Excellent! You’re all registered to attend BIO-Europe Spring®! All set to send a flurry of invites on partneringONE® to your priority list of partners and investors? Before you start tapping away at your keyboard like a business development maestro it’s worth taking a moment to check you’re making the most of the neat features on partneringONE that maximise the chance of a yes to your invite request. Especially if you have used the system before, as there’s a wealth of useful information from your previous efforts that can help maximise the return from your current ones.
Firstly, do you have that déjà vu feeling when you see a company’s name on the system? Maybe you’ve sent an invite their way before? Perhaps you have met them and forgotten all about it! How embarrassing! Look for a clock icon and the word ‘history’ above the name of the company when you view its details. If that’s there, check closely what happened last time you approached them. If they politely, but firmly, said no, then maybe leave them alone this time and focus your efforts on others who may be more receptive to your invite. You need to balance sending invites between those who you’d just love to meet, and those who’d want to meet you. Remember being a kid and excitedly sending all those birthday party invites to the cool kids, none of whom responded, and you had to invite your actual friends, and Mr. Rabbit, to make up the numbers. This can be a bit like that if you don’t choose your invites wisely.
Also, check your invite history from the last event. Examine the companies who declined. You probably have a lot of those, especially if you are a service-provider, so, painful though it is, it’s worth sifting through for any forgotten gems. Those who declined without even sending a standard message are unlikely to be interested in what you offered. Best give them a miss this time around. But if there’s a friendly message that suggests they could be open to a meeting at a later event, tag them for possible follow up.
What do you mean ‘tag them’? A productivity-enhancing tool on partneringONE is the ability to colour code companies you are interested in, literally like putting a sticky note on them. This is the little luggage ticket icon next to the ‘Request’ red button. A good way to make a smooth work-flow on the system, especially if there is more than one person from a company attending BIO-Europe Spring and actively partnering, is to traffic light the prospects, then send invites in order of priority.
Slap on a red sticky if there’s likely no hope there (as you looked at the history, and the decline list, and see the thumbs down signal from there). It’s important to tag the unviable prospects you’ve looked at as they’ll keep popping up in searches, and you’ll waste time re-assessing them. Give a reassuring green for go colour tag for ones that look promising. And an orange for ones you’re not sure about and may need to check in with colleagues. Once you’ve checked-in, convert them to red or green. Have some other colours you really like? Then go full spectrum and add in, say, gold for existing clients (it’s always nice to catch up, and they, like Mr Rabbit, should at least accept your invites), blue for prospects from your preferred geographies, and a regal purple for investors.
Finally, try doing your partnering upside down. It’s human nature to work through things from A to Z. And many companies choose names starting with A in the hope they’ll gain more attention. But if you work Z to A, you may find there are fewer competing invites to the companies at the other end of the alphabet, so a better chance of success. To do this, just work through your green tags in reverse alphabetical order. Simple! Give it a go and see if it helps improve your invite conversion rate, and you can leave Mr Rabbit at home.