The BD team is usually one of the most outward facing teams in a start-up and as such you will be able to collect a ton of valuable feedback for company. A lot of partner meetings generate a lot of information like product critique, observation of what the competition is doing, insights into what partners would like to see in terms of product innovation etc. Make it a point to regularly pass this knowledge on to the respective teams in the organization as it will help educating the organization and making more informed decisions.
Here are a few tactics I’ve used to reinvigorate a cold conversation.
The key to achieving transparency is to the make the other side comfortable with being open and honest at the onset of the relationship. If you don’t do this, they’re more likely to correlate a “no” or “not right now” with confrontation then subsequently go cold.
I started thinking about the “Inside Out” organization. This is the company that lets outsiders have a glimpse of what is going on in the sausage factory. Being transparent about our workload, our struggles, our fund raising, whatever. Letting our customers and the market know that we were a real organization with real people rather than a pre-packaged, pre-processed marketing machine. Customers, press and the market responded positively.