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5 ways to make a successful pitch to an analyst

Rob Enderle | May 16, 2016
Columnist Rob Enderle writes that analysts as a group are an odd bunch and there is a right way to make your pitch to an analyst.

These are founding successive elements. The “why” has to be supported by some trusted fact because if we don’t buy it the solution doesn’t have a foundation to stand on and it will collapse. The “what” needs to directly build on the why and we need to agree to that connection otherwise we won’t buy the argument. And, finally, the how needs to fit within the framework we have of the buyer and your own resources otherwise we will likely conclude this offering will be a failure, and if this is a major firm or influencer, our coverage could effectively kill your product.  

3. Engage the analyst

The more the analyst is talking the more they are engaged in the presentation. If the analyst is doing a lot of talking they are engaged, if they are just listening and making generic comments or grunts, you have probably lost them. The more you can get them to talk and engage the more chance they’ll leave with either a position favorable to you or, if they are negative, the better you will be setting up a defense.   But if you find yourself halfway through a presentation and the analyst is only nodding or making generic grunts, stop and ask them their opinion on some interesting part of the solution or what they would do with it to pull them back in.

4. Break up the pitch with appropriate demonstrations

Don’t mix up analysts with buyers or users unless this is a consumer offering or they are likely to use your product themselves as part of their job. If it is the latter then try to turn them into a believer/advocate for the product and both leave them with it, and follow up to make sure they installed and used it.  

For most, however, it is far better to showcase users raving about the product and telling stories about what critical problem(s) it fixed.   If you are going to show how a product is used to an analyst who isn’t a user, (and trust me most of us haven’t actually run an IT product ever), you have to showcase what makes it better than either the competition or the prior version of the product otherwise we don’t have the necessary context. Better is a viable user who can speak to what makes the product better than anything else they have used before. But, without context, unless the analyst actually has hands on experience, the user interface demonstration is wasted time.

5. At the close

At the end of the presentation you need to ask three questions. What were the analyst’s conclusions? If they hated the product or presentation you’ll have some recovery to do and you sure don’t want to use them as a press reference. What would they have done better/differently? And, are there any follow up questions the analyst has?

 

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