These five words: “Sorry you aren’t a priority”, is one of the most frequently used rejection responses people will hear when pitching/closing. Sometimes it is true. Other times you aren’t positioning yourself properly.
Try to understand what is important to the company you are pitching to. If they care about getting new users and your offering will help them get new users, harp on that. Make sure they understand how many users you can bring them and show them people you’ve done this with before.
It’s not only new users. Some companies might care about improving their product or making money. If you don’t help something that they are currently focused on, don’t be surprised when they say you aren’t a priority.
If you are truly not a priority it might make sense to go back to the drawing board and build a product that is something more companies find to be a priority.
Getting a “Sorry you aren’t a priority” sucks but if you really understand other companies and are honest with yourself about your offering you will spend your time focusing on opportunities where you are a priority.
At some point in your professional career you will want/need to get in front of someone who you don’t know.
There are a variety of methods and strategies that work. In the end, it’s really all about personal preference.
1) Getting a warm introduction
Look on your LinkedIN, Hashable, FB, Twitter and other social networks to see which of your friends or colleagues are connected to the person who you are trying to get in front of. Reach out to your friend and explain why you want to speak with this person. If there is any merit (and they are close enough to them) they will typically make a warm introduction.
2) Go to an event where they will be
Whether it is a conference or a networking event, get a ticket and attend. If they are on a panel, wait until it is over and go and introduce yourself. If they are just attending (and the list of attendees is public information), go find them and introduce yourself.
3) Email them
Most email addresses can be easily found online. If you can’t find the email address, look for how the email structure works for other people in the company (i.e. First Name@xxxx.com, First Initial.Last Name@xxxx.com, First Name.Last Name@xxxx.com, etc…).
Once you obtain the email address, put together a rough draft of what you want to tell them. Most people won’t read more than a few sentences (even if they know you), so make sure you make each word count!
If you send a block of text, as opposed to sending something that is short and to the point, your email probably won’t receive a response. KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid). Try this great personal policy- http://five.sentenc.es.
Remember: you are pitching yourself first. People respond to emails from people they either know or like. Considering they don’t know you, make them like you. Followed by whatever you are working on/reaching out to them about.
4) Tweet at them
You have 140 characters. Make them count. Make sure you catch their attention and make them want to respond to find out more.
5) Call them
Get on the phone and call them. Every company has a telephone number. Ask for the person you want to speak with and give it your all.
Whichever you choose, make sure you are brief and to the point. You will typically have one shot, so make the most of it.
We recently launched a new tool, a HTML5 photo editor, and I have been working on partnerships for it. I have been doing research and analysis for the past few weeks/months on over 200 prospective partners.
Here are the things you need to KNOW (cold) before approaching any prospective partners.
1) Basic company background info: when founded, financing, key employees, team size, location.
2) How does the company view itself? How do users use the website? How does the public view the company?
3) How has their growth been? Any recent pivots in company direction?
4) Traffic? Look at press releases, CEO interviews/quotes for that number you are looking for (whether it is photos upload, page views, demographic, geographic, video uploads, user retention, etc..)
5) What is their business? How do they make money?
6) Where do their users come from? Web? Mobile? Somewhere else?
7) Do they have an API?
Only if you can answer all of these questions, and WELL, are you ready to reach out or get introduced to a prospective partner.
For a web company to even want to partner with you, you need to fall under one of these three categories:
1) Create Revenue
Whether you are creating revenue for them or they for you- revenue makes the world go ‘round.
2) Increase User Base
Do you have a user base that a partner can tap into? What will you get in return from exposing them to your users?
3) Improve Product/Offering
Do you have a nifty tool that will make the user experience better for a partner?
Each web company puts each in personal priority. At times they can be focused on either product, growth, revenue, two of three or all three. It really all depends on timing. Try to keep these categories in mind when dealing with partnerships.