If you work in business development, partnerships, or sales you probably hear one of these once a week:
“We love your product, but…”
“….we have other priorities…”
“….you need to come back in a few months….”
The real question here is how do you shorten the time between pitching someone your offering and having them agree to work with you?
The real answer touches upon where the company is focusing their energy at the moment.
I recently heard a great analogy about doing deals (from Sara Lannin at Accel Partners, who heard it from someone else that I can’t remember right now): Imagine you were walking into the gym and a trainer comes up to you and tells you that their appointment was cancelled. The trainer tells you that he/she is happy to give you a free session. What would your response be? You would immediately say “yea. awesome. let’s do it.” But what if the same trainer gave you a call at 3am in the morning telling you he/she had a cancellation? You’d tell them thanks but that this isn’t a good time.
It’s the same with deals. If you are getting the run around from companies when you approach them, you need to take a step back and consider if you are going to them at the right time. Analyze how deeply your offering will help them. If you master the art of understanding where the other company is (and what they are focused on) you will become more efficient and better at getting others to work with you.