We’ve written a lot about the importance of a warm introduction—to prospective clients, donors, partners, etc.—and how RelSci can help you get one. But once you’ve secured a meeting, what then? How can you make sure it doesn’t become a wasted opportunity? The shorter answer is: know your contact. Before you shake hands, find out who they are and perhaps more importantly, all the ways you can help each other. Here’s how RelSci can help you to uncover all your hidden opportunities…
1. Flesh out the bio.
First things first: Who are you meeting? That’s more than name, rank and serial number. The people profiles in RelSci offer a slew of information you should have on hand: education, history of charitable and political donations, professional relationships and board memberships. This kind of info is important, and not just because it will make conversation less awkward.
Executives barely have a moment to listen to their own team members. The quickest way to burn through an introduction (and maybe even the relationship with the person who made it) is to spend time on points that are irrelevant to them. Knowing their interests and background ahead of time will allow you to tailor your presentation to appeal directly to the contact, saving both of you valuable time.
2. Put it in context.
Being well versed in a contact’s history is important, but if you’re ignorant of more recent career or organizational developments, you could end up missing out on some key strategic opportunities. Say his company has just announced a reorg that has saddled the contact with a new division and responsibilities, and suppose you have what he needs to save time and energy. Are you prepared to fold that into the conversation?
RelSci 360° Alerts keep you informed of the latest headlines related to a contact and his business. Run a 360° search after you first get an introduction, and then again shortly before you meet.
Of course, you’ll want to leave the meeting with a set of action items. Make sure one of them is to establish further connections (e.g., investors for the idea you just pitched). Here’s where you might want to consult with the RelSci Path Finder tool.
Path Finder lets you search for common links between your new contact and a custom list of others (amongst other searches). It will set you up, if the situation allows, to ask your connection for introductions to some of those people. It’s the grease that keeps the business wheel turning.