Don’t just run off and randomly approach partners. Once the goals are set, the first thing the BD team or person should do is set priorities in terms of who your ideal partners are. This includes market sizing, market and competitive analysis, and a clear timeline. If you are new to the industry you better start researching yesterday. There is nothing worse than being pitched by someone who did not make the effort to understand your business and the challenges you are facing. Secondly, you need to put a lot of work into figuring out how to approach these partners (more to that in point 3). Finally, you have to make sure you have all the necessary contacts to approach your target partners. If not, work your network. Cold calls are rarely effective. Unless you come recommended by a trusted source, chances are very low that you will get someone’s attention. Ideally, you have built up a ton of what I call “good karma” by helping out others friends in the industry in previous situation so that you can call in some favors and ask for introductions.
Holger Luedorf works at Foursquare as Vice President, Head of Business Development. Prior to Foursquare, Holger worked at Yahoo Mobile as a Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships. Holger joined Yahoo! in 2005 after heading Portal & Partner Management at T-Mobile International in Europe. Holger is an expert in understanding mobile data and digital media business opportunities. His expertise in multi-million dollar deal-making and handling complex partner relationships makes him a well-rounded business development and product marketing executive.