Never Make a Cold Call Again: 4 Tips, by @pkfletcher

By Cynthia Ringo
September 11, 2012

Inc. con­trib­u­tor Pat­ti Fletch­er @pkfletcher and I met at the We Own It Sum­mit back in June and had a fan­tas­tic con­ver­sa­tion about how ven­ture firms are approached.  Do peo­ple cold call us?  Are most intro­duc­tions made through people’s net­works?  (answer, the lat­ter) And what kind of advice would I give  entre­pre­neurs look­ing to end the cycle of mak­ing cold calls and start devel­op­ing rela­tion­ships that move the needle.

Four tips include:

  1. Be prac­ti­cal and real­is­tic.  Look at what you are try­ing to accom­plish, and don’t get stuck in how every­one else is try­ing to do it.
  2. Do your home­work.  Are you 100% con­fi­dent that you under­stand what your tar­get firms do and don’t do? Who is already in their port­fo­lio? Which ven­dors already have exclu­sive con­tracts with them?
  3. Be resource­ful.  Don’t dial for dol­lars.  Once you have iden­ti­fied firms or sec­tors, start look­ing for your points of con­tact who are active in those firms or sectors.
  4. Make it easy and make it fast.  Make it easy for your con­nec­tions to intro­duce you into their net­works. Write out crisp pitch points for each tar­get profile.

Pat­ti went off and wrote this great arti­cle just out in Inc. based on our con­ver­sa­tion which includes all the details of the above points (I just sum­ma­rized).  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

You can catch more of Patti’s work on her blog.