience. Without one, it’s nearly impossible to test a product in the market…maybe that’s why we see people spend months building before they realize no one wants their product. There’s probably a group of lean startup disciples doing a golf clap somewhere.
The audience I used to test one of my “MVPs” was my blog’s readership.
For people that have read this blog over the past year, …
Stop Applying to Startups.
This was the title of an excellent post by Quinten Farmer on the challenges of landing a startup job through the traditional application process. The bottom line is it’s very challenging to stand out amongst a barrage of resumes if you don’t already have a connection to a company or taken the initiative to create one.
Fear not. There’s still hope to land your dream job. One way to accomplish this is to create a clever application or hook to stand out. I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight a few case studies of how people have done this so that resume drop jockeys can see what this looks like:
Alec Brownstein – Y & R
Using the assumption …
People you don’t know are always more likely to respond to your emails when you’ve been referred. It signals you’ve been vetted.
Unfortunately, we don’t always have someone willing to introduce or refer us to the person we’re trying to reach. One way to combat this is by creating a referral. The methodology is pretty simple and can be applied even before you’ve identified the decision maker:
Step 1. Call Above Someone in the Organization
By calling above, I mean call someone who holds a higher, related position within the corporate hierarchy. I.E. If I’m trying to reach the VP of marketing, try calling the Chief Marketing Officer’s office.
When you reach this person, simply ask them who is responsible …
I love a lot of things about Skillshare. But today I’d like to highlight what it’s done for my finances and purchasing decisions.
Most people’s income is static with the exception of a year-end bonus. This yearly income determines their monthly budget. I.E. If I made $48,000 I’d have a little over $2500 a month after taxes to spend on rent, groceries, entertainment, bills, etc.
In this situation, purchasing decisions are a zero sum game because our income is capped. If I’m moving and want to spend an extra $200 on rent, that means I’ll have $200 less to spend on entertainment, tank tops, Dos Toros etc. The bottom line is we’re forced to make sacrifices.
What’s amazing about Skillshare is that it …
I encounter a lot of people who want to “get coffee sometime.”
A lot of them are younger people I haven’t met or brief acquaintances looking for advice or help.
If you fall into this category (vs. a friend/colleague), there are effective ways to go about asking for coffee that make people more likely to meet with you as well as elicit a greater sense of respect for their time.
I’m breaking this down into two parts.
1. How to increase your odds that a busy, cool person will meet with you
2. An effective way to ask for a coffee meeting
Increasing the Odds This Person Will Meet For Coffee
You’ve identified the person you’d like to grab a cup of joe with. Let’s just assume …
In the business development world, the world silence usually has a negative connotation, but when you’re pitching it can be a good thing.
People are naturally uncomfortable with silence during a phone conversation with a new acquaintance. When they encounter it, they don’t know what to do…so they just start talking.
Often there are valuable pieces of information that prospects hold close to their chest. An example might be how interested they are in buying your product or service. Just like on a car lot, they might not want to seem too interested to maintain bargaining leverage. Other times there’s questions that are just awkward to ask directly.
You can use the silence disposition to your advantage in these type of scenarios. Purposefully …