There are excellent resources available to assist the AR profession including IIAR but on this side of the briefing table, it seems like that advice is not universally followed. As analysts we get a steady stream of requests for our time and often for a first introduction. I’d say that for the most part this goes well but there are some tips I thought might be worth underscoring to make the briefings effective for you and the analyst. For a lot of you, these might seem obvious but trust me that I wouldn’t write these tips if there weren’t situations where these things occur.
Meeting an analyst for the first time.- give them the details at a glance
If an analyst hasn’t met you before, it’s wise to put all of your company’s essential details on one slide of your briefing deck as the first thing you cover. Include number of employees, headquarters location, when you were founded, who were the founders, your revenue (say it’s NDA but provide it anyway), and the names of a few of your marquis accounts. If you don’t do this, the analyst will ask anyway or sit there waiting for you to tell them.
Whether the first time or an update briefing – send your deck early
Send your briefing deck (and by all means have one, not doing so is awkward for all) at a minimum the day prior to the briefing. Often sadly, decks come in an hour or so before the call and then once on the call the company representatives ask the analyst if they’ve had a chance to review it. The answer is usually ‘no’ as there just hasn’t been time. Sending it a day prior ups the probability of them actually getting to know your company a bit before the call which is a great thing.
The one hour rule and being on time
Most briefings are one hour in length and analysts often book back-to-back so there will be a hard stop. You should verify this and honor it and make sure you aren’t breathlessly wrapping up with no time for feedback at xx:59. You generally want feedback or you should so leave time for it. One way to ensure you get the most time and make a good impression is to be on time and that means for everyone that is joining the call. Nothing is worse than in the first few minutes the teleconference bridge service keeps beeping with people late to join. As a corollary, try not to have folks on the call that are not introduced, lurking is just kind of unsettling.
Try to know something about the analyst ahead of time
Do some homework and make sure everyone that is going to be on your end is at least passably familiar with the analyst’s bio, coverage area, and body of work. Most analysts have an on-line bio and list of research so this shouldn’t be tough. You wouldn’t make a client call without doing some background and so the same holds true with analysts. It doesn’t hurt to interject something about the analyst into conversation — something you read about them, or a thought around a piece of their recent research. It’s all about relationship.
Tread carefully on the competition
Unfortunately, analysts occasionally hear vendors slamming the competition. I can’t speak for every analyst but this is not music to my ears. I have competition myself but I think of other analysts in a similar coverage area as colleagues, we see each other and greet each other warmly at events where we are together. Yes, it’s important to differentiate but do so on strengths and not on demeaning the rest of the market.
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