How to Approach Potential Business Partners

Approaching other companies for business requires preparation and great presentation skills.
Approaching other companies for business requires preparation and great presentation skills. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

Preparation and presentation will help you land a company for a new business relationship with your firm. Presentation can be the hardest part, but lack of preparation may not provide you with the opportunity to make that sales pitch in the first place. Preparation requires research and due diligence to help you develop a sales pitch tailored to the needs of the potential business partner and to help give your group an edge when presenting it.

Things You'll Need

  • Brochures
  • Pamphlets
  • Information collecting software

Create a list of companies in your field and others that you think will benefit from doing business with your firm. These could be businesses with which you’ve always wanted to do business, or with whom you’re just familiar from meeting their representatives at networking events. Record the list of potential companies in a database. You will use this database to store and access information about each potential business relationship.

Conduct research on the history and internal workings of each company. This can consist of obtaining information from the company’s website or articles in news publications that may indicate certain business trends or the direction of corporate leadership. Investigate a company's legal history for business violations, fines, and proceedings regarding criminal negligence and fraud.

Record the type of business products and services that the companies specialize in so you can analyze how your business would fit in if there was a business relationship. Find out the companies' marketing strategies as well as the type of customers they target with their marketing efforts.

Contact an executive who has a primary decision-making role with the company. Preferably this person has Managing Director status within the firm as they would be able to route you to the appropriate people with whom you should communicate. Let them know that you would like to set up a meeting with them and their colleagues to discuss setting up a potential business relationship with their firm.

Prepare for the presentation with your colleagues. Create an outline and decide who will present which sections of the presentation. If it is just one presenter, make sure they are well prepared with all the information they need to present at the meeting. Practice giving the presentation in front of your colleagues so you can receive feedback for improving it when presenting the pitch to the potential business partner.

Meet with the company executives and present your proposal for doing business with them. Provide them with information about your company, including pamphlets, brochures and work samples. But most of all, provide them with documents that support your business proposal and presentation. Visual aids are the key to making a clear and concise point to the corporate heads that will let them know exactly the type of business partnership you are proposing to have with their firm.

Attempt to schedule a follow-up meeting once the preliminary meeting is over. Check to make sure if they are still interested in doing business with your firm and ask them if they have any additional questions or inquiries about your company. If the meeting was a success then you can expect to hear from them in the near future.

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