Any good sales person knows that a one-size-fits-all approach to sales presentations never works. The same is true for marketing presentations for intellectual property. To be most effective, the technology manager must help inventors tailor their presentations to match the needs of the licensing prospect. How do you figure this out? Through effective listening:
- Ask, ask, and ask again: How does the prospect envision using the technology? Where does it fit into their strategic plans? Will it become part of the product line, is it embedded in a product, or is it a “back-end” tool that will enable better, cheaper or faster operations? What value does the prospect foresee and why? Will it save them money or bring them more revenue? Will they sell it to existing customers or new ones? What do they perceive as shortcomings of the technology?
- Repeat back to them what you’ve heard: Position the technology in light of what you’ve heard. Create descriptions depicting how they might use the technology. Describe the technology in terms of its perceived value to them.
- Validate your understanding: Does your understanding match theirs? Remember that their perception is their reality. Adjust accordingly.
- Tailor the inventor’s presentation: Assist the inventor by drafting introductory and wrap-up slides that position the technology in light of the prospect’s intended use.
By tailoring your pitch to the prospect’s needs you will enhance your value and credibility—making the prospect believe that you understand their business and making them feel as though the meeting was valuable, even if the technology ends up not being a match.
More information about Fuentek’s approach to technology transfer and samples of our clients’ technology commercialization opportunities—details that feed into prospect-specific tailored technology marketing presentations—is available on our website and throughout this blog.
–By Karen Hiser