I recently worked on a new licensing deal for a Fuentek client and wanted to share a few tips that led to our success. These ideas about marketing intellectual property are not unlike the best practices that my Fuentek colleagues have blogged about before. But some deals—like the one I just completed—really highlight the common-sense intelligence behind Fuentek’s best practices.
So, I thought I’d take a minute to review five of these tips that go into our strategy when marketing technology and intellectual property (IP):
- Think like a buyer, not like a seller.
- Understand the major problem you can help a licensee solve.
- Educate them with a comprehensive and factual story about the technology.
- Prove your story: bring the facts and gather your proof points ahead of time.
- Make every conversation a meaningful and valuable dialog—that’s how you’re going to close the deal.
Everything starts with the right mindset. Ask yourself, If I were them, why would I be interested? What’s in it for me?
Help your prospect understand why this technology can solve their MOST pressing challenge and solve it better than any competitive solution. Learn everything you can about the problem and how it impacts the licensee. Paint a clear image of how your technology will help them solve their problem, but remember to manage expectations. Don’t stretch the truth of what the technology might be able to accomplish for them—stay honest about the capabilities and limitations. The truth always comes out and you are better off walking away from the deal early (and expend your resources on a better-fitting prospect) than having an unhappy partner.
A licensee wants to understand the full story (who, what, when, where, why, how and how much). Every prospect is different—each with unique problems and needs—so make it their unique story. Actually, you need two versions of your story: a short one and a longer, deeper one. You need to deliver it so a sixth grader will understand, yet be able to drill down into the details like a rocket scientist. So, develop your elevator pitch and practice it. And then hunker down with your charts and graphs—and double check everything.
Always keep in mind that a story is just that until you can prove it. A demo video, evaluation code, or even first-hand experience can reinforce your story. So, your goal? Make it believable. Make it real.
Finally, every interaction should be—and be a part of—a meaningful conversation. It involves asking, listening and sharing. It also involves making sure your licensee is completely satisfied: satisfied with their investment of time and money, satisfied with how the technology will reward them, and satisfied with you as a representative and your client as their supplier.
So, what about you and your best practices for marketing IP technology? What one common sense tip have you learned that you’d like to share with our readers?